We’ve recently published an updated version of Panther’s roadmap on our website. We, as a team, have been looking forward to this milestone throughout the previous few, very eventful months. Therefore, I believe it’s worthwhile sharing some reflections both on the road that led us here and the project’s immediate future.
The importance of living roadmaps
One of the most critical differences between crypto enterprises and their more centralized counterparties is the value our community places upon building in public. This incredibly powerful and challenging feature is commonplace in our industry, deviating from the norm of centralized development. As such, we often forget that even the most detailed roadmap should be considered a dynamic, fluid entity, and for several good reasons.
To understand these reasons, we must go back to Panther’s mission, which is to look deep into a set of problems facing current Layer-1 and Layer-2 implementations to solve them, ideally in the short to medium term. Panther is unique in that it does not aim to create its own blockchain or L-2 solution. Instead, our protocol utilizes and improves upon an existing set of solutions, leveraging strengths across the board to allow our ecosystem to grow and develop.
Because of the nuanced approach Panther follows to infuse DeFi with privacy, we are required to stay on top of the developments in the zero-knowledge space and evolve along with a hyperactive market. Failing to listen to what’s happening around us could prove fatal to Panther and its attempt to empower the unique multi-chain ecosystem we see nowadays.
Panther tries to infuse DeFi with privacy instead of retroactively fixing its participants’ inherent faults. As such, flexibility is an imperative rather than a nice-to-have for us. We understand the nuances of rigidity and flexibility and aim to find a working balance between both approaches.
If there ever was a time to build in the zero-knowledge space, it is now
Having established our philosophical basis, and before discussing the future, I have to say that our attempt to build on the very edge of our field happens at an almost perfect time, which is not by accident.
Billions of dollars in value and investments are flowing into the zero-knowledge space, which is plain to sight thanks to the efforts of industry giants, such as Polygon. In one quarter, Polygon decided to devote $1 billion towards zero-knowledge advancements, acquiring Hermez and Mir in the process. We are also witnessing zero-knowledge projects accrue significant TVLs, such as StarkEx’s $1.1B and Loopring’s $300M. Similarly, Starknet raised funds at a $2 billion valuation, and Aleo received $200M in funds from Venture Capitalists at a similar valuation.
Zero-knowledge technology (in particular zk-SNARKs and zk-STARKs, two advancements that can be of great use for DeFi) is at a crucial point in which it can accelerate and grow; thanks to different synergies and new applications. FRI, Halo, Plonky2, and other significant developments in our field create a vast array of options for us to build Panther to fit the market’s needs, as opposed to fitting them to our goals.
More importantly, we believe that Panther can fulfill its role within the market in a purely decentralized way, remaining as trustless as possible.
On the roadmap itself
If you look into our roadmap, as it’s currently presented, you can pretty easily distinguish between two types of milestones: Research & Development milestones and Product development goals. Therefore, I believe it’s fair to address them separately in this post.
Research and development
One of the most important value propositions by Panther is our team. Within our flanks, you can find highly capable and talented technical individuals with expertise in zero-knowledge that goes back to the beginnings of this technology.
Because of this, and for the reasons mentioned above, Panther aims to continually enhance the team’s expertise in the zero-knowledge space and related applied mathematics by both finding and recruiting new and enhancing in-house expertise within the next quarter. We want to look deeply and build primitives on private interchain transfers and privacy price discovery and analyze integrations with the technologies I mentioned above.
As you can see from the Product side of our roadmap and the previous explanation, we attempt to have the research we produce inform our product development.
With a fully populated team on both fronts by the start of Q2, Panther’s milestones, we hope, will be so for the entire industry. Multi-Asset Shielded Pools, a private bridge, interchain private transfers, and zero-knowledge attestations are just some of the innovations by the Panther team that we hope will resonate and be adopted throughout DeFi and the blockchain industry.
As I’ve said throughout this text, Panther does not try to predict the future: We’d rather create a system in which our protocol’s design has the best possible chances of success in as many feasible scenarios as possible.
Recruiting talent, forming strategic alliances, building a sound technological foundation, and listening closely to the market’s needs are, in our opinion, the best way we can approach a design that, irrespective of its deadlines and milestones, can find its way into becoming a centerpiece of DeFi.
If what Panther aims to do was easy, someone would have done it already. We, however, are taking it up to ourselves to meet this challenge with the perspective and insight only our combined years of experience in the field can afford.
As you read in this post, Panther is recruiting experts and professionals in a number of fields. Please go to our job postings site to learn more about this and apply.
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.