Transcript of the AMA with the Oddgems Family
We had an amazing time with the Oddgems Family in their telegram chat this week. We got the chance to talk about why Panther Protocol exists, the vision, the technology, $ZKP and many more.
The AMA session happened on the 25th of May at 4 PM UTC.
Check out the transcript below if you missed it. It has been edited slightly for clarity.
/// Transcript begins here ///
Oddgems: It’s my pleasure to host this AMA with Panther Protocol. Let us welcome Oliver Gale, Co-Founder & CEO and Constantinos Antoniou, Ecosystem & Community
Welcome to our TG family and hope you enjoy your time here.
Oliver: Hi, thank you for having me
Constantinos: Thanks for the invitation guys!
Oddgems: Great to see you in our small family :) For transparency, this is entirely FREE AMA and I’m invested.
So to begin with…
Could you please introduce yourself and Panther Protocol?
Constantinos: Sure, my name is Constantinos Antoniou, and I am handling all of the community aspects of Panther. I’ve been involved and Co-founded local communities in my country Cyprus. Organized a few conferences and I’ve been advising projects in terms of marketing and community. I’m also the head of research at D-CORE, a crowdsourcing platform where we research and analyze Blockchain projects.
Oliver: I’m Oliver Gale, CEO and Co-Founder of Panther Protocol — as such, I’m heavily involved in Strategy and Business Development for the project, but also working closely with the tech and product teams to turn our vision of Privacy in DeFi into reality.
I’ve been in crypto since 2013 and since then, I’ve been a director and advisor for numerous successful blockchain and fintech ventures, building mobile wallets, cryptocurrency exchanges, digital securities marketplaces, quantitative trading systems, credit platforms and AML compliance tools. I am also a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pioneer, having launched the first CBDC in the Caribbean.
Oddgems: Great, thanks for the intro..
Oliver: Panther is an interoperable, end-to-end privacy protocol for digital assets. Panther enables the creation of zero-knowledge assets (zAssets) collateralized 1:1 by their original counterparts. In short, we enable users to turn any asset, be it ETH, BTC, any utility token, or NFTs, into a fully collateralized zAssets, and ensure that these assets can be used in all of DeFi.
Panther enables the user to confidentially disclose their transaction history to trusted parties using zk proofs for compatibility with regulated service providers.
Oddgems: Great to see someone with a CBDC background as well.
Oliver: Yea CBDC are, obviously, on the agenda 😉
Oddgems: That’s quite big and ambitious, I like that 👍🏻
Let's jump to the next question...
What motivated you to launch such a project?
Oliver: Our right to privacy is routinely violated through means of unauthorized collection by technical intrusion and sharing with third parties. Our financial data is aggregated and used in data-mining for patterns, inferring behaviours, selling targeted ads, influencing elections (thus undermining democracy), paving the way for censorship and retaliation by oppressive regimes (thus undermining freedom of speech).
Panther exists to give freedom and sovereignty to our users. It is a pushback on surveillance economies. We do it mindfully, offering users privacy controls that could one day become the new standard for compliance.
The first goal is to help fix DeFi and Web3, which currently are almost unusable when it comes to individual freedoms and protection from economic espionage. Retail and institutional traders are getting their alpha eroded, as they leak all of their strategies and trades on-chain in perpetuity. We want to provide users with options, and financial institutions and regulators with a new possible middle-ground — a path that works for everybody
Oddgems: This sounds like a similar approach to Boson and Ocean protocol. Great to see such advancement in the data economy sector. More power to you guys.
Constantinos: Both great projects!
Oddgems: Most definitely...
Oliver: Yea we happen to have a few senior cryptographers who are intimately familiar with data structures and crypto-economic value creation on blockchain 😉
coming to my next question..
Oddgems: What are the key components of Panther Protocol? I’m particularly interested in the components that provide privacy and interoperability…
Constantinos: Panther Protocol has several key components like the Panther Vault, Panther Wallet, that work together in a very intricate manner
I recommend all of you to read up on one of our latest Medium posts that covered it: https://panther-protocol.medium.com/what-is-panther-protocol-and-why-it-exists-a3fd4470de55
In the coming days, we will also be releasing more content that goes in-depth on the components. The Wallet, the vaults and the interchain layer 1 DEX are 3 of my favourite pieces though, and understanding how intricate the system is will be a fascinating journey for everyone into privacy tech.
Oddgems: I Will definitely go through this 💯
This is not mentioned on your website but I have seen it floating around in the Panther community — What is the deal with selective disclosures? It seems like you will give users the ability to choose how much privacy they want on every transaction they do. What are the levels of privacy, and why is this better than just offering full privacy?
Oliver: Yea this one is a new insight and a refinement of the prior model which revolves around gatekeepers
Panther empowers DeFi users with full privacy, while also enabling them to provide different levels of disclosures for certain transactions.
If you look at fully transparent transactions on DeFi vs. Private transactions, you are looking at the opposite ends of the privacy spectrum. While fully transparent transactions enable a surveillance economy where individual freedoms and competitive advantages are lost, fully private transactions could push us towards a state of anarchy, which is also difficult to align with our world’s current modus operandi.
So we are proposing 2 middle-ground solutions:
1) Zero-knowledge disclosures: Users can prove compliance without providing any underlying data — meaning they provide the financial institutions what they need (to know you did everything in accordance to a certain rules engine), without having to disclose anything about the transaction itself (sender, receiver, amounts, metadata — all of that remains private).
2) Full disclosure to a specific counterparty: Here the user allows the transactional data to be shared with the financial institution or the regulator, but that’s already much better than having all of your transactions fully public/transparent for anyone to see, in perpetuity.
The key things to take into consideration here is that a) the user is in control to interact with whoever they want and discloses whatever they want, and b) any selective disclosure method is already much better than fully public transactions.
Oddgems: Coming to selective privacy, we have Ocean, Oasis, Secret and now Panther working on this — great to see this space flourish. 🙌🏻
Oliver: 100% this is not a competition. Privacy is a global mission and each of these protocols is tackling the issues from different angles. Panther says “we don’t believe we need a new DeFi ecosystem, let’s see if we can enable that privacy within the ecosystem”. We also say “we see the need for interfaces with regulated entities, let’s create the tools to allow the user to do that if they wish”
Oddgems: Awesome, great to hear this :)
coming to the next question...
What is the utility of $ZKP?
Oliver: $ZKP is a governance token used to govern the protocol. It’s also used as a rewards incentive for privacy miners. Finally, because fees are charged in the native asset (for user experience) the Panther DAO also takes a transaction fee in the native asset and buys $ZKP on the open market to create a deflationary effect
Constantinos: It has a finite supply of 1 Billion tokens which is expected to reach it over a 10 years time frame. The initial supply will be approximately 11% of the total supply.
Oddgems: So DAO is also part of the plans?
Oliver: Yes! Actually, the whitepaper will be released shortly. Read the latest draft today and it’s superb. These matters are outlined in some detail.
How will you ensure that there are enough transactions happening at the same time to preserve the privacy of users using Panther? It’s known that the larger the amount of transactions, the more privacy…
How do you ensure the protocol is bootstrapped in that regard?
Constantinos: Correct, the more transactions and liquidity in the Panther pools, the better for privacy. There is a minimum threshold for both -number of transactions and liquidity — that guarantees that a transaction will remain private. Only if the minimum threshold is met the protocol will allow for transactions to go through, it will not let anyone use it if privacy is not guaranteed.
That said, the way we get the pools to have the liquidity we want them to have is by rewarding privacy miners for providing liquidity. We are in touch with various institutional liquidity providers to ensure that our private pools will be robust from day one, bootstrapping privacy into our protocol and making the technology usable.
Game theory mechanics supports these thresholds by dynamically adjusting the transaction fees to incentivize liquidity and transaction count. It’s worth noting that our game theory advisor, Akaki Mamageishvili is one of the most notable experts in the field, and that our tech team has decades of cybersecurity and cryptography experience so we are confident that we have the right people on deck to deliver on this.
Oddgems: and just to remind everyone that vesting is quite long as well, this isn't a get rich quick scheme project. I’m investing for the long run. 😁
Great explanation @Consanto
Oliver: Thanks for saying that @oddgems . This is about the partnership at every level and we are building a community of Panthers
Oddgems: This is so refreshing to hear :)
Akaki is also an advisor to Boson, if I remember correctly?
Constantinos: That’s correct 😁
Oliver: The game-theoretic approach he’s taken to establishing privacy is new research — whitepaper will have more detail. Actually, the entire tech team is pretty special.
Oddgems: Got it 💯
Yes, I’ve seen the team and they’re pretty strong.
Oliver: These guys are big on maths.
Oddgems: One can check here: https://www.pantherprotocol.io/#Team
ok, next question...
On your website, you say that you believe zAssets will become an ever-expanding privacy-preserving asset class — spawning NFTs, Utility Tokens, ETH, BTC.. everything. Can you talk more about this?
zAssets are 1:1 fully collateralized private versions of an asset. Our team is working on establishing partnerships with layer 1 public blockchains to enable zAssets to exist anywhere DeFi can go.
Here’s how we think about this: from an order of magnitude perspective, Defi currently has around $100billion in assets locked. We all understand that as adoption grows, privacy will become increasingly important for DeFi (and Web3 for that matter)
If DeFi is to replace traditional finance, we’re looking at it becoming 3 orders of magnitude larger than it currently is. Now, how important is privacy to all of the users? If you knew that all your transactions are being logged immutably and that competitors, oppressive regimes, Big Tech companies and anyone for that matter could spy on your transaction history, and extract a lot of information about you, would you want to protect it? You should, as it’s proven that these data asymmetries are commonly abused.
So anyway, to answer your question, we believe that privacy infused zero-knowledge assets (zAssets) will become an ever-expanding asset class, in an ever-expanding DeFi ecosystem. We believe that capturing that opportunity is a trillion-dollar opportunity, with a T.
Oddgems: Hopefully a Z 😉 as in zillions haha
Yes, big tech companies are definitely using our data for their own benefit.. and this needs to change.
Let’s jump to the next question...
The stuff you are building is really next level — but — how long does it actually take to fulfil the entire vision? Can you talk a little bit about the roadmap?
Constantinos: We are gearing up for the Public Sale and release of our MVP in Q3 2021 which will be built on Ethereum and will serve as the proof of concept for Panther Protocol. It will feature many of the technology components such as Minting & Burning of zAssets, zAsset mixing, Privacy relayers, $ZKP token, voluntary disclosure of transactions and the initial Panther DAO setup.
In Q4 2021, we will continue by improving upon existing features of the Protocol and launch Panther on another peerchain. In Q1 2022 we will introduce our first iteration of Panthers’ Private Interchain DEX, building the protocol’s first bridge towards complete interoperability.
We have a long roadmap ahead of us, we know that Panther is going to be a foundational project, not a fad, so we, as a team and community, are ready to roll up our sleeves and build. Our beliefs are aligned with the work we are doing and we are aware that building the infrastructure for privacy is going to take time and effort.
You can see a more detailed roadmap on our website www.pantherprotocol.io — but we are also launching an expanded version of it very soon — stay tuned to our socials.
I’d also like to take the opportunity to invite everyone that wants to hop in this journey with us, to become part of the community, joining our telegram: https://t.me/pantherprotocol and if you have the desire (and the chops) to work with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org — This effort is going to require a very strong team and community, so we welcome all of you.
Oddgems: Private interchain DEX? 👀👀 Is there any startup building this atm?
Constantinos: I’m not aware of any other team trying to do that tbh.
Oddgems: Great 🤟🏼
What is the upcoming news ahead of us? Do you want to share any exclusives with us now?
Constantinos: Oh man… 😁
Ok — first things first: We’re releasing our whitepaper very shortly. For any enthusiasts and builders, this one is going to be a plate full. We also are working on a comprehensive content production plan — the goal is to educate and to form the community around panther with knowledge sharing and an inspiring vision of the future, not hype.
So as we further develop the profile of the project, will you be able to learn what’s happening inside of Panther and what our team members are working on. Our goal is to be radically transparent because we believe this to be the fastest path towards becoming fully decentralized.
You can expect partnerships to be developed with major layer 1s and DeFi projects and know that things will only accelerate from here.
We’re also going to issue an announcement letting the community know how much we have raised so far — this is important because it gives us the ability to execute on our roadmap. By the way, to everyone curious, the public sale is happening in Q3, but we can’t confirm an exact date yet. Stay tuned.
Oddgems: Thanks for letting us know.
Oliver: One multibillion protocol already signed up as a partnership under a grant program. The Panther team is keen to extend the privacy pools to other chains so this initiative continues.
Constantinos: There’s the exclusive 😎
Coming to my last question...
Can you talk a little bit about the founding team, the core team and advisors, and why you believe this to be the right group for the job?
Oliver: It all started when my Co-Founder Anish Mohammed and I met in a crypto conference we were speaking at — Autonomy 2040, and realised that we both had the same concerns about on-chain surveillance and how DeFi can benefit from privacy solutions. We realised that we had complementary strengths and knowledge and the desire to bring change, so we started to talk regularly and then develop the idea. The idea attracted a lot of talented people who stood behind it and wanted to help. It was always step by step with no expectations, but the feedback was good
At the moment Panther has a globally distributed team of 18 people and 2 advisors. We are growing at an accelerated pace and hiring the very best people we can find. Once again, if you are a rockstar in your field, do reach out to us: email@example.com. Be warned, not for the faint-hearted. This mission is important and the team is one of great people.
The team gained experience in leading organisations across a wide spectrum of verticals such as the United Nations, Accenture, BlackRock, P&G, Vimeo, Siemens, UFC, DELL, HSBC, and Lloyds Bank. In Blockchain specifically, team members contributed to over 55 blockchain projects, including Ethereum, Ripple, Avalanche, Ocean Protocol, Boson Protocol and blockchain.com. Last time we counted, we had the cumulative experience of 46 years in the Blockchain industry, 66 years in Finance, and 40+ years in Cryptography
Constantinos: this is 100% verifiable btw
Oddgems: Talking of Anish, his presence must be really comforting, as he’s an Advisor to Ripple, Ethereum, and co-founder of the UK Digital Currency Association.
Constantinos: Absolutely, the rest of the tech team are Rockstars too
Oliver: It is. He’s a great partner and one whom I enjoy supporting
Oddgems: Yes, others as well. without a doubt!
Ok, that’s it from my side, Now the channel will be unmuted and it’s the community’s turn to ask any other questions they wish, Oliver and Constantinos will answer them :)
CHANNEL UNMUTED — LIVE SESSION STARTS
Anonymous: What is your advantage over other projects? Is it from a security point of view or the technology you are using? Or are there other advantages? What makes you believe that your project is worth Choosing?
Oliver: A couple of things, I’ll just list a few… and to be clear before I do, privacy is a nuanced field, in many cases, it’s about choosing the right tool for the job. We believe Panther provides one of the largest toolkits:
1. Compatible with existing DeFi, many protocols claim privacy but only in new DeFi environments
2. Usability is a key priority, to roll in another answer to a question above, Panther automated as much as possible when using the wallet or integrating into other wallets (we have wallet partnerships). This also minimises user error
3. Cross-chain privacy through the DEX which has a number of unique characteristics being designed as its own layer 1
4. Game-theoretic model for pricing privacy provides a level of assurance to users over what “privacy” means
G🅐₿₿🅐R 🔥: @Consanto @OriginalOlii @oddgems guys just wow 🤯 awesome AMA. Now I’m more in love with Panther Protocol 😍
Oddgems: Why choose Ethereum, why not projects like Solana, Avalanche, NEAR or SKALE which are way faster and efficient than ETH atm.
Oliver: Ethereum first because it’s the largest DeFi ecosystem, most protocols have their own EVM. We are agnostic and actively fostering these other protocol partnerships. A few you list are in talks already
RebelQueen: What is the difference between raze network and you? What makes you different?
Oliver Panther: The chain we are building on, the approach to DeFi compatibility, the interchain DEX, the team, the token value accrual mechanism
Constantinos: Privacy pricing mechanism
Tutter: Thanks Oddgems for hosting the great AMA! I have a question, what correlation does Panther Protocol have with the price of $ZKP?
Oliver Panther: That’s a good one. As the price of $ZKP increases the rewards for privacy mining increase driving a virtuous cycle of more efficient privacy. As transactions increase the DAO treasury increases driving more spending power to token holders driving value again
The token holders can configure fees to set an inflationary (up to the hard cap) or deflationary asset type
Oddgems: Thanks a lot @Consanto & @OriginalOlii for such exemplary answers, this AMA definitely answered so many of our doubts and queries. I’ve enjoyed it and I’m now looking forward to the upcoming public sale. Wishing the entire Panther Protocol team the very best.
/// Transcript begins here ///
Panther is a decentralized protocol that enables interoperable privacy in DeFi using zero-knowledge proofs.
Users can mint fully-collateralized, composable tokens called zAssets, which can be used to execute private, trusted DeFi transactions across multiple blockchains.
Panther helps investors protect their personal financial data and trading strategies, and provides financial institutions with a clear path to compliantly participate in DeFi.