What is Panther Protocol and why it exists?
Here at Panther Protocol, we are taking on the challenge of implementing financial privacy and asserting it as a human right. Our vision is to restore the right to privacy and protect against a surveillance economy. Our mission is to provide DeFi users with transactional privacy when interacting with all of the decentralized finance ecosystems, preserving competitive advantages and individual freedoms.
We are bonded in defending our privacy and sovereignty, united in purpose, and determined to support our user’s journey to uncluttered and private financial freedom.
You deserve it, we deserve it, we all deserve it.
TL:DR What is Panther Protocol?
Panther Protocol offers ground-breaking privacy-enhancing technology for DeFi. It provides DeFi users with interoperable, fully collateralized privacy-enhancing digital assets, leveraging zkSNARK technology, and offers a novel price discovery mechanism for privacy. Users are able to mint zero-knowledge zAssets by depositing digital assets from any blockchain into Panther Vaults and using these zAssets across a full range of DeFi applications.
We believe Panther’s zAssets will become an ever-expanding asset class. Stablecoins, utility tokens and NFTs will all become infused with privacy. Institutional DeFi and Web3 require privacy to scale and disrupt legacy systems.
Problems with attaining Privacy
Privacy is one of the most compelling needs for DeFi and Web3 right now. An unalienable right, it has been nevertheless eroded in the digital age where, through a combination of reckless sharing and greedy harvesting of data, there is a thin line between who we are and what we share.
The flippant argument in the form of ‘what have you to hide?’ combined with a determination to ferret out real or imagined threats has created a world where privacy is being taken out of the picture as if it wasn’t a basic human right. Imagine walking down the street with your wallet in your back pocket or in your purse and anyone looking at you could see an additional layer with every purchase you have made in your life, from the drinks last night to the books you read or the food choices you make. How much could someone know about you by knowing your entire transaction history? Do we really need to share everything with everyone? Any sensible person would agree to the absurdity of that.
We are being led Inexorably into a world where surveillance is the norm. Oppressive regimes, Big tech and competitors should not have access to your data. Period. At Panther, we have created a solution that enables privacy while being mindful of the compliance landscape. We believe that this middle of the line approach is going to be a game-changer that can enable a new wave of growth for DeFi and Web3.
So, let’s explain what we mean, the nitty-gritty. Ready? Let’s go.
Privacy Rights at a chain level
Due to the immutable and transparent nature of public blockchains, DeFi users are unknowingly and unwillingly subject to surveillance and economic espionage. There is no privacy on-chain. Retail, institutional traders and whales risk losing their competitive advantages by having their transaction history observed, rapidly turning their alpha into obsolete tactics.
Panther Protocol enables interoperable onchain privacy for transactions between users and DeFi applications. It has been created to restore the balance of transactional privacy and compliance.
As a default, Panther empowers DeFi users with full privacy, while enabling them to provide zero-knowledge disclosures (prove compliance without providing underlying data) or full disclosures to a specific counter-party at the user’s discretion.
Selective disclosures are the future of compliance and the game-changer institutional users have been waiting for as it puts them in control, providing unstoppable privacy and freedom to share data with whoever they decide. We believe all code should be open, transparent and auditable.
That being said, our transactions should not be open for everyone to see and leverage. A fully transparent transactional history for everyone is a disaster, and our goal is to infuse privacy into DeFi and Web3, else the new systems we are building will be worse for humanity than the legacy we want to disrupt.
Panther Protocol — how it works
Panther is an end-to-end privacy protocol for digital assets, which can be deployed in a confidential way on any public blockchain. Panther enables the creation of interoperable, zero-knowledge assets (zAssets) collateralized 1:1 by their original counterparts.
Crypto assets are secured within Panther vaults and zAssets are minted in return. Each zAsset is one-for-one collateralized with its underlying asset. Whether the zAsset is a zUSDC, zETH or zBTC, the new zAsset is a private, fully collateralized synthetic of the underlying asset.
Key features of Panther Protocol
- Privacy for any digital asset. Panther is not going to be limited by layer 1 or type of asset. Panthers’ privacy features can expand to any digital asset on any public layer 1 (we call them peerchains). We want zAssets to go wherever DeFi goes.
- Interoperability. It’s unlikely that one chain will rule them all, so there will always be a need for cross-chain transactions. Panther will provide a private interchain DEX module to enable these cross-chain transactions.
- Confidentiality. Panther provides users with the ability to select the level of privacy they want at the transaction level. One of our most interesting approaches is to enable selective disclosure of any of their transactions to meet the requirements of the counterparty or regulator.
With Panther Protocol, in addition to complete privacy, there are two other levels of privacy: On the first, Zero-Knowledge Disclosures allow users to prove to the counterparty that they have behaved fairly according to a certain rules engine, meaning, the counterparty knows what they need to know, without having access to any of your transactional data. When providing a zero-knowledge disclosure, the message is basically “User X complied with the rules engine, and that’s all you need to know”. This is achieved by using Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKP) technology. The second level is when you disclose transactional data to the counterparty but still preserve your privacy on-chain.
We believe that in addition to providing users with the ability to enjoy full privacy, these selective disclosure mechanisms will set the design space for the entire compliance industry to evolve. Selective disclosures can become the de facto standard for balancing transactional privacy and compliance requirements.
- Strong privacy threshold. Mixing services require a large set of inputs to effectively obfuscate the link between input and output of a transaction. Panther will ensure that a certain privacy threshold is met to allow transactions of a particular zAsset to go through. The tokenomics will incentivize liquidity provision for mixing to ensure there is a large enough pool of assets to provide a strong privacy threshold for users.
- Price discovery for privacy. In most privacy protocols, privacy is not explicitly priced, even if it bears a cost for the user. With Panther, privacy will be priced explicitly through dynamic transaction fees and paid in ZKP rather than as a fee applied to the transacted digital assets. We will write more about this novel pricing mechanism in future articles. In short, the more privacy is provided to users, the cheaper it will become to enjoy privacy, resulting in powerful network effects for on-chain privacy.
Panther Technology Components
Below we will describe what’s under the hood (only we don’t have a hood — it’s all very transparent):
The Panther wallet is a browser-based, self-custodial wallet. The Panther Wallet prevents address reuse, enables private connections to Ethereum DeFi using proxy addresses and is used for voting on governance proposals.
These are autonomous, zero-knowledge, self-custodial smart contracts that act as decentralized custodians for collateral of zAssets
Privacy miners are Network participants which are rewarded in $ZKP tokens for providing zAssets to Panther Protocol in order to increase the anonymity set.
Panther Layer 1 Interchain DEX
These allow users to transact between peerchains through private cross-chain transactions.
Panther Service Providers
These are entities that wish to use Panther to allow private (zAsset) transactions with their customers (Panther users) whilst being able to trust those users.
Panther Trust Providers
These are entities that can provide verifiable statements (attestations) about users which allow service providers to increase their trust in those users.
Panther DAO is a community governed decentralized autonomous organisation (DAO), that votes on specific Panther Improvement Proposals, set budgets and configures token economics within the Panther ecosystem. This will become more important over time as we see the community eventually taking over the running of the protocol and determining future directions.
The Panther Token ($ZKP)
The Panther Token ($ZKP) is a finite supply, privacy-preserving gas token. It is used to pay for fees within the Panther ecosystem, and it represents a right to participate in Panther governance, voting on Panther Improvement Proposals (PIPs).
The initial supply of ZKP will be approximately 10% of the total tokens. The maximum supply of ZKP is 1B tokens. The maximum supply is expected to be hit over a 12-year time frame.
We will release a much more detailed article about the components described above for an in-depth understanding of the protocol and its components.
Building other projects on top of the protocol
The Panther Foundation and later the Panther DAO will offer development grants to attract development teams to contribute and build on Panther Protocol. Our goal is to enable collaboration, cross-pollination of ideas, and to foster a developer community around the project. The project will have a fully documented and developer-friendly public interface to allow for easy integration of projects and teams.
Meet the Panther Founders
Panther Protocol is founded by seasoned blockchain OGs, Oliver Gale (CEO) and Dr Anish Mohammed (CTO).
Oliver Gale has been in crypto since 2013 and has been a director and advisor for numerous successful blockchain ventures. He is a CBDC pioneer having launched the first CBDC in the world, in the Caribbean.
Over the last 9 years, he has championed policy-making discussions and thought leadership in many institutions including the United Nations, IMF and numerous central banks and governments. He has taken various roles of CFO, CPO, President and CEO of startups which have gone on to successfully build and deploy mobile wallets, cryptocurrency exchanges, digital securities marketplaces, quantitative trading systems, credit platforms and AML compliance tools.
Anish Mohammed has spent two decades in security and cryptography. Half his career was spent researching cryptographic algorithms and protocols at three different research groups including Microsoft Research. He has advised and worked for various banks and financial institutions including AIB, HSBC, Lloyds and Zurich.
He was also an early advisor to Ripple (2013) and Ocean Protocol and reviewer of the Ethereum Orange paper. He was one of the founding members of the UK Digital Currency Association. He has been involved in designing or auditing half a dozen blockchain protocols and more than a dozen distributed applications. He is an adjutant faculty at Harbour Space and the head of research at the Information Sciences Institute at SRH Berlin.
Here’s our roadmap:
Panther Protocol is an open-source endeavour
Panther will be fully open source. The code is currently under development and will be published on GitHub: https://github.com/pantherprotocol .
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.