Privacy is the Future of CryptoCurrencies — is this the next Best Privacy Focused POS/Masternode Cryptocurrency?
Flying under the radar, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dash have set the foundation required to develop future technologies that have been adapted and crafted for more real-world use.
From making day-to-day transactions to acting as a store of value to programming the flow of value, cryptocurrencies are making it possible to simplify and automate the way transfer of value has worked for centuries.
The premise behind cryptocurrencies and the blockchain systems, in general, is that, instead of relying on a central institution for management and verification of transactions between multiple parties, the network fulfills this purpose, and different consensus models ensure that the rewards for the service being provided are distributed among contributing members of the system.
Dash took this a step forward with the introduction of the concept of masternodes, where network contributors create servers that are online 24x7 maintaining a complete copy of the blockchain and make the transactions more private, faster and the overall network more resilient.
While Dash had its issues with the considerable pre-mine, it has set the foundation required for the development of a more user-friendly, community-driven and privacy-focused Cryptocurrency.
One project that is taking it a step forward on all those terms is Bulwark. Bulwark is a cryptocurrency built on the shoulders of existing giants like Bitcoin Core and Dash but aims to take it forward regarding making a cryptocurrency that can be used for real-world applications while giving you 100% control and privacy of how you manage and transfer your value.
What is Bulwark?
Bulwark was started as a PIVX fork in the December on 2017, right before the peak of the last bull run. While still a new project with a little but growing community, it was very profitable to run a masternode which was the reason what first drew my attention to it.
However, it is anything, but just a masternode backed cryptocurrency. The more I learned about Bulwark, engaged with the developers, the community the more I understood that the project would go much further than a few months of quick profits and then an easy flip.
Bulwark is about building a cryptocurrency that puts user-privacy and community interest at the forefront. Not just regarding the principles and ideology behind the project but just as much in the execution as well.
A sheer focus on community consensus and engagement will be an easy observation if you’ve been a part of the community for any length of time.
While there’s still time before the masternode governance model kicks in, the Bulwark leads are always more than keen on taking community consensus in consideration before making significant transitions and have always put the network before their self-interest.
How is Bulwark taking the Cryptocurrency ecosystem forward?
The team behind Bulwark believes that to build a truly private cryptocurrency; we’ll have to think beyond just obfuscation/coin mixing and software solutions.We’ll have to build up an infrastructure from the ground up that supports anonymity and privacy.
A sheer focus on building the hardware that enables this is what truly separates Bulwark from other privacy-focused crypto projects under development.
Primarily, there are three significant upgrades they’ll be developing in the coming months that’ll bring them in the major leagues:
1. A Secure Home Node: While, the Secure Home node has already been developed, compiled and is available for purchase (or a DIY setup). I believe there’s room for building tools and resources of education around the applications and necessity for secure home nodes.
2. Bulwark HardWare Wallet — I’m currently using a ledger nano s for storing my crypto assets, and while it has been a safe way to store my assets, the closed source component is unsettling. Bulwark is building the first standalone and open-source hardware wallet solution which can be stress-tested and improved by the community.
3. Bulwark Home Router — The Bulwark home router is a set of a standalone router, hardware wallet and a secure home node which puts 100% control of your assets back into your hands. The home router will allow you to route all traffic through the TOR network which enables you to keep your identity a secret.
While it’s easy to dismiss untested concepts like these as mere ornaments, these developments are anything but ornamental.
Especially given the open source nature of the whole development process, I can see the community adapting, developing and building custom solutions using these base technologies which will set the groundwork for a lot of the future leaps to be made in the ecosystem.
What would need to change for Bulwark to really grow into a mainstream project?
The fundamentals of the project are spot on but to catch the attention of the masses, some things will have to change as listed below.
Market Liquidity : One key hurdle for any early stage non-funded project is getting high trading volume, while being a new project in a bear market has its challenges, for Bulwark to turn into a mainstream project it will have to get listed on mainstream exchanges where a) It gets exposure to a new buyer base b) It gains enough volume for its existing community to feel more secure with their assets.
However, this price action is what makes it great opportunity to enter in this project. Low volume means that there has always been a selling pressure from the miners because they have to pay for their hardware and ongoing expenses which have kept the price low enough to make for a good entry point.
Now that they’ve moved to a proof-of-stake consensus model, the selling pressure has died off, and they’ve maintained strong support at the current price. As the market trend changes and they gain volume, the potential upside can be tremendous.
Marketing and Education around Financial Privacy : I love the no-hype policy that the project leads to follow, and they’ve been doing an excellent job at engaging with their community. However, to see any mainstream adoption, a lot of educational content will have to be pushed out that shows what they’re doing and why it matters.
A More User-Friendly Alias: The name Bulwark truly captures what the project stands for. However, I think it will have to come up with a more user-friendly, shorter and easy-to-remember name for its cryptocurrency component just for the sake of easy of daily-to-day payment applications.
Better Incentives and a suite of tools that enable user adoption: Building out a suite of tools that enable integration of Bulwark as a currency, setup, and maintenance of home nodes and masternodes and figuring out incentives that will drive people towards the project will help the project gain the critical mass of users it needs to compete with the major players.
When you think about it, there’s still a lot on their plate, but that’s why for me, it’s still an excellent early-stage project to be involved.
I’ve been running masternodes, accumulating during every dip and taking part in the community discussions to better understand and, in my small capacity, influence the direction of the project.
How to become an early investor, start masternodes and setup stake boxes for profits?
Here’s the sexy part. The best thing about any early-stage project is the amount of upside it holds if you’re lucky enough to get in on it early on.
Imagine being a bitcoin miner in 2014 or buying up a dash masternode when it was still under $10,000 or participating in the ethereum ICO. But you can’t, since it’s not easy to connect the dots looking forward.
Please note that this is not investment advice and I’m just sharing my reasons for being involved in the Bulwark project this early. I would suggest that you read the whitepaper, talk to the team, listen to the community and see what other projects are upto as a part of your due diligence before investing in any project, be it Bulwark.
However, once you’ve done your research, here are three ways that you may get involved in supporting the development of the project.
1. Join the team: If you genuinely believe in the premise of the project and see it as something that matters to our future, the best way you can contribute is to see what unique skill set you bring to the table. Be it core development, marketing, building apps that support the Bulwark infrastructure or just creating a few youtube videos to help spread the word.
2. Get some coins and stake them: Proof-of-Stake is probably the easiest way to get involved in the project. You can start staking coins either from a private wallet on your home computer or setup a secure home node and use that to stake coins.
Proof-of-Stake is the consensus model that Bulwark uses to validate transactions on the network so you’ll be playing the role of miners without having to buy expensive hardware or burn through electricity.
3. Setup a Masternode : To set up a Masternode, you’ll need collateral of 5000 bwk (valued at around $4000 at the time of writing this), a Virtual private server and a 15-minute setup process. I’m not a developer and given the resources the Bulwark team has shared; It’s pretty user-friendly to start and manage your Masternode. The current ROI on asternodes is around %160, i.e., you should expect to earn an extra 5000 bwk in approximately 8.5 months.
For me, it’s a good price point for entry and buying up your masternode (~$4000) since the first time I found about the project the cost per masternode was upwards of $70,000. As the market cycle turns into a bull market, the prices may not be this favorable.
The next few months are going to be pretty exciting for this project, and the cryptocurrency as a whole and I would be the last person to be standing on the sidelines just as a spectator.
Please do not invest more time or money than you can afford to lose. Make sure all your decisions are regret free and that you understand that every great opportunity comes with risk.
See you on the other side.