2023: A Year in Review

2023: A Year in Review

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Fellow Panthers,

As we bid farewell to 2023, we wanted to provide a year-end update on our progress and what we have been working on behind the scenes.

For Panther, it’s been a year filled with major tech developments, events, team additions, and preparations for our V1 launch in 2024.

The Panther Protocol’s tech team has made significant progress and has released three stages of our testnet and we’re on track to release Stage 3 after the internal testing.

We further participated at various conferences this year, discussing Panther Protocol and zero-knowledge DeFi with the wider Web3 community including at Real Vision, European Blockchain Convention, Paris DOT, ETHGlobal Online, and zkBankai Hacker House

As we celebrate the end of 2023, we look forward to 2024 and our upcoming mainnet launch. The team would like to personally thank you for supporting us on this journey.

Here’s to an even bigger and better 2024!

Communication Updates

Panther DAO Approves PIP-14: A Milestone in Decentralization

In May this year, Panther DAO officially approved PIP-14. This proposal formalized the project’s Governance Framework and introduced a DAO Council, marking significant progress in the project's decentralization journey. Learn more here.

Panther Partners with PureFi to Enable Compliance in PriFi

Earlier this year, Panther partnered with PureFi to create a path to compliance and data privacy in DeFi. PureFi partnership will enable us to meet compliance requirements while preserving decentralization and user anonymity. Read more here.

BitMart Lists Zero-Knowledge DeFi Pioneer Panther Protocol's $ZKP

In December this year, BitMart, a leading cryptocurrency exchange operating in over 180 countries, listed Panther Protocol's $ZKP token. This listing is part of our ongoing effort focused on strategic partnerships and exchange listings before our V1 Mainnet launch, aimed at providing improved accessibility, various trading options, and a more efficient, cost-effective transaction experience for our community members and $ZKP holders. Complete announcement here

Panther Community Votes to Extend the Advanced Staking Program

Thanks to the successful approval of PIP-19 in November, Advanced Staking V4 is live for the next four months, and $ZKP holders can now stake their tokens again. Learn more about PIP-19 here

Team Updates

Panther Expands Its Marketing Efforts with New Hires

We recently hired Manwendra Mishra as a Product Marketing Manager for Panther Protocol. Manwendra brings diversified experience across industries, including as the first marketer for blockchain analytics firm, Merkle Science. Before moving to Web3, Manwendra was a marketer at leading cybersecurity firm, Radware(NASDAQ: RDWR). 

Panther plans to further expand its marketing team with two more hires in the coming weeks.

R&D Updates

Product Updates

In 2023, we made significant product development progress. We started the year with a workshop in Dubai (UAE) to evaluate our progress, examine the market fit of our product, compliance requirements, and institutional perspectives.

The workshop's goal was to strategically position Panther and our suite of products to align with the anticipated growth and adoption of the DeFi. After the conclusion of the workshop, we recognized that privacy as a feature couldn’t be a differentiator if we can’t enable practical applications of it. And, to achieve this for a DeFi protocol, compliance support is essential. We noted that privacy and compliance should coexist, but it requires more effort and innovation, particularly in leveraging zero-knowledge technology. Additionally, we aimed to enhance the efficiency of our protocol without overwhelming the user experience with an excess of Zero-Knowledge proofs.

As a result, we revamped our Product Architecture to align with industry needs, incorporating several outcomes from the workshop: 

  • Integrate with third-party compliance providers that can satisfy the new Panther design requirements.
  • Create a bank account-like on-chain identity ( zAccount) which acts as a link for all transactions users perform. zAccount is further crucial for compliance as it is activated only after a successful KYC completion. 
  • Data Safe mechanism to satisfy AML requirements. 
  • Introduce Zones to allow institutions to become licensed Zone Managers and run a dedicated zone to enable their customers to trade with whitelisted assets and counterparties. 
  • Oshiya (referred to as Panther Miner) for off-chain zero-knowledge proof computation and to reduce the update on every transaction by batching 64 transactions into one. A concept that lets users put their transactions on a “bus queue”.
  • DeFi adaptors logic to align with the new architecture.
  • Support interchain communication, scheduled for V2.

After 4-6 months of development, including smart contract development, circuit development, and integrations with PureFi, we began deploying features on the Mumbai test network. This process involved continuous and iterative development of the dApp. We further devised an incentivized testnet plan, organizing the testnet releases into 8 stages.

Initially, we estimated three weeks of dApp development. However, we encountered internal bugs and external issues during the testing phase, doubling the anticipated duration.

Testnet Updates

The testnet currently has 400 users and we’ve distributed a total of over 200,000 $ZKP as rewards. The proposed total amount of Testnet rewards is 1.5M $ZKP, with an additional 0.5M $ZKP in reserve to cover any additional rewards, if necessary.

Have you signed up for our testnet yet? Sign up here to join our community and receive your $ZKP rewards.Here’s a quick recap of our testnet stages.

Testnet Stage 0

In July this year, we launched Panther Stage 0. In this Stage, we released the Panther Miner, a specialized miner designed to interact with a blockchain network. This testing stage (and activity in production) is directed towards miners, a key role in the Panther ecosystem, as opposed to DeFi users. Complete announcement here

Testnet Stage 1

After a successful Stage 0, in August this year, we released Stage 1 of Panther’s Testnet. In this Stage, testnet users were allowed to test two of Panther’s most anticipated innovations: third-party compliance integrations and zero-knowledge accounts. Learn more here

Testnet Stage 2

In November, we released the second stage of our testnet. This second phase was designed to test the user interaction and reward mechanisms that set the foundation for the protocol’s privacy-preserving features. More information on Stage 2 here

Testnet Stage 3

Stage 3 development is complete, and internal testing has begun. This third phase will allow users to whitelist test Matic in addition to test ZKPs into Panther's Multi-Asset Shielded Pool.

Further, when it comes to $ZKP, users can now deposit and store $ZKP either as a zAsset ($zZKP) or as a zAccount Gas (Gas $zZKP). At the time of deposit, testnet users will have the flexibility to divide their ZKP deposit amount between the two. The Gas $zZKP can be used to pay protocol fees, relayers, Oshiya, and any external services that enhance protocol services beyond the core.

Stage 3 is undergoing internal testing at the time of publishing this year-end update and will be released immediately after the tests are completed.

V1 Launch Updates

We've been working to streamline our development process, make integration testing more efficient, and possibly work on two testnet stages parallelly to ensure we meet the deadline for the V1 release.


The suggested plan is to undergo two sets of audits before the mainnet launch. A pre-audit will be done in January and then a final audit will be done once all stages are released, tested and bugs are resolved.

V1 Launch and expansion to multiple chains

V1 is expected to be live after the second Audit. After the successful launch of V1, the plan is to extend V1 to different EVM chains, subject to community voting and approval. 

Research Initiatives

In 2023, we published two research papers in the International Association for Cryptologic Research: (1) A flexible Snark via the monomial basis, and (2) An optimization of the addition gate count in Plonkish circuits. 

The first paper presents a new pairing-based Snark. The principle advantage of which is, in contrast to other Snarks such as Groth16 and Plonk, it allows freedom in the choice of an elliptic curve with the consequential benefit of supporting non-native field arithmetic (a considerable bottle-neck for other Snarks). This research was also presented at the ETH Privacy Conference in Istanbul. 

The second paper proposes a generalization of Plonk’s permutation argument to obtain a protocol on weighted sums which has the benefit of eliminating intermediate gates from high fan-in additions in circuits with Plonkish arithmetization.

Other research work includes a survey paper (to be completed soon) that focuses on different approaches to Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) clients via snarks. 

About Panther Protocol

Panther is a cross-protocol layer that uses zero-knowledge technology to build DeFi solutions that strive to meet regulatory standards and satisfy users' on-chain data privacy needs. The goal of Panther is to allow seamless access to DeFi and create a cross-chain-supported architecture that serves different use cases. Panther’s zero-knowledge primitives are also generalizable to KYC, selective disclosures between trusted parties, private ID, voting, and data verification services.

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