As the crypto-world struggles to strike a balance between the load of regulations or lack thereof, and the prevailing privacy and security concerns as they strive to further innovation in the segment, PIVX emerges as a blockchain protocol that can strike a balance between the two. In order to understand the project better, we reached out to Ivan, a core team member of the PIVX project responsible for Business Development and Marketing and asked him few questions.
BlocDesk (BD): Let us start with the basic question for our readers to understand your project better. What is PIVX? How is it different from other blockchain protocols out there?
Ivan A (IA): PIVX is a user data protection-oriented cryptocurrency using an advanced and highly customized Proof of Stake consensus algorithm. PIVX is a DAO, a Decentralized Autonomous Organization, which is governed by its community members through the built-in blockchain based governance model. It is self-funded thanks to the PIVX treasury which is being voted on and allocated on a monthly basis. Although our main feature is user data protection on blockchain, we have enriched our project by many industry leading features such as the:
- Cold Staking, which allows users to stake their coins while they are being safely stored offline on a hardware wallet.
- Masternodes, which are securing the network, ensuring higher level of network decentralization and allowing the decentralized governance by giving each masternode a voting right (1 masternode = 1 vote).
- Dynamic Coin Supply Model, which ensures a long term balance between inflation and deflation. PIVX has a fixed emission rate of 5 PIV per block (block time is ~60 seconds), but all the transaction fees are being burned. It means that while there are small number of transactions on the network, transaction fees are low, coin is inflationary and spending is incentivized, while in case of the high amount of transactions, transaction fees are increasing, more coins are being burned, making the coin deflationary and incentivizing the savings over spending.
We are different from the vast majority of other projects because we are putting security in the first place. Our codebase is continuously being enriched with many new unit and functional tests, which are ensuring that any unintended behaviour would be noticed quickly by the developers, protecting our selves from any unintended behaviour in the network.
BD: Privacy and security are two crucial areas when it comes to online transactions, and PIVX claims to satisfy both these requirements. Can you please explain how it is different from other privacy coins like Monero etc.?
IA: PIVX is proud to offer its users an option to choose between sending a transparent or shield transaction. Transparent transactions are just like the Bitcoin transactions: pseudo anonymous, but traceable and publicly visible on the block explorers. Shield transactions, on the other hand, are giving users an option to send or receive transactions in a protected manner, making them virtually impossible to put in relatedness for any outside observers. It’s important to note that PIVX is at the same time fully compliant with the FATF Travel Rule and all the anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing laws and regulations even by sending the shield transactions. This is achieved by the feature called Encrypted Memo, which allows attaching personally identifiable information to the shielded transaction, such as the First and Last name of the sender, personal identification number and anything similar that might be needed to satisfy the regulatory requirements. This feature ensures that PIVX can satisfy the regulatory requirements even easier than public blockchains like Bitcoin, which doesn’t allow including personal information to the transactions on a public blockchain!
Ultimately, exchanges or any other third parties are allowed to use only the transparent addresses, which makes them no different than Bitcoin.
BD: What are the different use cases of PIVX protocol?
IA: PIVX protocol, called SHIELD, primarily allows users to send the shielded transactions without revealing their balance to anyone including the receiver itself, while at the same time not revealing the transaction amount nor the shield addresses involved in the transaction to any outside observer.
Besides the primary protection use case, SHIELD protocol allows sending an encrypted message with the shield transaction. That opens up an opportunity to build a messaging application built on top of the PIVX network, which would be encrypted and truly anonymous.
SHIELD protocol with encrypted message attached to a shield transaction allows the sender to write a note to the receiver what was the transaction sent for. For example, “Cleaning services for John Smith”, so the receiver has no information about the balance on the address of the sender.
BD: What was the driving force behind PIVX’s creation?
IA: PIVX started as a community focused cryptocurrency that wanted to give people an option to choose between sending their money transparently or anonymously, up to their needs at any given moment. PIVX was born with Manifesto which says that privacy is non-negotiable, it’s a basic human right. PIVX was created with passion and a huge amount of volunteering efforts to launch it and it is still being led by a huge amount of passion. There is more passion in PIVX right now than ever before because we strongly believe in what we are trying to achieve. It makes us very unique.
BD: Also, the website mentions that it is a self-funded project. How did the project manage to sustain and scale at its current pace and yet remain bootstrapped?
IA: Correct, PIVX as a DAO is an entirely self-funded project with built-in treasury sufficient to fund all of the core activities. There are 43200 PIVs available for allocation every cycle which may or may not end up being distributed to the proposal owners, depending on the results of the community voting for each and every cycle. Each cycle happens every 43200 blocks, which is approximately every 30 days.
Besides PIVX treasury, there is a PIVX Foundation, launched in 2019, as a sub-fund of the SDG Impact Fund, which is a Public Charity Donor Advised Fund (DAF) and the only DAF in the USA that is independent of a bank and accepts cryptocurrencies. Everyone is allowed to donate to the PIVX Foundation and choose where these funds should go. That’s how some PIVX community members donated their personal funds to fund some of the proposals that were voted in, but not paid because there was not enough funds in the PIVX treasury for that cycle.
BD: Tell us more about the team behind PIVX
IA: PIVX team consists of the 3 renown core developers, blockchain architects, one of the most skilled developers in the industry with a proven record. Besides core developers, there are 3 people actively involved in the business development department, 4 people are in the marketing department, 2 web developers, 1 designer and a couple other highly valuable people that are connecting the departments ensuring that all of the people are well connected.
Furthermore, PIVX is a DAO, which means that everyone can start contributing to the project in the area which fits him/her the best. We are open for any new members willing to join our team and contribute to the PIVX project in any way.
BD: How does the development timeline look like for PIVX? and are there any features that we can expect to experience in the coming days?
IA: We are about to release the biggest upgrade in our history. The long awaited PIVX SHIELD (5.0 wallet) is coming out on January 8th. It will be the world’s first successfully integrated zk-SNARKs based Sapling protocol into the Proof of Stake based blockchain. Since it is a highly customized version of Sapling, we called it the SHIELD protocol. Protocol enforcement is scheduled for block 2700500, which will happen on January 29th.
5.0 release is just a beginning of the new era in PIVX history. 5.0 will serve as a strong base for all the amazing features we are planning to introduce in 2021.
SHIELD staking is first in the line in order to increase the shield coins pool size, increasing the overall network privacy. Deterministic Masternode Lists are already being worked on, which will help increase the network stability and allow new features such as sending the masternode rewards to a different address, and delegating the voting rights to another address. There are more great features and improvements coming in a Proof of Stake area, which will be announced with more details in the near future.
BD: How is the response for PIVX? Can you tell us more about the steps taken by PIVX to build its community?
IA: PIVX grew dramatically when it first rebranded, by following ‘Swarmwise – The Tactical Manual to Changing the World’ by Rick Falkvinge. The book is based on Falkvinge’s experiences in leading the Swedish Pirate Party into the European Parliament, starting from nothing, and covers all aspects of leading a swarm of activists into mainstream success. In short, the principle is that your most valuable asset is not your employees (A DAO has none anyways) but is the thousands of people who want to work for you for free – but traditional corporate organizations don’t let them!
PIVX embraced this principle letting anyone and everyone do what they wanted to do, and how they wanted to do it. This created much less duplication and far better quality than you might expect, as people quickly form teams and figure out who does what best. After all – that’s when people have the most fun!
The PIVX Community grew so fast, we basically ‘broke’ Slack and were forced to move to Discord.
BD: Please let us know how one can become part of this initiative, and the incentives that one can expect by adopting PIVX.
IA: It is easy. A person just needs to join our Discord and introduce themselves. It all depends on the person’s skills and time available, but even a non-techie can help and get involved. Everyone is on social media, so joining the rest of us in spreading the news through their favourite social channel is a great way to climb the learning curve in easy little steps. After that, the next step may be proofreading articles etc., or answering basic questions in the support channel. Often the real skills needed are ‘people skills’ as well as being organized. Pretty much everything else can be learned at a pace they are comfortable with. What people quickly realize when volunteering their time, is that what they learn is extremely valuable in terms of general crypto and blockchain knowledge as well as recognizing a solid project to invest in, and which ones to avoid.
BD: Can you throw some light on the exchanges and trading platforms currently supporting PIVX, and any future listings that we should keep an eye out for?
IA: PIVX is currently available to trade on some of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world such as Binance, Bittrex, Kucoin, Bithumb, CoinEx and more.
We are actively communicating with many exchanges in regard to potential cooperation, but most importantly with one of the most regulated cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. However, due to the nature of the business and the NDA, we are not allowed to reveal more information about it until completion.
BD: Is PIVX planning to forge any collaborations with businesses or other projects to promote usage?
IA: We are already looking for suitable partners with other projects with similar vision as ours, so we have established an alliance with ZENZO and SENT projects, while we are trying to materialize the partnership with ARK. We’ll keep ourselves focused on expanding our collaborations with as many quality projects as possible during the 2021.
BD: Anything else you would like to convey to our readers?
IA: We have many tasks to complete in all areas – there is always something to do! But where we can use the most help is in Project Management of various efforts, as well as Business Development and Marketing. We are excited to see so much room for growth and would love for people at all levels in those areas to connect with us and find their place to shine!
Learn more about PIVX at – https://pivx.org/