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We had an awesome AMA last week with the Crypto Daku Robinhooders community!
The Robinhooders welcomed us in the telegram group https://t.me/cryptodakurobinhooders on the 7th of October at 4 pm UTC and they grilled us on all things Panther!
We have transcribed the conversation for the ones that missed it so check it out below! The transcript has been slightly edited for clarity, enjoy!
///Transcript begins here///
Daku: Andrew and Constantinos welcome thanks a lot for joining.
Andrew: Hi everyone!
Constantinos: Hi guys! Thank you for having us!
Daku: Time to start AMA! Today we have an AMA with The Panther Protocol team.
Panther is an End-to-end privacy protocol for digital assets.
Before we start AMA, we will love to know about your role and day to day work experience in the project!
Constantinos: Sure, i’ll tell you a bit about myself
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 was also the head of research at D-CORE, a crowdsourcing platform where we research and analyze Blockchain projects.
Andrew: I’m the head of marketing at Panther Protocol. I’ve been in the blockchain space full time for the last five years and headed marketing at Ambisafe back in 2017, headed marketing at Propy.com, bootstrapped a couple of my own marketing blockchain-specific ventures. I came up with the Digital Independence Declaration idea (digindec.com) that brought me to Panther Protocol.
Daku: Curious to know for both how you started in crypto? What brought you in?
Andrew: I started working in crypto back in 2017 as a side hustle helping out my friend with his crypto company based out of Silicon Valley — Ambisafe. One year later, Ambisafe became one of the market leaders in launching new tokens, and I had a chance to quit a stable 9 to 5 marketing agency job to head their marketing.
Constantinos: Well everyone has their own story about this right? I got into Crypto in 2017 during my last year in University. When I found about Bitcoin and Ethereum I was completely consumed by them, reading everything i could find, trying to meet other people with the same passion, which led me to team up with some people and started our crypto journey together ;p
Daku: Coming to the project now.
Can you tell us all more about the project, the idea, how it started? and especially why it’s needed or how is it disrupting?
Constantinos: Panther is an end-to-end privacy protocol connecting blockchains to restore privacy in Web3 and DeFi while providing financial institutions with a clear path to compliantly participate in digital asset markets.
Panther provides DeFi users with fully collateralized privacy-enhancing digital assets, leveraging crypto-economic incentives and zkSNARKs technology.
Users can mint zero-knowledge zAssets by depositing digital assets from any blockchain into Panther vaults. zAssets flow across blockchains via a privacy-first interchain DEX and a private metastrate. Panther envisions that zAssets will become an ever-expanding asset class for users who want their transactions and strategies the way they should always have been: private.
Tell us about the team behind Panther.
Andrew: Panther brings to the table a team of hands-on, world-class technical, product and commercial experts that hail from the intersection of privacy-enhancing technologies, blockchain and finance.
The Panther team consists of over 25 experts from the fields of privacy, security, zero-knowledge proofs, blockchain, DeFi, token economics, software engineering, finance, and ecosystem development.
The technical leadership team collectively has spearheaded high-profile initiatives across 55+ blockchain projects.
Panther’s commercial and operations team members worked at BlackRock, P&G, Vimeo, Siemens, Cambridge Analytica, ConsenSys, Dell, NATO HQ, HSBC, and Lloyds Bank.
The team possesses a globalized perspective with a network richly connected to today’s most influential brands and minds.
Daku: What are the advantages you have over your competition?
Constantinos: The first wave of players in the blockchain privacy space went to the other (extreme) side of the spectrum and provided users with absolute privacy. That approach also proved to be far from ideal, as it harboured money laundering schemes and other illicit activities, which is just as problematic for institutions and compliance practitioners as radical transparency.
Panther Protocol differentiates itself by proposing a balance between privacy and compliance that gives users a choice to transact privately, while also being able to voluntarily disclose transactional data with select counterparties and trust providers.
It also offers a novel type of financial disclosure called Zero-Knowledge, where users can prove they are compliant without having to actually provide any underlying data. This technology could turn the compliance industry on its head and provide an end to the data breach nightmares that plague modern societies and cost institutions billions of dollars every year. This is a huge deal if you want to be institution/government / tax-friendly, while not losing sight of the privacy preferences of end-users of financial services.
Equally important is that Panther’s multi-asset privacy pools are the first in the industry to enable a heterogeneous mix of assets. This competitive advantage sets Panther apart in the ecosystem and could potentially provide a first movers advantage in NFT markets.
Daku: What can we expect from Panther in the foreseeable future?
Andrew: I’m glad you asked!
Currently, we are super focused on the Public Sale of our token $ZKP in a few weeks and subsequently the release of our MVP on Polygon and later on Ethereum.
If you are interested to participate in our Public sale please fill out the interest form https://share.hsforms.com/1NEKpcC84SFmK0fpd4sFoZQ8mifv
We recently announced our partnership with Polygon (formerly known as Matic). Besides providing technical support, Polygon will help Panther collaborate with projects within its ecosystem in the development efforts of privacy features that empower end-users. It will also aid our mission in giving institutions and fintechs a clear path into private and compliant DeFi.
We have also released the scope of the MVP. We believe that, as a standalone product, the MVP will provide immediate value to all DeFi users wishing to take advantage of interoperable, fully collateralized privacy.
Just yesterday we announced our partnership with NEAR Protocol. Panther has received a grant from NEAR to explore the development of open-source privacy infrastructure (Rust libraries, APIs and tooling) needed for a native Panther deployment on NEAR. This includes the deployment of Panther’s privacy solutions on NEAR’s EVM, Aurora.
Daku: Could you tell us a bit more about your roadmap?
Constantinos: We have a long roadmap ahead of us not only for the rest of the year. 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.
As mentioned above we are gearing up for the Public Sale and release of our MVP which will be built on Polygon and will serve as the proof of concept for Panther Protocol.
The MVP 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 the 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.
You can find out more about our future-looking roadmap as well as past achievements and history of Panther here: https://blog.pantherprotocol.io/heres-the-panther-roadmap-our-quest-for-private-defi-88db93dacd4f
Daku: What are zAssets and how are they used?
Andrew: Panther Protocol will allow users to access DeFi privately, utilizing their tokens within a system that gives them control over who and how they give access to their data. To do this, Panther will be introducing zAssets: 1-to-1 representations of a given token in a private system. The process of obtaining zAssets is not opposed to wrapping a token in the traditional way, although it has a few key distinctions. These differences are mostly related to providing privacy since only zAssets can be deposited into Panther Pools.
Daku: What would be a typical user journey in Panther Protocol?
Constantinos: Great question and I guess it simplifies things for a lot of people!
Let answer this question with the example of a zAsset, in this case, zUSDC.
Given a user that wants to obscure the transaction history of their USDC by turning it into zUSDC, they would:
1. Deposit their USDC into a Panther Vault. Vaults are smart contracts that lock the tokens as collateral. A corresponding amount of zUSDC will then be minted within the Panther Pool. Our pool, in this case, helps users shield their funds to obscure transactions, incentivizing users to add to the pool to support this process. The users would see their balance of zAssets from the Panther wallet, a unique wallet with privacy features.
2. The user would now be free to transact with or privately transfer the zUSDC in any way they wanted to. The wallet will allow them to redeem zUSDC for the underlying USDC into a new stealth address generated exclusively for them. They may also deploy any of their USDC into DeFi protocols that accept it. At the time of accessing the underlying USDC, the platform will automatically burn the zAsset to prevent uncollateralized assets from circulating.
3. Thanks to Panther’s unique attestation systems, users can choose to disclose metadata of any transaction, for any reason, to anyone, even retroactively. Panther facilitates disclosure of private transactions within Pools, and users can reveal public on-chain transactions in the usual way. Suppose a user wants to withdraw their USDC from a DeFi protocol. In that case, they can deposit it back into a Panther Vault to obscure their DeFi history, then later optionally withdraw into another newly generated stealth address.
Daku: Last question before opening: why should one look into Panther? tl/dr :)
Andrew: I would say:
1. Check out our team bio and experience. Most of the team members were in crypto for 5–7–10 years.
2. We already have a solid ground to start from — major partnerships (Elrond, Polygon, Near).
3. Read out the whitepaper to explore the tech behind the project.
Daku: let’s open the floor for questions from the community now
Jan Pakhi: Q1) Do you have any YouTube channel or website for this project? Where can we learn something about this project??
Andrew: Website: https://www.pantherprotocol.io
Telegram Anns: https://t.me/pantherprotocolann
MAIN MEDIUM POSTS
What is Panther Protocol and why it exists?
Panther Development Update #1:
Private Fundraising update — $10m raised in total:
zkSNARKs through the lens of a Cypherpunk:
Layman’s guide to Privacy Technologies:
Minting and Burning zAssets:
Interoperable Privacy for DeFi:
CHING CHONG: I am an EXPERIENCED DEVELOPER AND ETHICAL HACKER, do you have plans for HACKATHON so as to check the security of your ecosytem periodically and also invite developers to build?
Constantinos: Great! We are looking to expand the team by hiring world-class talent for the 3 following positions:
-Junior Finance Analyst & Strategist
SolomonDeLugo: The COVID-19 outbreak has affected every business in the world. Is your project affected by this? Is it in a better way or a bad way?
Andrew: My personal opinion is that the crypto community only became stronger due to the constraints of centralized systems reacting to the global pandemic.
Tawanna Patrick: NFT is getting more popular nowadays. It looks like NFT has a bright future. So do you guys have any plan to include NFT to your project?
Andrew: We do have an NFT based partnership with the StackOS team; you can read more about it here: https://news.bitcoin.com/panther-protocol-and-stackos-partner-to-bring-privacy-to-defi-and-nfts/
Ta Cardona: Partnerships are crucial for Adoption, so can you tell us what partners you have currently and future partnerships
Constantinos: We have partnerships with many Layer 1s that we will deploy Panthers privacy solution on:
… additional L1s coming soon!
Lilbuddhaman: How do you deal with the security threats of your project? DO you have any AUDIT in recent times for trust?
Constantinos: Security is our top priority. Users of Panther will be using the most secure privacy protocol for their assets.
Panther development is guided by in-house security expertise. Our co-founder and CTO Anish has 20+ years in security and cryptography, is an early advisor to Ripple, and reviewed the Ethereum orange paper. Our team has over 40 years of cumulative expertise in security, and have worked on securing some well-known protocols in this space.
The smart contract stack will be fully audited by industry-recognized security researchers prior to launch.
Omegasnab1: Where can I buy your tokens now, what are your current contracts address and how can I buy them and what are the benefits?
Constantinos: As mentioned above we are gearing up for the Public Sale so if you are interested to participate please fill out the interest form https://share.hsforms.com/1NEKpcC84SFmK0fpd4sFoZQ8mifv
Rakesh Kumar: Which sector of users should look for Panther protocol?
Andrew: We consider the institutions and large blockchain entities to be at the core of the adoption curve of Panther Protocol due to the private nature of their operations.
Daku: Thanks team for joining this ama, it was a pleasure to host you!
Constantinos: Thank you for having us!!
/// Transcript ends 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.