Satinder’s notes on the PIRATE chain

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It’s amazing to see a community can make an independent blockchain on it’s own without much help from Komodo Platform developers.

Recently, about a month ago (8/30/2018) I found few community members talking about “privacy on blockchain”. Without reading much of the #ask-jl777 channel chat log history on this discussion it reminded me of the one very amazing feature of Komodo Platform Assetchains that jl777 (James Lee) had coded many months ago, the ability to create an Assetchain which can only do shielded/private transactions. Where even if user tries to make a transparent transaction it just fails.

I just expressed to the community that we had this assetchain parameter sitting in project which hasn’t been much tested on any test or main/live blockchain project out there, because there’s not been any blockchain which could have decided just enable it, as it would have been either a hardfork change or just needed a total fresh start. And since such blockchain isn’t there may be if they are very keen to try out such blockchain, may be make a test blockchain and just start playing with it as having a live real blockchain network can help test, learn and find new things for developers and users.

And that’s exactly what happened!

Birth and Evolution of the Most Privacy Focused Blockchain

NOTE: Skip these images and read further, as it’s just a chat log images where I found this conversation started from.

Just around this chat log I was getting too late for bed so went to sleep.

After some sleep, I got up, read some chat log, and followed the commands to get started with PIRATE blockchain.

I joined this network after like 14+ hours (894/60=14.9 hrs).

By this point the #ask-jl777 channel was mostly flooded with PIRATE related chat instead of questions and answers between jl777 and community. This exciting PIRATE project had kinda took over this channel on discord.

The chat moved to #staked channel. And testing started!

As expected the community started experimenting and finding bugs in private transactions (z tx) only blockchain’s implementation.

z

And “Alright” made a transaction which wasn’t suppose to happen. He was able to send private funds transaction to a transparent address. The address with a null private key, means burning those funds. The funds if sent to a burn address can never the transacted further.

A bug, but defiantly not a concerning bug.

What I want to clear here is that we could never had such research and testing and development done further on such private transactions only blockchain if we never had such private transactions only blockchain practically available to play and test and break with.

I did the commands to test and confirm some facts and things about this new private transactions only blockchain. I started composing my notes and shared with community to refine them further.

This was the excel sheet screenshot of it’s supply from early days:

PIRATES got their own dedicated channel, and discussion on Komodo Platform within 24 hours from an idea to implementation.

And it’s BitcoinTalk Forum Announcement thread!

And the journey of PIRATES continued…

BitcoinTalk forum thread:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4979549

All this time of this discussion and testing I was traveling and having some family time.

Feature Complete PIRATE got monetary value

I specifically mentioned on Bitcoin Talk announcement thread that this blockchain is started from the intentions and purposes of purely research and testing, and make sure not to spend any real valuable tokens in exchange of this PIRATE chain.

But, there came further comments from the core developer of Komodo Platform, which cleared that this project in actual is a feature complete project, since what could have been done on this blockchain was already done and what further would have been just like the icing on a cake.

Within 48 hours of the idea of this new privacy transactions only blockchain it went from idea to research and testing to a valuable token network.

From jl777’s comment it was clear to me that this while on it’s own current state was valuable. The only missing peaces so far was

These two missing features didn’t made this blockchain of any less value to me as I understand that there remains no chance of blockchain analysis to determine which address and transactions relates to who, since there is no such data available to analyse on blockchain, thanks to zk-SNARKS only transactions.

This fact cleared to me that PIRATE is even much better than JUMBLR technology that Komodo Platform provides to make the transparent funds the most anonymous.

I could skeptically put a value to PIRATE token and just hope that it gets a decent value in the future. So, I did.

Since PIRATE couldn’t be immediately traded on any Centralised Exchange, and it does hold a value being an absolute privacy coin, I decided to start by putting and Over-The-Counter — OTC trade offer.

CPU mining wasn’t even possible in just 48 hours of PIRATE’s inception, so I was correct on my thoughts to just put an OTC trade offers on Komodo Platform discord channels.

Unhappy PIRATE Community

In all this excitement, travel, family time and such short span of time I did not realised I should have indeed updated the BitcoinTalk (BTT) forum thread. And since it was made on my BTT username, I couldn’t actually share my user account details with any other person in Komodo Platform project.

This thing didn’t turned out good, and I noticed one morning some people disappointed on me in PIRATE BTT announcement thread.

That was one important family day for me in the whole year and it was kinda ruined for me seeing all this negativity, where I thought I’ll see more exciting new developments happening around Komodo Platform project.

The argument by some BTT community members was that the forum thread should have been updated timely with latest updates and happenings on PIRATE project. Where this I expected other community members to post updates on BTT forum thread, I did not see much of that in action there, but it was very engaging and active community on Komodo Platform discord, every single day!

Some community members wanted to have PIRATE started from fresh start, and discard the so far mining work done on PIRATE blockchain. To that point many community members had put their z9 mini ASIC miners to mine PIRATE for about a week.

Anyway, things got sorted out with the proposal by jl777 that since the followers on BTT forum didn’t get good enough notice time, there’ll be a PIRATE giveaway of 250,000, which totalled to around 10% total circulating supply till that date/time.

Post link: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=merit;msg=45202485

I shared my thoughts and cleared whatever I could help with this project. I left the decision on community to decide what they wish to do with PIRATE blockchain. For me till this point this project was 110% percent success, without any feeling of any loss in case it would have been restarted fresh. To me what the developers and other users learned from this privacy only blockchain was much more valuable than just bunch of dollar worth of KMD.

But, I also liked and agreed with the idea of jl777, as it was justifying that it would have been unfair to the miners in case of restarting the PIRATE blockchain from scratch. Miners who had put a week worth of their electricity, internet, hardware and manual labour hours to secure this blockchain.

The community members managed this PIRATE Giveaway process and I freely gave 250,000 PIRATE to 29 people on 25th September, 2018 who provided their z addresses, each getting 8333.33333333 PIRATE tokens.

PIRATE Giveaway post links: 1, 2

PIRATE Became More Secure

Within a month of it’s inception PIRATE became the most secure private transactions only blockchain in cryptocurrency.

PIRATE could now be Notarised by the Komodo Platform Notary Nodes, thanks to the updates pushed specifically for PIRATE blockchain by KMD core developer jl777 over the weekend by mid of September 2018.

It was decided by community that they will create a new temporary private only assetchain and test these new changes pushed to Komodo Platform code to test and verify that delayed Proof of Work (dPoW) setup works as it supposed to work, and fix any bugs found in this testing.

And testing of private only chain notarisation completed much sooner than expected. On Sunday, jl777 had pushed the updates, and by Monday, Shossain completed the tests confirming the working dPoW notarisation on a test blockchain network.

More PIRATE for everyone

Since the dPoW support added for PIRATE in komodod code it also had included the changes to increase the block reward halving time for miners, which incentivise more miners to join PIRATE blockchain network securing it with more block mining hash rate. The halving time increased 5x, and this change increased the total supply amount of the PIRATE blockchain to approx. of 200,000,000 too, which is the similar amount of Komodo Platform tokens will ever be.

This time I tried keep updating BTT community as soon as I could, and made timely posts as new updates arrived.

Link: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4979549.msg46084487#msg46084487

Faster better PIRATE in coming months

PIRATE is a runtime fork of Komodo Platform. By runtime means to start PIRATE you only need komodod binary and not the Komodo Platform blockchain. The same komodod binary starts with different command line parameters to start a new totally independent blockchain.

And Komodo is a source code fork of Zcash. Where Zcash is a source code fork of Bitcoin.

Any more improvements pushed to the upstream forks of the source code can be taken and merged to the down stream forks by getting the latest source code updates. That is how this whole free open source software community works independently and with each other, helping each other and evolving together.

Zcash got major improvements it’s next upgrade Sapling which are going live on it’s network this coming month by end of October. The same code can be merged to Komodo Platform as well, but that’s a lot of developer work hours as this new upgrade code is a lot of new changes. But thanks to another 3rd party project VerusCoin (VRSC) which is a runtime fork of Komodo Platform, who spent many developers work hours and got these new Sapling changes to their codebase. We can expect sometime soon to be merged to Komodo Platform.

As soon as we get those updates to Komodo Platform codebase, further updates can be coded for PIRATE blockchain to add Sapling support.

There are many improvements in Sapling update, which range from more faster private transaction performance to internal working of the Zcash/Komodo Platform/VerusCoin codebase.

  • We can expect private transactions time to finish in seconds where in current version it takes a minute to sometimes even hours.
  • Mobile private transactions support will be possible with Sapling.
  • Light weight wallets will be possible with Sapling upgrade.

These are just few to mention. You can read more details on Sapling on Zcash blog.

More private PIRATE with TOR Support

Since PIRATE blockchain is all about privacy and security, it’s natural to explore and educate users on how more privacy can be added to their PIRATE installation.

Since Bitcoin codebase already support Tor Network, and Proxy settings and through Zcash, Komodo Platform gets all those features and RPC/API settings, anyone can also setup their PIRATE installation to use Tor Network settings and only transact over Tor Network.

So, I did some quick testing and posted those settings on BitcoinTalk forum thread, and it’s website https://pirate.black

It must help many users with a more privacy focused PIRATE.

Conclusion

It’s been an amazing journey for me and many others in Komodo Platform community so far testing and experiencing PIRATE’s evolution.

Posting this whole article with all these long chats screen shots I tried to put the true events out there as they happened, without explaining them much in my own words. The screen shots in my opinion explains many different things which I think I can not express in my words.

I wish the best for Komodo Platform and thanks everyone who participated in PIRATE’s journey so far.

I hope you find this very long post/article informative.

Thanks & Regards,
Satinder

BlockChain Technology Enthusiast, IT Pro

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