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Particl is intended to work as a distributed privacy platform on which decentralized applications (DApps) are built. Particl is a privacy platform by design, utilizing technology such as ring signatures, default private transactions, encrypted data, secure messaging and IP address anonymization. The Native token (PART) is intended to work as a privacy coin and as the fuel to run DApps on Particl. The Particl project team has prioritized an initial DApp, an entirely autonomous and distributed e-commerce marketplace that is governed by a proof of stake mechanism. This private platform will be a person-to-person, EBay-style marketplace that is self governed by its community of token holders. Privacy based platform tokens have a difficult history. Where projects prioritize privacy, the question follows whether these projects enable the development of dark net markets where criminals conduct commerce. A predecessor project, ShadowCash, was abandoned in early 2017 due to the general perception that this project would facilitate trade in illicit goods. A set of developers from ShadowCash decided to launch Particl as an entirely new and separate project, including lead developer Ryno Mathee. The Particl project team has stated that the intention is not to facilitate trade in illicit goods and that a clean break from ShadowCash is necessary to avoid preconceptions on the goals of the Particl project. However, given that the intention is to build a marketplace with a focus on privacy and that entirely private listings will be possible on the network, it’s unlikely that it will be possible to eliminate the potential for trade in illicit materials in PART.
Particl is built using the Bitcoin Core codebase, uses a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, deployed with a native implementation of Segregated witness (SegWit) across all wallet addresses and supports the Lightning Network. This allows for three benefits; lower fees, faster transaction times and better scalability. The Particl community will have the option going forward to add any new functionality that is developed for the BTC blockchain. PART can be transacted in three possible privacy states, each with their own degree of privacy and with higher transaction costs for greater privacy. Public transactions are pseudo-anonymous in the same way as bitcoin. Blind transactions hide transaction amounts from anyone but the transaction participants and those they designate. Anonymous transactions use the RingCT privacy protocol that is used by Monero, where both the transaction amount and the identities of all transacting parties is hidden. Users will have two balances of PART tokens; a public balance which is used for publicly transacted coins and a private balance for blind and anonymous transacted coins. On the Particl marketplace, the intention is to facilitate the use of any cryptocurrency as payment for goods via atomic swaps or the integration of distributed exchanges. However, all staking and escrow transactions will be paid for in PART. Each product listing is stored as a message on the blockchain, with most of the metadata (images, product specifications, etc) stored off-chain on a data storage network (DSN) such as IPFS, BitMessage or TOR. Particl is intended to be protocol agnostic, meaning that any DSN could be used to store data for a product listing. Transacting parties will not know each other until the purchaser has signaled their interest in a product by messaging the seller. Thereafter, the buyer and seller enter a private negotiation where the reputations of both parties is made visible and a certain amount of PART is staked by each party in escrow depending on their reputations. This is intended to compel both parties to transact honestly, via the game theoretic principle of mutually assured destruction where they both lose if the transaction goes awry.
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