Frequently Asked Questions
The white paper is the foundational explanation of our ecosystem.
If you have not read it and you have a question, we encourage you to review the white paper, first. Thereafter, you may find the following list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions useful.
The following list is a condensed compilation of common answers to questions that we receive on our Slack and Reddit social-media channels. Most of the questions derive from our Reddit AMAs.
Why did you build the Komodo platform?
This is a very good question. We are a diverse community. Creators in our ecosystem come from myriad backgrounds, and bring with them many differing philosophies and motivations.
At the core of the Komodo ecosystem is a belief that people should be free. This includes the ability to make one’s own decisions, and to receive the rewards and consequences. We see open-source philosophy, blockchain technology, and decentralization as keys to a better world for generations to come.
I would like to volunteer for Komodo. How can I get involved?
We are grateful for the offer! Komodo is an open-source, community driven project, so we need people like you who take action, rather than wait. Come to the Slack channel and talk with our moderators.
Sometimes what is most helpful is simply to have people like you welcoming newcomers, answering questions, and helping others get comfortable with the Komodo platform.
What are the functionalities and use cases of the Komodo coin?
We work to create a situation where KMD is the most versatile coin in our ecosystem. With each technology we make, we seek to tie its usefulness to the power of the KMD coin.
It is the method of payment for our Komodo security services, endowing creators with Bitcoin-level security
It will be the fuel for our upcoming Komodo Smart Contract API enhancements
It is the method of endowing privacy on any coin connected to our decentralized exchange
- Holding at least 10 KMD in a wallet automatically generates interest at 5% APR
Those are but a few examples of KMD’s usefulness. There are several more existing use cases, which users may discover by exploring the Komodo ecosystem.
Is your decentralized exchange ready for public use?
Anyone can start using BarterDEX today. The core engine of BarterDEX is prepared for public roll out, and the frontend GUI software apps that run on top of it are able to support early-adopter users.
We have not yet had time to polish the user experience and user interface (UX/UI), but this does not affect the functionality of the underlying technology. We simply encourage newcomers to BarterDEX to actively engage with our support team and community on our Slack channel when questions arise.
After receiving help in performing a few successful atomic swaps, most users are able to continue trading on their own.
What’s the difference between “atomic swaps” and “etomic swaps”?
Our decentralized exchange, BarterDEX, is capable of supporting trades between coins that are based on the Bitcoin protocol and also tokens based on the Ethereum protocol. (Trading with the Ethereum-protocol coins is just out of the early testing stage and is not yet publicly available.)
For example, coins based on the Bitcoin protocol and therefore currently featured on our exchange include names such as Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Dash, Zcash, and more. Anything that runs on the Ethereum platform is likely to be an ERC-20 token, and all of these tokens can be featured on BarterDEX as well.
Swaps that occur with the Bitcoin protocol we call “atomic swaps.” Those that occur with the Ethereum protocol we call “etomic swaps.”
The difference between the two methods ultimately may not matter to an average user, but on a technical level, the difference is important to understand. It ties in with security, and security is the foundation of any cryptocurrency exchange.
BarterDEX’s atomic-swap technology (with an “a”) relies on the security features provided in the original Bitcoin protocol, as put forth by Satoshi Nakamoto. These security features we believe to be very important in establishing a secure decentralized exchange. The original security features of the Bitcoin protocol are battle-tested methods of securely transferring financial value.
Ethereum and its ERC20 tokens are currently not directly compatible with these core security features found in the original Bitcoin protocol. The Ethereum development team did not include these features in the Ethereum core during the development process. Some of the missing elements include CLTV, Multisig, and OP_RETURN. The developers instead included these features in their smart-contract technology.
Some elements of their smart-contract technology function not within the Ethereum core, but rather on a higher floor of their backend code. While Ethereum therefore can perform these CLTV, Multisig, and OP_RETURN features within the Ethereum ecosystem itself, they are currently unable to perform the atomic swaps that the Bitcoin protocol enables.
Furthermore, ERC20 tokens are not actual blockchain coins. They only represent smart-contract agreements, locked to the main Ethereum blockchain’s coins. This creates various complexities in the underlying technology for which we have a working solution, though it is not yet publicly available.
We are in the process now of constructing the technology that bridges the two different protocols. In the future, users should be able to trade between Bitcoin-protocol coins and Ethereum-based coins as a part of the normal trading process.
What is the status of automating the Barterdex UTXO prep?
There are currently 3 ways to split your UTXOs: automatic, semi-automatic, and no automation.
We have a new feature in our Agama wallet that provides the semi-automatic option. It allows users to send funds to another address in a manner that splits the total amount into separate UTXOs, with the intent of preparing the funds for atomic swaps. Users will indicate the number and sizes of their desired UTXOs when prompted by the wallet.
Developers of BarterDEX GUI apps can adopt the semi-automatic UTXO-management feature into their standalone GUI applications.
There are currently two leading BarterDEX GUI apps. One is the creative product of Satinder Grewal, a long-time developer in the Komodo network. This one has the majority of advanced BarterDEX features already implemented. The other is the creative product of ca333, CTO of the Komodo team. This second one is currently simplified, with a focus on dICO use cases (such as the recently completed BitcoinHUSH dICO).
Both developers have reported they believe they will be able to implement this feature into their software. This will allow users to send their funds in a manner optimized for atomic swaps. Users can opt to send this funding back to the same wallet address, completing their UTXO prep within a single BarterDEX GUI app.
This is the main level of automation the Komodo team currently intends to offer. We have considered creating a fully automated feature for the entire UTXO-creation process. However, for the time being, our tests show that this ends up removing too much control from the user.
There are users familiar with programming who are developing their own personal systems for fully automated UTXO management. It is possible that our open-source community could work together to provide community-driven solutions in this regard.
Otherwise, users can simply continue to manually indicate their desired level of UTXOs when sending funds, as a part of the non-automated management process.
Can we use hardware wallets (Ledger or Trezor) while trading on BarterDEX?
Atomic-swap technology is designed for active trading. Hardware wallets, on the other hand, are currently designed for cold storage.
While it is entirely possible to create a hardware wallet capable of utilizing BarterDEX, we know of no existing project that has the necessary software.
Perhaps as atomic swaps become more common, a market demand may create a suitable incentive for hardware-wallet designers to code the necessary software.
How long will it take to add ETH and ERC20 tokens to BarterDEX?
Everything is currently in testing. On the technical side, we have already completed manually created atomic swaps for both ETH and ERC20 tokens using the BarterDEX core engine.
How much time it will take to bring this to the public is currently unknown. We are working diligently to create this frequently requested feature on BarterDEX.
Do I need anyone’s permission to add [X] coin to BarterDEX?
As the BarterDEX core engine is fully decentralized, anyone can use it to perform atomic swaps between any coins that are properly designed. Permission from any third party is not needed in these situations (not even from us!).
Some of the features that must be in the blockchain’s code for the product to work (without additional effort) include Multisig, CLTV, and OP_RETURN.
If those are in the code of the blockchain, adding it to BarterDEX is quite easy.
For coins that do not have the same security features in their core code (Ethereum and its ERC20 tokens, for example), it is up to the ingenuity of the community.
Anyone who would like to add technology with similar missing-feature situations can use their own creativity to do so. In general, changing the core code of another team’s blockchain product is not possible without forking the blockchain. However, it is possible to create intermediary technology.
Our lead developer, JL777, and Artem, a talented Solidity developer, are working together to create technology that allows ETH and ERC20 tokens to trade on BarterDEX. This additional technology acts as a bridge to the rest of the structure, and it is already working for manually created atomic swaps. No permission or changes to the core Ethereum code were necessary for this technology to function on BarterDEX.
If a developer builds a product on Komodo, can they list their product on more exchanges than just Komodo’s decentralized exchange (BarterDEX)?
Yes! Each chain based on the Komodo framework is its own independent coin. Developers can write any rules into their blockchain they desire, and can use their products in any manner they chose. To maintain a connection to Komodo’s security services and decentralized exchange, they should simply avoid interfering with the core Komodo framework.
How do the fees on BarterDEX compare to the fees elsewhere?
The total fee for an atomic swap on BarterDEX is ~0.15%. The fee for the market-taker (a normal user) is ~0.15%, but the fee for the market-maker (advanced trader) is 0%. On average, users can expect to have fees of ~0.15% or lower.
This is far less than what a typical centralized exchange charges (often ~0.2% to each participant, for a total of ~0.4% for each trade).
BarterDEX’s competitive fees we believe will be a strong draw for wealthy cryptocurrency traders, who can act as market makers.
Can I store more than one coin in my wallet on BarterDEX?
Yes! We currently support 80+ coins that can be held within a single “smart address,” and we are in the testing process to add ETH and ERC20 tokens to this feature.
Users can use this feature to trade among a multiplicity of coins, from within one wallet, and even within one smart-address. Users are the sole owners of the private keys to this smart address, and there are no withdrawal limits, nor registration requirements. A user only needs to generate a passphrase to receive a smart-address for trading.
What are the details surrounding the $100K bounty for BarterDEX GUI developers?
Several developers in the community are competing to claim the bounty. The GUI that receives the widest spread adoption will receive the bounty, as decided by the community.
Anyone is welcome to join the competition by developing a GUI wallet that runs on the BarterDEX core engine.
We will start measuring activity within the next few months, to compare user adoption. After a few more months of gathering data on overall usage, we will distribute the bounty to the wallet that has the most user activity.
What is a decentralized ICO, a.k.a. dICO? Aren't all ICO platforms decentralized?
Interestingly enough, traditional ICOs are not decentralized. They have several problems because of their centralization, in fact.
Let's cover a few here. For a more detailed response, please review Part II of our whitepaper.
First, a traditional ICO takes place on a single node. For instance, you might purchase an ICO token on a website, which is running on a (1) server. The process of making the purchase is handled by this one server. No matter how fast the machine, the software to accept your funds can only accept one transaction at a time.
Second, a user must send their funds to the ICO website, where the funds are held in escrow. This period of holding and validating transactions can takes weeks, if not months, before the ICO tokens are distributed.
The problems with a centralized ICO are legion.
Sophisticated and wealthy bot programmers (often called “whales”) have an unfair ability to purchase the coin supply during the opening moments. Observe the histories of Decentraland and Binance for examples. In both cases, all the ICO tokens sold out in moments. As the demand for the products was highly likely to rise, the whales had merely to wait a few months, and then sell their tokens to the less wealthy and less technically savvy audience at a dramatically increased price.
The dICO process we developed at Komodo creates more opportunity for average investors. More in a moment.
We also can observe that after you make your traditional ICO purchase and your funds are sitting in escrow, it is extremely vulnerable to human foibles, such as theft, hacking, and human error. Furthermore, both your funds AND the ICO coin that you purchased are at risk.
A final problem to point out for now is that ICOs are traditionally 100% traceable, meaning that you cannot buy in private. We observe that as a species we have always had the right to shop and barter in private. It is only recently that the Internet of Information has suddenly made it seem commonplace for companies and other organizations to know everything about our purchasing habits. This is neither normal, nor healthy.
With these understandings, we can see that ICOs have many issues, and our dICO platform addresses them.
First, when a dICO is released, not all of the coins are located on one server. Instead, they are split up and scattered across as many nodes as the dICO administrator chooses (some can use upwards of ~100 separate servers). A whale trying to purchase all the supply would have to purchase everything at each server simultaneously – an extremely hard thing to do.
Secondly, in a dICO, the creator has the option to program the coins to release not all at once, but rather at a customized rate. For instance, 45% of the supply could be available immediately, then 15% releases a few days later, and so on until the entire supply is available. Now, a whale would have to continually compete for days on end to purchase the entire supply.
We believe our dICO process creates a more level playing field for all types of people.
The final points to address for now: dICO transactions in Komodo are instantaneous, and have the option of privacy.
You do not have to sit and wait for your money in escrow, vulnerable to all kinds of danger. The moment you purchase, the swap is made, and your coins come to your wallet. This provides a dramatically increased level of safety both to the dICO administrator and to their participants.
Using our privacy technology, users can perform all of these actions within their human-inherent right to barter in private.
Can I do a dICO?
Yes! You don't need our permission to create a new coin and release it on our decentralized exchange.
The only area where you might wish to ask us for a specific service is in security.
In a decentralized network, your blockchain product is only as secure as the hash power backing it up.
We have a subscription-based security service that can endow your blockchain with the hash rate of Bitcoin, for an affordable price. Reach out to our team if this interests you.
Will Komodo have a screening process for dICOs?
No. Anyone can utilize our open-source software and our decentralized exchange to create and distribute a blockchain product.
Many dICO creators and purchasers will also prefer to have an organization that aids in security standards, the identification processes, or even legal matters. These are existing business opportunities in the Komodo ecosystem.
How can a developer not allow citizens of a particular country (USA, China, Korea, etc.) to participate in their dICO launch if the dICO method is decentralized?
The Komodo platform enables the dICO administrators to conduct their dICO in a manner they see fit. This includes the option of avoiding onerous reporting requirements. It is their decision whether to exclude or include certain groups, and how to navigate any legal territory.
What do I have to do to receive the 5% APR reward built into the KMD blockchain?
You need to hold at least 10 KMD in your wallet address, and you need to move your funds at least once per year. The rest of the reward is automated.
Can I receive the automatic 5% APR reward when using a paper wallet?
Yes, your funds will continue generating interest for a period of at least one year upon being placed within a paper wallet. At the end of the year, simply move the funds from one paper wallet to another to continue generating interest.
Can I receive the automatic 5% APR reward when using a hardware wallet (such as Trezor)?
For a user to take advantage of the automatic 5% APR reward, their funds must be placed in a wallet that has the proper software features necessary to claim the reward during a transfer of funds.
No hardware-wallet developer of which we are aware has placed the proper code into their software that would enable users to claim their interest at the correct moment.
In theory, it is possible, but the technology does not yet exist.
What are a few ways that Komodo differs from projects like [insert another blockchain platform here]?
Komodo looks forward to competing with many of our sister blockchain platforms. Competition brings out the best in all of us.
We should first clarify an important detail about the common thread that binds us all together, before talking about how we differ.
Our real competition is not other cryptocurrencies. Rather, our actual competitor is Fiat currency and excessive centralization. We must work together as a cryptocurrency community to create a permanent place in our global economy.
With that in mind, we can look at a few examples of how Komodo separates itself from the rest of the industry. Two notable observations are our atomic-swap technology and our adoption of zero-knowledge privacy. These create a unique and powerful experience for members of the Komodo ecosystem.
Atomic swaps allow users to trade cryptocurrencies directly from one blockchain to another. No proxy tokens, centralized exchanges, escrow services, or other third parties are required. Atomic swaps make many other solutions to blockchain interoperability unnecessary.
Komodo is the leader in cross-chain atomic-swap technology. Our lead developer, JL777, performed his first manually created atomic swap in 2014 (over three years before another leading blockchain platform would publicize a similar accomplishment). From 2014 to 2017 we focused our energies on creating the technology necessary to make atomic swaps available to the public.
We released our atomic-swap powered, decentralized-exchange software for public testing in the first half of 2017. Our decentralized exchange is called, BarterDEX. It allows any user to perform atomic swaps as a means of trading cryptocurrencies. Over the course of 2017, public members of the Komodo ecosystem performed 15,000 atomic swaps. The adoption of our atomic-swap technology continues to increase.
Today, popular coins featured on our exchange include KMD, BTC, DASH, BCH, LTC, and many others, all of which are traded via atomic swaps. We also performed swaps with Ethereum and ERC20 tokens (which we call “etomic swaps,” as they do not meet a few atomic-swap standards) not long after the initial public release.
Furthermore, atomic swaps allow for Komodo’s innovation: the decentralized initial coin offering, or dICO, using native and independent blockchains. Developers can build an independent blockchain on the Komodo platform and use atomic swaps to release their product to the public through our decentralized exchange.
We know of no other blockchain platform that has as focused a background in atomic-swap technology.
We also offer zero-knowledge privacy to traders and dICO participants in our ecosystem. The KMD main chain began as a fork of Zcash (which is itself a fork of the Bitcoin protocol). A unique contribution that Zcash made to the Bitcoin protocol is the inclusion of zk-SNARK technology through their Zcash parameters.
zk-SNARK technology enables users to move their funds on a public blockchain while leaving no history for later data analysis. This provides users with the opportunity to break their trail of cryptocurrency, placing a layer of privacy over their transactions.
We customized our implementation of the Zcash parameters to function natively with the Komodo ecosystem. This allows users to use zero-knowledge privacy as a part of the trading process on BarterDEX.
Together, these two technologies serve as an example of how Komodo differentiates itself from other blockchain platforms. There are many other methods and technologies unique to the Komodo ecosystem. Other notable examples include our unique method of security, dPoW, which is thoroughly explained in our whitepaper. We also have an extremely active team and community of developers, which you can discover by joining our Slack channel and reaching out.
What are the primary differences between Ethereum and Komodo?
Blockchain projects built on the Komodo platform are fully independent. A developer building their product on the Komodo platform can leave Komodo and take their product with them, unlike an Ethereum-based ERC20 token.
Komodo also has native privacy features, allowing participants to support crowdfunds and other blockchain projects within their inherent right to barter in private.
Our decentralized exchange, BarterDEX, allows traders to trade cryptocurrencies through cross-chain atomic swaps. Traders can purchase not only coins built on the Komodo platform, but also many other compatible coins.
How scalable is Komodo?
Extremely scalable. In fact, our scalability is one of our competitive advantages in the blockchain sphere.
In the Komodo ecosystem, every blockchain product is independent. Transactions taken on one blockchain do not affect transactions taken on another. Furthermore, our decentralized exchange, BarterDEX, supports trading “clusters,” allowing high-traffic cross-chain trading to branch and scale on demand.
Komodo is built to easily support thousands of multiples beyond its current load. Contrast this to the Ethereum ecosystem, where the success of one ERC20 token, such as Cryptokitties, causes dramatic delays across all other projects.
What are Komodo’s plans for smart-contract technology?
Komodo’s deepest tech roots are built on the original Bitcoin protocol. This protocol included smart-contract technology at release (yr. 2009). The smart-contract features of the Bitcoin protocol are used extensively as a part of our decentralized exchange, BarterDEX.
The Bitcoin protocol’s smart-contract features are some of the most secure and battle-tested smart contracts in existence. However, they are not as user friendly as other smart-contract technologies, and they are also limited to only one programming language.
We intend to begin the creation of the Komodo smart-contract API later this year (2018).
Can you tell me about the notary node elections?
The notary-node elections are held periodically by stake-weighted vote. Keeping the vote tied to a stake-weighted system ensures that candidates cannot cheat through using false identities (often called a Sybil Attack). The manner and method of the stake-weighted vote is an evolving process.
In total, there are 64 notary-node positions available. Currently, 32 notary-node seats are up for election every 6 months. Once elected, a notary-node seat lasts for 12 months. Notary nodes mine on average 1500 KMD per month.
Any individual can stand for a notary node position. The minimum requirements are:
A highly competitive Internet connection
64 GB ram
A quad-core CPU
An ability and willingness to provision additional nodes
As more customers request the Komodo security services, you will be required to construct more nodes capable of performing notarizations.
- When necessary, the Komodo team can draw on a pool of funding to assist notary nodes in financing additional nodes.
Beyond the minimum requirements, those who intend to stand should know that being a notary node can be demanding technical work. Notary nodes should be familiar with network technology and should be able to maintain the notarization process, whenever necessary. They can also consider committing their time as a notary node to improve areas of the Komodo ecosystem, as a part of their candidacy.
How does Komodo intend to navigate the regulatory environment?
Komodo is a decentralized network. As such, users in one area may be under a legal obligation to obey regulatory rules in their local jurisdiction, whereas users in other areas may not have the same requirements.
We simply work together as a community to create the code for our ecosystem to function. Individual users are responsible for acting in accord with their own local regulations.
We also remind anyone looking at Komodo as an investment opportunity that Komodo is highly experimental in nature. All products are provided AS-IS. Use at your own risk.
Does your team plan on running this entity long term?
Our leader, jl777, is the founder of the Komodo project. He has a strong talent for blockchain technology, and could easily rest on other blockchain and financial accomplishments. The Komodo project grew out of a desire to create a better world using decentralization and open-source blockchain technology. Many developers on our team and in our community have similar stories.
When are we going to see Komodo on [insert any exchange here]?
Exchanges often rely on community interest before they list a currency on their exchange. If you'd like to see Komodo listed on a particular exchange, we encourage you to send them a message!
What will the price of Komodo be in [X amount of time]?
There's a lot of speculation in the crypto markets. Price does not always reflect true value in the short term, and your guess on the future value of a blockchain coin’s price is just as good as the guess of any other person.
We can say that we have a hard working team that is committed to the long-term goals of open-source philosophy, decentralization, and blockchain technology.
What’s your current roadmap?
The cryptocurrency industry moves quickly. We do have an internal roadmap, but we have yet to make that information public. Part of the reason why we do this is that if the landscape changes, we desire to be flexible in adapting as necessary. Furthermore, how long the creation of a new product will take is generally never certain until after the product is completed.
At the time of responding to this question (February 2018), we are focusing on polishing our decentralized exchange, formalizing and beginning the public dICO process, and preparing for our language-agnostic smart-contract enhancements. These elements will likely remain a focus throughout 2018.
When is the new website launching?
Towards the end of 2017 we brought on @agepante, who is now our creative director. We are thrilled to have his talent and expertise as a part of our team.
He is working on a complete overhaul of many visual elements of the Komodo brand. That version has yet to be seen by the public. Internally, we call it Komodo 2.0.
In the meantime, he is also leading the visual reform for temporary fixes to the Komodo brand. These fixes can be seen in various places around our online community. We call this version Komodo 1.5.
Fixes to the Komodo website are high on the priority list for both of these projects. We have several team members working diligently to improve both the content and presentation of our web presence.
How does the Komodo team envision the average user will interact with their ecosystem?
The Komodo Platform is the underlying technology and fuel that will run the ecosystem. By way of metaphor, let’s compare it to an operating system.
Ideally, a good operating system is ever present to support the user, but the actual interactions the user takes are typically with the software that runs on top of the operating system.
For Komodo, in the long-term we expect users to be interacting with the “software.” These are the dICO innovations that creators are already releasing on our platform (including the BitcoinHUSH project, for example).
As more and more blockchain “software” projects come online, we may also provide more of our own “software” blockchain projects where needed. This would be similar to the way different versions of Linux can come with sets of preinstalled software.
Komodo is targeted to the open-source and free-thinking entrepreneur community. We are working to empower creative individuals to build from their own imaginations, without being limited by ours. Therefore, the ultimate realization of the Komodo ecosystem is up to you.
Why did you choose to make KMD an optional element of the Komodo ecosystem?
We have learned through our lifetime of experience in the technology industry that walling people in so they must use a particular product does not produce a pleasant environment in the long run. In the short term, this can temporarily increase demand. However, many hardworking, creative, and intelligent people simply leave the ecosystem to find a freer environment.
Generally, throughout the Komodo team we are strong proponents of the Linux operating system, also called GNU/Linux. We believe in open-source philosophy and decentralization, and we bring this to our approach to blockchain technology.
What is the state of the Komodo marketing team?
Over the last several months we ramped up our marketing team. We now have several full-time and part-time marketing team members. They bring experience in marketing, social media, design, UX/UI, writing, content creation, video production, and more. We believe 2018 will be a productive year for Komodo’s marketing endeavors.
What are you doing to reach out to the Asian geographic area?
We currently have ambassadors for China and Korea. They have already held meetups, attended conferences, and translated materials into their respective languages.
We are also looking for more ambassadors in the Asian theater. If you believe you can assist in this endeavor, please reach out to our team directly.
What is Komodo’s opinion on the risks involved with the Zcash parameters? How does that relate to the Monero project’s ring-based mixing method?
To provide users with privacy, the Komodo coin (KMD) relies on the Zcash parameters, as put forth by the Zcash team.
The Zcash parameters are a “zero-knowledge” form of technology, also called “zk-SNARK.” This is a powerful form of privacy, and arguably superior to other forms as it is effectively permanent.
Relying on the Zcash parameters allows us to turn our creative resources to other blockchain-technology challenges, while still empowering members of the Komodo ecosystem with the option of privacy.
To create the Zcash parameters, the original Zcash developers had to create a series of keys that, when combined, created a master key that could unlock and lock the parameters. After using the master key to create the parameters, the team destroyed every individual key. The team conducted this endeavor in a public manner. We encourage interested readers to view the Zcash Ceremony explanation on YouTube, and to search for other viewpoints as well.
To briefly summarize the security measures, the Zcash team used several layers of protection including: multi-party computation, air-gapped compute nodes, hard-copy evidence trails, a uniquely crafted distribution of the Linux operating system, and the physical destruction of each piece of hardware that held an individual key. The resulting layers of defense would be of the highest level of difficulty for an outsider to penetrate. Furthermore, the method of creation and destruction ensured that the internal security of the project was faultless, so long as at least one member of the entire Zcash team was honest.
By our observation, the team performed this endeavor with sufficient competence and due diligence. Furthermore, given the nature of the project, the longstanding reputation of the Zcash developers, and the modus operandi of their lives’ work, we believe they were properly motivated to perform the creation and destruction in a capable and honest manner.
Nevertheless, there are privacy advocates in the cryptocurrency industry who maintain a degree of suspicion over any project that requires an element of human trust. This suspicion extends to the Zcash parameters. These observers continually scrutinize the Zcash project, searching for more and more processes by which the creation ceremony could have failed. Yet, while various theories have been put forth, no actual failure in the Zcash parameters has been discovered.
In adopting the Zcash parameters, we receive frequent questions regarding how they affect the Komodo coin. The answer is that the privacy in the Komodo ecosystem is effectively permanent, regardless of any potential fault by the Zcash team. Furthermore, we can adopt any updates the Zcash team releases to the parameters.
In the unlikely event that someone was able to retain a complete copy of the master key, the only power the holder would have, would be the ability to create new private money in our system. This holder could then trade that for transparent, spendable money. This could negatively impact the Komodo coin, and we would be required to adapt our platform. If a fault in the Zcash parameters were to be discovered, the Komodo team has various contingency methods at our disposal to remove the Zcash parameters and replace them with a new set of parameters.
Though in Komodo we do not see this as a realistic threat, we nevertheless include the information to provide complete transparency for any user who seeks to invest their resources in the Komodo project.
Having acknowledged this fact, we should also point out that there is no coin in existence that offers both 100% privacy and 0% human trust. Anyone who is telling you otherwise is misinformed.
Some cryptocurrencies support mixing as a part of the normal transaction process out of a desire to provide constant privacy. Varying methods for randomizing these transaction-mixing patterns exist among the many different brands. The most popular of these coins is Monero (for whom we have great respect).
There is a problem underlying these mixing patterns: regardless of the amount of mixing, people who use those cryptocurrencies leave a data trail in the public domain for computers to analyze later. As computer-processing power grows, transactions that were formerly private can become transparent once computer power surpasses the necessary threshold. Therefore, this method of privacy suffers from a lack of permanence.
You either have to place a small amount of trust in the initial developers to be honest (the Zcash route), or you have to take the mixing/tumbling/obfuscating route (such as Monero). Both paths have pros and cons.
And furthermore, if privacy is important to you, you should still be careful.
The former route (Zcash’s method) will always receive some skepticism, because there will always be people who choose to believe that the original creators may have hoodwinked their audience.
The latter route (Monero) will always suffer, because as anti-privacy computer endeavors continue to increase in processing power, they will find ever new ways of unraveling the pathway that those mixing methods take. Blockchain projects that take the latter route end up spending endless energy fighting this nameless pursuer, always unraveling their privacy.
By way of example of the struggles that Monero has faced, we point out that their previous privacy was compromised, which led to the creation of their current ring-based technology. This also has points of failure that might potentially be unravelled in the future, as computing power continues to increase.
There are some who are claiming that there is now a superior privacy solution, called zk-STARK technology. (Not Zcash’s zk-SNARK technology, with an “N,” but zk-STARK, with a “T.”) The claim that zk-STARK theoreticians are making is that they can essentially create 100% privacy while maintaining 0% human trust in the foundation of a blockchain. This might, just might, solve everything regarding both the Monero/Zcash differing routes. It’s an intriguing claim, and if true, would certainly be highly notable in the blockchain sphere. We are watching with interest.
We have no details of its viability yet, as no one but the theoreticians making the claim know what specifically they are claiming. They will have to release the math and code publicly, so that we can all agree that it would work, and then they will have to create the new parameters. Since everyone will know everything about how the zk-STARK initiation is performed (otherwise, how could anyone trust it?), every privacy-centric coin will have the option of attempting to implement their own versions of it.
Readers may note that because we are working with Zcash parameters, we are already operating with zk-SNARKs. These are in the same vein of mathematical theory as zk-STARKs. If the zk-STARK solution proves to be viable, then we will, like other privacy-centric projects, adapt our platform as necessary to keep up with the latest technology. In the meantime, we will simply keep our attention focused on building out the Komodo platform and ecosystem.
Will Komodo be Lightning Network compatible?
Our variation of Lightning Network technology, CHIPS, is in active development.
When finished, CHIPS will provide similar micropayment channels and features, comparable to Bitcoin’s proposed Lightning Network.
Is it possible to white label and customise Komodo's software on a per-coin or per-dICO basis?
All of our products are open-source. Therefore, anyone can already fork our software and adapt it for customized use. As the user base grows, we may also automate the creation of white-labeled software.
To whom do I turn for media inquiries?
Please reach out on our Slack channel to @n2okpride and @benohanlon, the head of our marketing team and the head of social-media, respectively.
Can I still swap BTCD for KMD?
No, the period for swaps lasted for over one year and ended in January of 2018. The BTCD chain is no longer usable nor reliable. We cannot entertain any further requests.