Dear Umbra users and Shadow Project community,
I’m not sure many of you know this but ShadowCash didn’t start out with the mission of creating an entire suite of privacy tools, highlighted by a decentralized market. An article came out in 2015 that gained a huge amount of traction and we all looked at each other and thought, “Wow! This just got real!”
Our journey together has been long, but well worth it. Today I’m excited to inform you we now have a working prototype of the much awaited marketplace, and it will be introduced into a brand new platform, Particl.
While the marketplace functions as an internal component to Umbra, the entire platform has been a successful community driven prototype validating the need for a truly decentralized privacy platform. This marks the final piece of the puzzle and highlights a dizzying breadth of donated work and innovation over the past two and a half years. Umbra’s built-in end-to-end encrypted chat, public and privacy-focused digital currency and decentralized marketplace work in unison to allow users to shop, communicate and transact anywhere in the world while maintaining their privacy.
With the prototype for Umbra’s breakthrough technology in hand, we will now implement this technology into Particl, a fully scalable, decentralized and privacy-centric marketplace. The launch of Particl marks the end of the Shadow Project and the Umbra platform, but the development of Particl is a move toward a more technologically sound marketplace that simultaneously protects privacy while also meeting regulatory standards that will ensure its global longevity.
What is happening to the ShadowProject and your ShadowCash?
Out of gratitude and respect for the great ShadowCash community, I would like to exclusively offer the ShadowCash (SDC) holders the opportunity to participate in the commencement of the Particl project. SDC is the only ticket to be part of the Particl network prior to its launch, so if you hold SDC — great, do not get rid of it. If you do not yet hold SDC, and want to support Particl, you will need to obtain SDC to do so. It is our desire and belief that our community will also want to see the greater vision carried out, and will join us in total support. To understand the full scope of our plans and intentions with the Particl project, and how ShadowCash holders can exclusively join us in the upcoming launch, please visit https://particl.io
What is Particl?
Particl will usher in a fundamental shift in how people across the world view Privacy marketplaces. Here are a few reasons why Particl is a step toward a future where you will have the freedom to communicate and engage in commerce, with privacy.
Full-time staff: The Particl project will have continuous, professional development through more dedicated funding (via the network and supporters), will have access to key resources and will ultimately be able to expand its customer segments and hopefully have a more global reach. A new team of key partners, advisors, and contributors will help propel this decentralized privacy platform far beyond where the Shadow Project alone could have gone. We will continue to work in an open source framework and look forward to continuing to collaborate with the open-source community of developers.
Crypto-agnosticism: As we have mentioned on several occasions, we are building a platform and not a feature. Particl will be extending its platform to other coins in order to foster inclusion within the entire cryptocurrency community. The Particl marketplace will provide a seamless interface for users to purchase items using other coins in such a way that users would not be aware they have used Particl to transact, while at the same time encourage sellers to keep Particl coins thru the Proof-of-Stake rewards. By allowing the marketplace to accept other digital currencies, the platform can gain greater momentum and grow more quickly by adopting the network effects of other cryptocurrencies. Particl will adapt a native public / private 2-token currency and the Particl project team is in discussions regarding partnerships with exchange platforms to allow the use of many other cryptocurrencies onto the platform.
Hardened code-base: The Umbra community of contributors, supporters, testers, and users have validated the need for a privacy platform built on a rock-solid blockchain codebase. Particl will be built on a new blockchain, which will have a series of major improvements, including being based on the latest Bitcoin Core version, and additional features technical features for greater anonymity.
Self-governance model: As the majority of users of the Umbra marketplace and of other Privacy Coins will vehemently attest to, the need for privacy is not a signal that one is involved in illegal activities. Privacy, the state of being free from surveillance or observation, is, at its core, a human right. Particl is re-conceptualizing these negative associations with a breakthrough self-governance function that will essentially give members of the ecosystem the power to downvote bad actors via consensus. We have developed Particl with the guidance of a team of business consultants and the internationally reputed law firm, ensuring that the project will protect user freedom and be regulatory sound. This breakthrough model maintains the integrity of the decentralized ecosystem and discourages bad actors in the network. What’s next?
I’m thrilled to say that we will have one of the easiest transitions to a new startup project because the entire development team from the Shadow Project (and additional new members!) will be joining me to work on Particl, effective immediately.
Many innovations to the original bitcoin codebase have been developed by this team and adopted by many other projects in this space. The list of firsts is long but highlighted by an upgraded end-to-end encrypted chat, implementing BIPs for a more secure blockchain and the novel public / private token system that leverages non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs (NIKZPs), stealth addresses and ring signatures. Having received the full commitment from the team and having tasked them with building a completely decentralized suite of currency, trade and encrypted chat tools is beyond amazing!
ShadowCash has a $30MM market cap, which is a testament not only to the success of the Umbra platform but more importantly, the yet-to-be-realized potential of the tools we have already built. Our approach, unlike aspects the ShadowProject, is intended to scale for the future. Myself and much of the team will now be working full-time in a financially-backed, professionally structured manner to create a consumer-grade, decentralized privacy platform that we hope will be useful to users globally.
There has never been a greater experience than seeing the passion that everyone has displayed throughout the last two and a half years! I am excited to begin this new venture and follow through on the grand vision we, as a community, have all shared and supported. Please join me as we set out to make a positive impact in the lives of millions around the world and thank you always for your continued support.
Ryno Mathee (Rynomster)
Lead Project Developer