Crypto Wizards AMA with Pastel Network
Guests: Anthony and Jeff Emmanuel
Segment 1 : Introductory Questions
1. Could you please provide a quick introduction for the community?
So on my background, I studied math in college and have been working in the hedge fund business since 2008 doing fundamental and quantitative investing. I first discovered Bitcoin in 2013 and have been hooked ever since on cryptocurrencies and decentralized systems.
Pastel first began 3 years ago when I saw the potential of doing rare art on the blockchain, which I first heard about with a now forgotten project called Rare Pepe that was built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. Rare Pepe had a lot of problems though-- fees were way too high even then, and there were lots of aspects of the system that weren't decentralized, like not storing the image files in the chain and relying on a totally centralized website.
I thought there was a much better way to do this, and so we started the process of designing and building a purpose-built blockchain just for rare digital art, or NFTs as they are called today. We chose to build on a rock solid technical foundation: Zcash, which is built on top of the Bitcoin code base, and then taking the Masternode code from the DASH project. We built on top of this a powerful and flexible system of "tickets" for registering and trading NFTs using special coin transactions. We added to that our own storage layer for storing the image files and a lot of other cool technology that we will tell you about today.
2. Can you introduce the project Pastel Network, what are some of utlities of Pastel Network ? How do you think you stand out among the competitors if there are any?
There are also semi-centralized platforms in existence like Flow.
Then there are non-Ethereum based projects such as Flow. The issue with Flow is that it's also quite centralized, and also uses proof-of-stake which is significantly less secure and battle-tested than the proof-of-work used to secure the Pastel blockchain, which is based on Zcash's Equihash algorithm. Flow is also very corporate, with big partnerships with hollywood and music publishers.
What will happen if users post copyrighted materials? Will Flow stand up to its big corporate partners in the name of censorship resistance?
3. Can you share the achievements the team has made so far ? what are the major achievement target Pastel Network is yet to achieve . If possible also share your roadmap.
We have been working on the software since 2018. In that time, we have made a huge amount of progress in building out the back-end infrastructure of the project. We built on top of the Zcash code base and put in all the masternode logic from Dash, which was very difficult. Then we built our own generic ticketing system that is built directly on the blockchain by using special coin transactions. These tickets are used to control all aspects of NFT creation, trading, etc. on the Pastel Network.
more recently, we have brought in many more developers, and currently have over 15 full-time developers working on both backend and frontend
For backend, you can see our technical architecture diagram:
for the front-end work, you can see our latest UI flow diagram:
some UI mockups in progress:
You can also view our roadmap here on our Wiki
Also, if you want to track our development progress, the best way is to monitor our Github—everything we do is 100% open source, and is uploaded to Github the moment it is done. We aren’t waiting until the very end to reveal everything, you can see it happening day by day here: https://github.com/PastelNetwork
4. Which are the exchanges where $PSL is listed , which might be few of the exchanges we can expect it to list on?
So we are currently listed on Bitcoin.Com and you can acquire wPSL on Uniswap
Right now, it's just https://exchange.bitcoin.com/psl-to-usdt and https://info.uniswap.org/token/0XC775C0C30840CB9F51E21061B054EBF1A00ACC29
We are in process with several other exchanges
We have a number of exchanges that we are working on integration with inclduing GateIO, Kucoin, and HitBTC. Our large investor Innovating Capital has close relationships with Huobi and Binance and should be able to facilitate those down the road.
also, we will be releasing our website for WrappedPastel very soon, in the next day or so
5. Could you explain more about Wrapped Pastel and provide more information about it for our community? How is it different from $PSL
Wrapped Pastel (also referred to as "wPSL") is an Ethereum token based on the ERC-20 standard that is used as an equivalent to regular Pastel (PSL)-- buit it works in the existing Ethereum ecosystem. This allows it to be stored in wallets such as MetaMask, and also allows wPSL to be traded on Ethereum DEXs such as Uniswap.
wPSL doesn't exist in a vacuum-- each and every unit of wPSL in existence (currently, 250 million wPSL exist, which can always be verified by looking at the Wrapped Pastel contract on EtherScan.io: https://etherscan.io/token/0xc775c0c30840cb9f51e21061b054ebf1a00acc29) correponds on a one-to-one basis with a unit of PSL that has been set aside in the WrappedPastel PSL address (which can always be verified using the Pastel Network explorer page for the address: https://explorer.pastel.network/address/ptJEVxQJ9spxa2Hp9vWxiEf3EhAWvQ1hCaS). What this means in practice is that we can establish a clear link between wPSL and PSL, and in fact, that is the whole purpose of this website and service: to allow users to convert from the wPSL that they have purchased on Uniswap or other exchanges into "native" PSL coins that can be used to register or purchase NFTs on the Pastel Network.
after wPSL is converted into PSL, the smart contract that runs on the Ethereum blockchain that handles the conversion process will securely destroy this wPSL after the conversion, so that there is always exactly 1 wPSL for every 1 PSL contained in the WrappedPastel PSL address-- no more, no less. Thus, on balance, the total number of PSL + wPSL is preserved.
Yes, we are excited about wPSL, and particularly proud of our wrapping and unwrapping service, which we believe will be the best in the world (i.e., easiest, most user-friendly, fastest, etc.) for handling the wrapping/unwrapping process for an ERC-20 token.
YES. This was a major request from our community so we went back and found a clever way to implement this using a feature of Zcash (the encrypted memo field). Otherwise the site would have been release over a week ago.
In addition, we are going to get wPSL listed on some centralized exchanges so there will be direct PSL <-> wPSL trading pairs. This will further enhance liquidity
6.Whats the total supply of the $PSL ? Could you share a detailed tokenomics of supply distribution?Do you have a burn mechanism?
The total existing supply of coins is a bit over 11 billion, but the vast majority of these are locked up and subject to multi-year contractual restrictions on sale.
Maximum Supply: 21,000,000,000 PSL
Total Supply at Genesis: 10,750,192,399 PSL
Circulating Supply: 2,235,530,229 PSL
Reward / Block: 6,250 PSL
Reward Halving: 840,000 PSL / Block
Block Time: 2.5 Minutes / Block
so the true circulating supply is much less, 2.2 billion
Yes, it's actually a very key design feature of Pastel
every time a user buys or sells an NFT on Pastel, PSL is burned
equal to 3% of the total sale price— 2% of this is paid by the seller, and 1% by the buyer
and these PSL are sent to a provably unspendable address, thus reducing the amount of PSL
So if you imagine some big celebrities issuing charity NFTs on Pastel that sell for $1 million, that would mean $30,000 worth of PSL is burned every single time the NFT changes hands.
in the longer term, we believe that this burning will far outpace the modest coin inflation from mining (around 12.5% for this year) and actually make the supply trajectory highly deflationary.
Segment 2 : Twitter Questions
1.Q1(By @yoriLipB )
Pastel Network claims to be the future of finance, I've heard of many DeFi projects lately with the same goal, what does Pastel Network have different than them?
Hah, well we certainly never made this claim of being the "future of finance"
maybe the "future of art and collectibles"
But there is a good question hidden inside there: what makes us special?
the answer is that we are bringing truly innovative technology to this problem of making an ideal blockchain for art and collectibles. We are doing things, solving technical problems, that other projects aren't even considering or asking about.
For example, most NFT projects completely ignore the issue of storing image files.
They just outsource this problem to Google or Dropbox, or as they love to talk about "IPFS"
but if you do your own research on IPFS you will eventually discover that IPFS is horribly flawed for the NFT use case
There is no mechanism to incentivize users to maintain these files on IPFS
thos IPFS links are just as likely to go dead as old wikipedia reference links from 2011
We are the only NFT project to have our own totally integrated, totally decentralized storage layer based on super advanced technology such as RaptorQ fountain codes (you can read about our storage tech here— and note the date of the article— we aren't new to this problem, we have been doing this for a long time: https://jeffrey-emanuel.medium.com/fountain-blocks-a-simple-and-robust-decentralized-file-storage-system-9354770d9822 )
Also, we are the only NFT project to consider the rareness of actual pixel patterns in the images themselves. Not just taking a simple file hash of the image, which can change completely if you alter just one pixel barely.
You can read about our quantified measure of image rareness using robust image fingerprints on our wiki (it's the best source of information to learn about our project): http://pastel.wiki/en/home
If that weren't enough, we are also the project that cares the most about being TRULY DECENTRALIZED
whenever you do anything in the Pastel Network, you are NEVER relying on a single centralized web server or resource
If you see a "what's trending" list, or search or browse the NFTs available, or try to create an NFT or trade one, you aren't dealing with one server like all these other projects. You are dealing with a decentralized network of Supernode (also known as Masternodes).
The important thing is that ANYONE can create a Supernode themselves, they don’t need to ask permission from us. You just need to own 5 million PSL and know a bit about computers to set one up. We even provide super detailed instructions on our wiki on how to do this: http://pastel.wiki/e/en/home/how-to-start-mn
2.Q2 (By @BENSTOCk23)
Security is always most important for a users. Can you tell us about your platform security? Have you done any audit via any audit platform?
Our head developer has been working in the computer security industry for over 20 years, and has carefully reviewed every element of the system from a security standpoint.
He is a LEGEND
We don't take anything for granted— we never assume that users or Supernode operators will act honestly. We assume that they can be malicious and try to attack or disrupt the network.
Also, we very intentionally decided to build our project on the rock solid foundation of Zcash, which is of course directly built on the Bitcoin core codebase.
Most of the Pastel Network system sits at a higher level of abstraction, and the low level stuff is done using the same time-tested blockchain code that powers Bitcoin.
When the Pastel codebase settles down more, we do plan on spending the hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire the leading 3rd party security auditing firms to check everything.
But this is not a good use of funds at the moment when the code is in flux.
3.Q3 (By @mafssuu)
Is it necessary for artists to go through some kind of selection to be able to participate in the auction? Or any artist or owner of the works can freely access to your platform and be able to auction them without too much protocol?
ANY artist can freely access the platform. It is 100% permissionless.
Now, there are ‘selection criteria’ around the rarity of the art they might be trying to auction, but again this is NOT semi-permissioned or even manually curated. It’s totally programmatic, automated, and decentralized. As @doodlestone mentioned, you can read more about the duplicate detection and image rareness process here: http://pastel.wiki/en/home
There are a few fees involved. It's important to realize what the fees are for though: they are mostly to protect the network against DDOS attacks.
So to make an NFT or buy/sell an NFT, you must first register a PastelID on the network
this costs 1,000 PSL today, but this will adjust down in the future automatically (as will ALL fees on Pastel) based on increases in the mining difficulty.
Also, this 1,000 PSL fee is burned, it doesn't go to anyone
then, to create a Pastel NFT, there is a registration fee which depends on the size of the image file. Bigger images will cost more.
But the goal is for these fees to be very low, like $2 or $3 for a typical image size.
and again, we have designed the fees so that, even if the price of PSL goes up 100x, the fees will stay low.
because if the price of PSL goes up 100x, then the mining difficulty will also go up around this amount
which would cause the 1,000 PSL fee to register a PastelID to decline by a factor of 100, so the new fee would be just 10 PSL
Yes, compare this to the fees to mint new NFTs on ETH-based platforms, which are insane— they can be as much as $500
and it costs users something like $40 just to bid on an ETH-based NFT
in Pastel, the fees to trade NFTs will be much lower, and importantly, they will be PSL burned, thus making all remaining PSL more valuable.
4.Q4 (By user @alisa_crypto)
Investors always look at the long term about any project. What are the benefits for investors holding the token for the long term?Which does key advantages your project have in term of price stability, credible, mobility, liquidity, and technology?
Ans- Jeff E:
Look, the global contemporary art business is worth many billions of dollars a year. The global collectibles business is also huge.
If we can get any measure of market traction, Pastel could be worth a large amount— if it's the currency by which rare digital art is denominated, you can do the math.
Apart from that, long term hodlers of PSL will be the main beneficiaries of the constant coin burning we described above.
The best way to participate in the long term success of Pastel is to create your own Supernode
this will allow you to earn significant income in PSL terms (Supernodes are currently generating around over 70% annualized returns in PSL terms, although this will drop over time as more Supernodes are created and share a fixed pot of PSL rewards equal to 20% of the overall mining block rewards).
but more importantly, this will help power the network and actually store the images, do the image duplicate detection computations (these are very intense!), and register NFTs, as well as many other functions.
We currently have supernodes all over the world, but the more we can get, in more countries, operated by more people, the more robust, secure, and DECENTRALIZED the project will become!
(this image is from our new Pastel Explorer which will be released publicly shortly)
We are a long way from the 5,000+ Masternodes that DASH has, but we will get there.
5.Q5 ( By @IvanKosh2 )
Nft is a light bubble that will soon burst ,according to many crypto professionalists ,what is your opinion on this? Do you think NFT will sustain in long run as NFT craze is currently wearing off?
Ans- Jeff E:
There is definitely a bubble aspect to the current NFT craze. However, I think this is at the level of individual NFTs, not so much the platforms.
I think we had a brief period where people without much artistic talent or social media following could quickly make NFTs and sell them for thousands of dollars.
Unsurprisingly, the market saw a flood of new NFT product, and prices have plunged.
However, for artists of great ability with a big following, it's quite different.
Or if you are a celebrity or sports star making an NFT collectible, that's also very different.
So the bubble of untalented, no-name artists getting rich quick— that's over now, and that's a good thing for the space.
But in terms of the combined market caps of all NFT platforms— I think that number will be much higher in 3 years than now, at least in BTC terms.
And hopefully Pastel will be the biggest of them all :)
Segment 3: Live QnA
1. Do you have plans to partner or collaborate with other projects?
Ans-No, our philosophy is that ALL external dependencies are very bad for a cryptocurrency project and undermine security and decentralization. They make it harder to reason about the security of the system, and they cede control over the future direction of the project. For example, if we decided to use Arweave to store the image files for Pastel, how would that work exactly? Users couldn’t pay PSL anymore for that storage service. What happens if the Arweave price changes a lot? What if Arweave changes their protocol or API in a way that breaks Pastel? You can see that it’s far better to have everything integrated into a single project, under the control of a single development team.
2. How do you plan to show the world that your product is not just useless blockchain solution to a non-existing problem ?
Ans-When we release our NFT platform in month or so, artists from all over the world will be able to create and sell their works at low fees, and using an extremely user-friendly interface. We think that will change the way art is created and consumed. And even poor artists from low-income countries will be able to participate and earn money. This is surely not "useless".
3. Lots of projects have appeared and issued their own tokens or coins, but many projects failed to disappear (SCAM) because they could not develop their tokens or coins, how did your project achieve success and tell us that your project is not a SCAM project?
Ans-You can review our Github repositories and see that we are cranking out code every day. We are spending tens of thousands of dollars every week to pay a team of elite developers to hack on the project.
4. Transparency is the key. Tell us describely about your team members. How many team members do you have and how many developers are working for you?
Ans-We have over 15 full-time devs. You can see here:
5. How can digital art be valued in a manner similar to traditional art that is tangible when copies can be made or falsified so easily? What security software do they use and do I want to know if there is some punishment for those who falsify the arts?
Ans- Copes of Pastel NFTs cannot be made easily (they can be registered, but will be detected as near-duplicates and won’t be valued highly by the market because of this). Pastel is the ONLY project that offers this.