To prv holders
Surveillance is nothing new. Information is power, so as long as there are some who desire power, there will be a threat to your privacy.
As technology advances, mass surveillance becomes increasingly easy, especially for governments and large corporations. Think of the Snowden PRISM leak or the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The US government has even been known to disguise surveillance drones (spying on its own citizens) as sea gulls.
Disclaimer: Birds are real, and so is surveillance.
And the US isn’t alone. Of the 47 countries surveyed by Privacy International including the UK, Singapore, and Australia, mass surveillance was found to have grown year-over-year in every single one.
Call it counter-surveillance, anti-oppression, or a privacy movement. No matter the name, the bottom line is, by using Incognito you’re a part of the fight to preserve the human right to privacy.
Building privacy by default
Regulators haven’t done much to protect privacy. In the US, the best we’ve got is CA Prop 24 and others like it, which allows you to opt out of data collection individually for every website you visit or online product you use.
It’s not enough.
We need privacy by default, for all of our online and financial activity. But you know that. You’re already here, so why am I rehashing the importance of privacy?
I’m glad you asked.
See, in January, traditional financial systems were turned upside down, and even more eyes turned to crypto.
r/WallStreetBets traders exploited an overshorted position on GameStop shares, pumping the price more than 1800% and wrecking some hedge funds.
The world took notice and criticized the manipulation of the market by institutions, calling for change.
Elon Musk (and others) joined the movement. He then added #Bitcoin to his Twitter bio, causing a $5,000 price spike in just 15 minutes, turning many of his followers on to cryptocurrency.
Reddit users then pumped Dogecoin, bringing even more eyes to crypto.
While government bodies don’t agree (even with themselves) on how to regulate crypto, they recognize that ignoring it is no longer an option. People are flocking to crypto at a rate that will only increase as time passes.
And though you already know that using blockchains without privacy leaves you vulnerable to attack, extortion, and worse, most people don’t.
We’re building privacy products together, but you’re the backbone of the privacy movement. No matter what tools we make available, people won’t be safe unless they know they have a way to protect themselves.
Spread the word
So while this letter is about the current and future state of Incognito, I wanted to begin by asking you to do the world a favor:
Share this letter or other Incognito resources, and spread the word that there’s an easy way to fight back against surveillance.
What we did
Now, let’s look at what we’ve been up to in January, and what’s coming in the months ahead:
By the numbers
Trading volume: +$44.5M
The largest increase we saw in January was trading volume, which more than doubled in a single month. $84.5 million dollars worth of crypto has been traded anonymously in the pDEX.
Daily trading volume is higher than it’s ever been, with recent weeks averaging between $1-2 million a day. People are demonstrating how important the ability to trade anonymously is, and we expect the rate of growth to continue going forward.
Shield volume: +$18M
The second-largest growth of January is another all-time high in shield volume. Up $18 million from last month, a total of $63 million worth of crypto has gone Incognito.
In just the past two months, pDEX liquidity has nearly doubled. Up $4.5 million from last month, pDEX liquidity is $29.5 million. Total liquidity, which takes the privacy Uniswap integration into account, exceeds $3.15 billion.
In February, we plan to increase liquidity even further by introducing incentives for new coins, to be announced soon.
Growth and Development
In January, our goal was to get closer to being the most-used privacy network. The plan was to focus on integrating Incognito with other projects, and increase shield and trading volume. As the numbers above show, Incognito had its strongest growth this month, and well exceeded our goals.
One other notable event in January was the end of the Builder Rewards Program. Thank you to all builders who participated! We’re redesigning Builder Rewards v2, please share your feedback with us about it!
Layer one is the blockchain layer. Our development here is about making Incognito the best foundation for privacy products to be built on.
We made progress on Privacy v2 by testing features that have been in development for some time. These include confidential assets and one-time addresses, features that will make Incognito even more private by hiding asset types and using proxy addresses.
We also finished testing on Portal v3, and reimagined Portal by removing custodians/liquidations with Portal v4.
Layer 2 is the privacy ecosystem, the collection of privacy-preserving products you can use in your everyday life. In January, we finished the App v4 proposal, and are ready to launch the Incognito web extension for developers to integrate into their apps.
We also made progress on the Ledger integration, which should be launched after Privacy v2 is complete.
What we’re doing
In February, we’re shifting our growth focus to the pDEX. We’re going to make the pDEX the most-used privacy DEX in the world. We’re also going to make Incognito more approachable by creating new resources so that it’s easier to understand.
To accomplish this, we’ll take multiple steps:
Increase liquidity by adding new coins to Provide
Get Incognito published by mainstream media twice
Employ a new SEO strategy to win top ranking in relevant keywords
We want to make the privacy tools available to you even better, and introduce new ones to meet your needs. Long-term, we’re aiming to make sure there isn’t an area of your online life lacking privacy.
Develop Web Extension 2.0, decentralizing shield/unshield
Implement privacy v2 for the SDK, mobile app, and web extension
Build Web pDEX v1 for online trading
Design Invest 2.0 for better liquidity incentive
Set specifications and goals for Incognito Pay
Build bridges to ZCoin, Beam, and Polkadot
Many of these efforts are outlined in the App v5 proposal.
The better the Incognito chain layer, the more people and products the network can handle. Since we’re welcoming the world to privacy by default, we’re strengthening the network at many points. Testing for many of these efforts concluded in January, and the launch processes can begin.
Deploy Privacy v2
Deploy BFT2 for round-robin proposal sequence on the mainnet
Integrate new full node on the app side
Implement the new staking/slashing code on the mainnet
Build the Network Monitor API
Finalize protocol design for Portal v4 and implement
Write Ledger integration protocols
Reduce the Ethereum bridge gas fees
Initiate a 3rd-party audit of the Ethereum contract
Perform quality assurance for all developments
What you’re doing
The builder ecosystem is the place where people like you join the effort to build privacy-preserving products on the Incognito blockchain.
Here are the projects currently active:
If I missed your project, leave me a comment below. If you haven’t built it yet, get started! A new Builder Rewards Program is in the works.
Thanks for being a part of the movement to fight against surveillance and protect privacy. That’s all for the updates this letter, but the discussion doesn’t end here.
Join us for the February PRV Holders Call this Friday to talk with us live about the state of the project and the state of privacy. We’ll talk about adding tokens to provide, Builder Rewards v2, Privacy v2, integrations, and more!
Don’t forget RSVP here so we save you a seat.
See you Friday!