An Open Letter to Coin Center: Introduction to a Fully Private Zero-Knowledge Proof Digital Currency | Hacker Noon

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@wookieKevin Pira

Explorer of Science, Medicine, Technology, Gastronomy and Cycling

Dear Mr. Green and Mr. Van Valkenburgh,

I read your article “Without privacy, do we really want a digital dollar (1)?” with avid interest. The essay is very poignant in the world we live in today, especially at a time in humanity that is accelerating all things digital. 
Of particular interest in the article is the issue of privacy with digital currencies. I am also a strong proponent of Privacy by Design (2), a concept that has been gaining traction in the systems engineering and app design arena since 2009. Furthermore, I share your concern that “the decline of physical cash will inevitably harm the poorest among us most while also eroding everyone’s privacy and autonomy. A cashless economy is a surveillance and control economy, a closed economy that only works for the privileged and politically acceptable (1).” 

Whilst the subject of your article centers around the introduction of privacy for a centrally managed digital dollar, in this letter, I would like to describe a globally supported, free market-based digital currency with the precise privacy qualities that you prescribed. 

“A successful approach to constructing such currencies draws on a suite of technologies called ‘zero knowledge proofs.’ These mathematical techniques, first pioneered at MIT in the 1980s, make it possible to prove the truth of a mathematical statement without revealing the complete details of that statement.” ~ Without privacy, do we really want a digital dollar?, by Matthew Green & Peter Van Valkenburgh


Dubbed Pirate Chain, $ARRR is built on zk-SNARKs (zero-knowledge-succinct non-interactive argument of knowledge), a “zero knowledge proof” mathematical protocol. This means that an $ARRR user can prove to the network the ownership of a sum of money in a wallet, or that the funds have been appropriately sent to a recipient. 
As proposed in your Coin Center essay, “these [privacy] techniques could be used in a digital dollar system in order to safeguard the privacy of users. Unlike a traditional bank ledger, in a zero-knowledge system each transaction would reveal no information about the sender, recipient, or amount sent, yet proofs would protect the soundness of the currency from theft and counterfeiting (1).”

Pirate Chain’s zk-SNARKs transactions are conducted without revealing either party’s identity or transaction details. In fact, $ARRR epitomizes the Privacy by Design concept, because it was engineered according to the principle of “privacy first,” meaning that the anonymity of $ARRR addresses and transactions are of utmost priority. Hence, privacy with $ARRR is intentionally non-optional by default. In comparison, most self-proclaimed privacy coins in the industry offer optional privacy as a secondary feature which is well known to be problematic. For accounting purposes, $ARRR offers the ability to “opt out” of privacy by revealing a viewingkey to prove a transaction or ownership of funds. The anonymity set (a method of pooling obfuscated transactions used by all privacy protocols) is an important feature of a private digital currency as it hides the transactions. For example, it would be more difficult to decipher one transaction if it were obfuscated amongst a thousand others in the set, than if it were hidden amongst only ten. Pirate Chain’s anonymity set is the largest in the industry to date and it is continually growing with every transaction (3).

While the Pirate moniker might raise an eyebrow or evoke negative sentiments, the pillars of this currency are rooted to the best fundamentals of a pirate life: a fervent desire for freedom, and the right to live a life free from oppression by a broken system. 

Pirate Chain empowers $ARRR users with Personal Financial Freedom. 

Bitcoin evangelist Marty Bent said, “money is dictated as free speech (4).” The freedom to do as you wish with your money is fundamental to free speech. Pirate Chain has been lauded by both Monero and ZCash teams as the most anonymous digital currency in the industry (5). It stands to reason then that $ARRR is the ultimate form of free speech and embodies the utmost resistance to transaction censorship. 

$ARRR possesses all the features that Coin Center recommends for a central bank digital currency. In today’s environment, it has the added benefit of a decentralized network of node supporters, with programmed scarcity and a value that is dictated by free market forces. For all financial purposes, $ARRR is the closest approximation to spending physical cash.

Privacy is a commodity that has been compromised for a long time. We aim to stave this mudslide with continued developments.

In conclusion, I would like to share with you some of the developments the $ARRR ecosystem is building for the privacy industry. First, Pirate Chain built an operating system, Pirate OS, that is driven by a privacy-first design. Pirate OS version 1.0 was engineered to protect user privacy while running a crypto wallet. A further suite of complementary operating systems are currently in the works that will create a seamless online environment for everyday usage launched from a privacy protecting framework. Second, Pirate Chain has also launched the world’s first mobile wallet that runs the private-only blockchain of $ARRR. Third, further inspired by the Privacy by Design concept, a privacy-focused point-of-sale system is actively in development. Coupled with the mobile wallet, the point-of-sale system will exponentially increase the adoption of $ARRR, empowering users once again, with personal financial freedom. 

Thank you.


4. Marty Bent, Off the Chain podcast, March 2, 20204.

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