About Pirate Chain and the Importance of Privacy
Wondering what the team of Piratechain’s been up to in the last few months? So did we, so we got some answers from them. But first, I’d like to give a bit of an intro to why privacy currencies are maybe even more important than ever — considering how much of our lives have moved online over the last year.
Cookies sound cute and can be a dream for marketers but a nightmare for consumers. Did you know that Google tracks you on 75% of the top million websites, which means that there will be some tracker on any random website you’re on? Facebook doesn’t come close with its 25% but considering that they own WhatsApp and Instagram as well, they potentially have a good idea of us as a person.
Sure, you can take the side that you don’t have anything to hide, but do you really want advertisers to know all about you? Privacy isn't just about having things to hide but being in control over who gets to know what about yourself. Simply an argument we shouldn’t be making any more in a world where often convenience is picked over privacy.
Incognito? Think again
You thought you’d be protecting your privacy better when using the incognito mode offered by chrome? Sorry to break it to you, but Google was sued earlier this year for at least $ 5 billion because they failed to cease tracking. The name is misleading, which one will realize when reading the text that says, “your activity might still be visible to websites you visit, your employer or school, your internet service provider” — so pretty much everyone.
While incognito mode doesn’t use the existing cookie stories and deletes auto-fill data, it doesn’t change the way websites work nor block invasive tools. So, if you’re really interested in staying private, Chrome is not the browser to use.
The incoming wave of CBDCs
When asked, what world events highlight the necessity of privacy, the PirateChain highlighted the incoming increase of central bank digital currencies. While celebrated by some blockchain advocates as a sign of adoption, the transparency of blockchain, the immutable nature in the hands of a central bank, gives them a way to track citizens transactions reducing financial privacy to non-existent.
With China, a country not known for being tolerant nor very respectful of the right to privacy, questions do arise about the negative use of CBDCs as a tool to keep citizens in check.
And also the Pirate Chain team notes that “The DCEP (China’s digital currency) will only give the Chinese government a stronger grip on their panopticon.”
A CBDC, in fact, plays perfectly into the social scoring system that has citizens downgraded in their score for bad social behaviour. And what’s good social behaviour is ultimately up to the government — not surprisingly, the regime faces constant criticism from human rights activists.
Increasing Acceptance of transparent cryptocurrencies
The Pirate team's controversial yet valid point is the growing acceptance of transparent digital currencies. One major issue is that many new users still aren’t aware that Bitcoin isn’t anonymous nor protecting their privacy. Hailed as a milestone for Bitcoin adoption, the Bitcoin airdrop El Salvador plans to do raises privacy questions.
If only citizens using the government-issued wallet can receive it, will they have to KYC before receiving their BTC? If so, is it far-fetched to assume this way, the government will be able to tie a citizens Bitcoin address to their person? I doubt that many will start creating various wallets for their daily transactions. When keeping all money in one wallet, they open themselves up to attacks that can risk their personal security.
So, what’s the solution? Private cryptocurrencies like Pirate Chain.
How would you describe Pirate Chain to someone who isn’t familiar with cryptocurrencies?
Pirates: “Pirate Chain is a digital currency designed with the mission to protect financial privacy.
As the closest iteration of cash, Pirate Chain is the best form of digital currency available to date.
Pirate Chain is the first cryptocurrency to implement a mandatory, private-only usage of the strongest and most highly acclaimed privacy protocol in the industry, zk-SNARK (Zero Knowledge-Succinct Non-interactive Argument of Knowledge).
All wallet addresses are by default invisible to the public, as are all transactions. This information is only available to the transacting parties who retain the power to opt-out of privacy by revealing the transaction ID as proof of transaction.
Hence, Pirate Chain turns the privacy industry on its head and returns the power of privacy to users by empowering them with the option to opt out.
Pirate Chain was fairly launched after a public announcement. No coins were pre-mined, and there was no private sale. Pirate Chain staffed by a team of dedicated international volunteers. Unlike most cryptocurrency projects, Pirate Chain does not levy a tax on the mining rewards to fund the project. All efforts have been generously raised through the community.”
Major Updates in the last few months
- Launch of the world’s first z2z mobile wallet: the first wallet that completely uses shielded transactions. Generally, it is complicated to integrate ZK-snarks shielded transactions into a platform, so many projects chose to combine shielded/transparent addresses. But Pirate Chain is Privacy by default, so; they spared no effort to create a completely private mobile wallet.
- PiratePay testing release: This merchant gateway makes it easy for merchants to accept payments with $ARRR (the token of Pirate Chain). With improved security, the merchant’s credentials are even protected when compromised. Thanks to the graphical user interface/dashboard, even non-technical merchants will be able to monitor their payments, transaction and conversion rates.
- Halving: just like Bitcoin Pirate Chain is halving every once in a while. The 4th halving happened on the 2nd of December 2020, and minders saw the mining rewards reduced from 32 to 16 ARRR per block.
- Treasure Chest Wallet Release: the full node wallet was released to give users a way to manage their ARRR completely anonymously while being part of the network.
- Changelly Listing: ARRR now trading on the Changelly exchange and Pro platform, enabling instant conversions from other cryptocurrencies to ARRR and vice versa.
- KuCoin Listing: In the last weeks, Pirate Chain was also added to the trading pairs available on KuCoin.
Anyone following Pirate Chain will come across Tacos sooner or later. So we asked what Tacos have to do with Pirate Chain. Here’s the answer:
Tacos are very nutritious food. Rich in fat and protein they help Pirates stay healthy at sea.
Tacos are also the favourite food of Lucy, Jeff Berwick's dog, who is a major supporter of Pirate and a recently launched meme.
People are asking us why we are playing with memes when we really are, a very serious project. For me, this is the whole point. The private sector does not have to be always solemn. We can have fun whilst pursuing our freedom and we think that this is needed when fighting against everything the system stands for. Humour is part of life. Tacos are part of life. 🌮🌮🌮
Thoughts on the illicit use of privacy currencies
One of the first concerns by people hearing about private cryptocurrencies and also held by many government officials is that they’ll finance illicit activities.
The stance of the Pirate team is two-fold:
- As with fire, electricity and nuclear energy, Privacy technology is a tool that can enhance the human experience, or it can be used for harm.
- Cash is the most private currency globally; the US dollar is the biggest culprit used for illegal activities: 90% of US currency has traces of Cocaine (Source). Everyone has been using private currencies since the invention of money. Stones/coins/paper bills have always been a private transaction between 2 parties. Private digital currency is just an extension of that.
A few words on enhancing financial privacy
The financial privacy that Pirate provides is complete and unassailable.
However, the user’s data connection is an area prone to attack and frequently targeted.
- Always use a VPN
- Avoid transparent cryptocurrencies
Last but not least.
How to best get started with ARRR
Big thanks to the Pirate Team for answering our questions and providing some background on the need for privacy in an increasingly transparent world.