Always on the hunt for interesting masternode projects, I recently sat down (digitally) with the @PhoreCrypto team to chat business strategy, disruption direction, and the future of the Phore masternode.
There is a lot of great insight in this interview, so please enjoy, digest and engage!
An Interview With Phore…
“Innovating DLT for real-world use with the vision of sustainable, decentralized commerce on a global scale.”
Explain Phore to me. What does Phore do? Who is Phore?
Phore is an ambitious Blockchain project with a native cryptocurrency called PHR. It offers a complete ecosystem of capabilities based on a Proof of Stake (PoS) network with fast transaction speeds that can be either private or transparent. Rewards are given to network participations through a system of Masternodes and Staking to ensure decentralization helping secure the network.
This year, the Phore Marketplace was launched, giving people who own PHR a place to buy and sell real-world goods, just like Amazon or eBay, but with zero fees. This gives the PHR currency a real-world use case. Through a partnership with Reddcoin, we will also add RDD to the Phore Marketplace giving buyers and sellers more options as to what cryptocurrency they may accept.
Another exciting partnership recently announced is with Unifox, who is adding PHR to their network of ATMs and Point of Sale (POS) terminals. UniFox is targeting to have 5000 ATMs and 50,000 POS terminals placed around the world by the year 2020.
“An entire ecosystem of software capabilities and decentralized applications (dApps), unlike most Blockchain projects, has launched or are currently in development. Decentralized Crowdfunding and Smart Contracts are our next big focus.”
We also offer Blockchain services to business clients looking to take advantage of what this technology can do for them.
The word “phore” is derived from the Greek -phoros. Is there a relation to the root word in the Phore rebrand from 2017? What’s the origin of the name?
In 2017, the team decided to update the foundational technology of the original project, KryptKoin, and rebrand the project to better align with our current goals. Research was conducted and the name “Phore” stood out. Phore means bearer or producer, and we thought it was fitting due to our ambitious goals.
So far, Phore has lived up to its name without fail. Our continuous outputs of both technical and corporate developments have exceeded our goals and we plan on continuing this trend. The name “Phore” fits us perfectly.
Phore was initially launched as a fork of PIVX, but it’s a different project now. What elements of PIVX have been kept? Eliminated? How is Phore differentiating itself from PIVX and other PIVX forks?
Phore evolved from a project named KryptKoin (KTK) that launched in 2014, as mentioned above.
There are some KryptKoin influences in Phore today, such as the Phore Marketplace and Proof of Stake network. KryptKoin had it’s own Marketplace and it’s own exchange that included a direct fiat gateway. In 2017, a decision was made to update and rebrand the KryptKoin project. The true nature of cryptocurrency is based on open source licensing beginning with Bitcoin, and the Phore developers chose PIVX as the best open source code base to build on that fit Phore’s new vision. Phore was launched in September 2017 with a 1:1 coin swap of KTK.
There are some similarities, and also several key differences between Phore’s vision and PIVX’s vision. Both projects consider privacy important, and as a result, Phore has kept zerocoin to provide strong anonymous transaction capabilities. Both projects currently use the same Proof of Stake 3.0 consensus protocol (originally implemented by Blackcoin). Both projects include support for masternodes, and have decentralized community governance over the development budget.
Phore is evaluating potential changes to our consensus protocol to better support our upcoming smart contracts sidechain features.
Phore’s overall vision is much more than privacy—we are focused on real-world use and adoption, which includes privacy and also delivering decentralized eCommerce and other decentralized applications and platforms to developers and end users. That is one reason why the Phore Marketplace launch was prioritized in our development roadmap. We will be continuing to add significant new functionality to the Marketplace including Decentralized Crowdfunding to help entrepreneurs launch new businesses and to provide a censorship-resistant, decentralized, low cost way that people can contribute to projects, artists, independent journalists, and other causes they believe in—anonymously using zerocoin (zPHR) transactions if they wish.
Phore does not market it’s primary use case as being a privacy coin, as PIVX does. Private, anonymous transactions are just one of many features that Phore is providing. PIVX puts a greater emphasis on privacy, and as one example of this, they recently implemented zPIV staking and changed their block reward structure to give greater rewards to zPIV staking than PIV staking. Phore made the decision not to implement zPHR staking at this time.
“Phore recently implemented SegWit into the core network which was a significant change to the code base that greatly differentiates itself from the PIVX code and sets a foundation for the implementation of Atomic Swaps, Smart Contracts and could even pave the way for Lightning Network capabilities.”
If everyone uses SegWit transactions, the maximum transactions per second of Phore would be up to 100% higher. However this is actually a side benefit—the primary reason Phore implemented SegWit was to increase security (eliminating transaction malleability), and simplify the work required to add sidechain support. We recently had a community governance vote to implement a more secure method for supporting simple payment verification (SPV) light node wallets, which will also include setting a minimum of 100 PHR for staking.
As PIVX originally forked and differentiated itself from Dash (which was itself a Bitcoin fork), Phore is heading in different directions. Over time, the two projects move farther apart. There have been several other forks of both PIVX and of Phore’s code base (e.g., Atheneum, Curium), and as time goes on, we expect there will be many more.
What are some common misconceptions about Phore that should be cleared up?
I’ve heard that some people think Phore is just a PIVX fork, but one only needs to compare the two projects roadmaps to see the differences.
Phore is focused on enabling blockchain technology for everyday use. This includes a focus on the Phore Marketplace, enabling easy access to PHR and retail POS enablment globally through our partnership with Unifox. As another example, the Phore Marketplace provides a place where people can buy and sell both physical and digital goods and services for Phore (and soon Reddcoin!). We have also built a robust public API to the Phore blockchain network using an RPC proxy interface running on the AWS cloud, which is also undergoing a significant scalability upgrade in preparation for the Marketplace’s full launch.
I’ve also heard some developers express skepticism that the Phore team can implement such an ambitious roadmap, particularly adding smart contracts to a PIVX code base.
To that I’d like to clarify that Phore has delivered on every milestone to date, and we are confident we will be able to deliver everything we’ve set out to do. As far as adding smart contracts goes, it’s important to note that this capability is being added as a sidechain to the Phore blockchain. This allows users who want a fast, secure transactional blockchain to continue to use the Phore main blockchain, without any impact from what goes on with the smart contracts sidechain. Users who want to use smart contracts can move Phore to that blockchain, and if that is all they want to do, they can leave their Phore there forever, almost as if it was the only Phore blockchain. This sidechain architecture provides tremendous flexibility, and allows each sidechain to be optimized for its own use case. It also allows users to opt in or to ignore sidechains completely, depending on how they want to use Phore.
Phore is a very unique project with a strong team and a mission of growing secure, efficient, low cost decentralized eCommerce globally.
Often Phore is referred to as a privacy coin, but I understand that you’re actually focused elsewhere. What’s the focus for Phore right now?
It is true that Phore has a privacy option but we are not focused on promoting Phore as just a “privacy” coin.
Privacy is offered as an option, giving users more flexibility in how they transact with PHR. We are focused on further development and improvement of the core network, as was just seen with the implementation of SegWit. Phore is continuing to develop the Phore Marketplace and with Q2 wrapped up, we are focused on the implementation of decentralized crowdfunding and smart contracts. In addition to pursuing additional exchange listings, we are also actively pursuing mutually beneficial partnerships, such as those recently announced with Reddcoin and UniFox, that help Phore follow its vision.
Beyond being a currency, once Phore realizes it’s current vision, what will the use-cases be? What industries do you expect Phore to most disrupt?
Phore is focused on real-world use for everyday people. We also seek to empower people disadvantaged by today’s financial systems. Phore currently has a use case with the Marketplace that will compete with the likes of Amazon and eBay. The Marketplace will also offer more flexibility than traditional ecommerce outlets with our plans to implement decentralized crowdfunding to help people bring their business ideas and creative tallents to market, as well as other capabilities not yet announced.
Through partnerships, the Phore Marketplace will be part of a pilot program to bring ecommerce to third world countries that has the potential to change millions of lives of people who are unserved, or underserved by lack of banking services or corrupt government systems.
Phore will also be used in general retail and business environments. Phore will be used just like any other legitimate fiat currency today.
“With the implementation of smart contracts, the possibilities are endless as to what applications can be applied and what industries will be disrupted. Smart Contracts will allow agreements between two individuals to be executed without a third-party mediator. This will increase speed, lower costs and has the the potential to change the way all business is conducted.”
What sorts of demographics best fit the Phore philosophy, mission, and vision? Who is your target audience?
Phore’s mission is to establish, strengthen and grow free-to-low cost commerce that is sustainable and decentralized.
We are going after retailers and wholesalers who want to lower their cost and increase speeds of processing transactions, people who want to start businesses but find the barrier to entry too high, and emerging markets that are un-served or underserved by the current financial and banking system.
We are looking to serve everyday consumers, as well as consumers who have little to no access to ecommerce today. The specific demographic is fairly large with these goals in mind, however, younger, more tech savvy people are more likely to adopt new technology in general, and we see this group being the first adopters who will help bring our technology to mass market adoption.
Who is Phore’s biggest competition? Who is Phore’s biggest ally?
There are many projects that have overlapping goals or roadmap items with Phore, but very few if any that are what we would consider a direct competitor.
“If you look at our zerocoin privacy technology, then PIVX, Monero, or Zcash could be considered competitors—but none of them are developing sidechains, and none are delivering a decentralized marketplace. Several projects have or are developing marketplaces, such as Syscoin, OpenBazaar, and Particl, but none of them are adding full Turing-complete smart contract capabilities.”
Another factor is that Phore is actively pursuing mutually beneficial partnerships with other cryptocurrencies and related projects, as has already been announced for Reddcoin and Unifox.
Phore also recently joined the Proof of Stake Development Alliance to collaborate and share ideas and research along with several other cryptocurrency projects. We would even consider projects that fork Phore as potential allies, since we share similar codebases and can therefore help each other when we find bug fixes, discover security vulnerabilities, or add useful new features.
In terms of a fiduciary duty to care for investor funds (good governance), where is Phore’s focus right now? What’s getting spend in this down time in preparation for future growth?
Phore follows a community governance model that includes Masternode owners.
Masternode owners have a vested interest, by owning a certain amount of Phore, in the success of the Phore project. Each month, a budget proposal is put in front of the Masternode owners to approve or reject. In addition to the budget, any Masternode owner may put a proposal, for anything, in front of the Masternode owners to vote for. We follow this model strictly, and encourage every Masternode owner to participate in monthly votes. We require a certain percentage of owners to vote for the monthly proposals to be considered valid.
In terms of our fiduciary duty to investors, we strive to over deliver on the development, operational and marketing efforts of our staff. We take our plans very seriously and the leadership team speaks every day with each other, staff and our community. We are focused, engaged and dedicated to the success, and advancement of the project.
It’s true, we are in a bear market that is down right now, however, we do not consider this, or anytime, “down time”, as in “taking a rest” for the Phore team. We have, and always will, push forword regardless of market conditions. Since our budget is funded with PHR, when the price is lower, we do have less value, when compared to fiat like USD, to spend on our operations.
We have been maximizing what we have, doing the best we can to deliver on our promises, and we take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way to advance the project.
How is Phore focused on fair distribution, decentralized coin supply, and protecting investors through good governance?
The Phore network has a balanced algorithm and block reward structure that distributes Masternode and Staking rewards between all network participants, as well as reduces the block rewards paid out over time. In addition, a small amount of Phore is burned with each transaction.
Not only that, but, each month, budget proposals, technology ideas, development plans and other proposals are put up for a vote to Masternode owners. Anyone who owns a Masternode can introduce a proposal and put it up for a vote each month.
According to the Phore Block Explorer, the Top 10 wallets own 16.66% of Phore. The top 100 own 37.76%. (source: https://chainz.cryptoid.info/phr/#!rich). There are currently about 573 Masternodes on 524 servers in 28 countries (source: https://chainz.cryptoid.info/phr/masternodes.dws) The network is growing, but I don’t currently have the month-to-month stats on this. We hit 500 Masternode owners in February 2018, so we have added about 73 new Masternodes in the past 6 months.
I think it is growing, despite the down market, due to the integrity of the Phore Blockchain project, staff, and our ability to deliver on major development milestones on time. I also believe that people are seeing the potential for passive income streams through Masternode ownership, and, as they evaluate projects, Phore stands out as a solid investment.
Developers are key to every cryptocurrency project, and i see many underpaid for their efforts. What’s up with the Phore devs? Are they happy? Is the dev team growing? Are they compensated at industry standard levels, or better?
The Phore developers are key to the projects success, and quite frankly, there is a shortage of qualified candidates with real blockchain experience in the market at the moment. On top of that, the Phore team works remotely (we are all over the world), and candidates are required to be self-motivated, driven, and excel in this virtual environment. We pay competitive rates for our developers, and I don’t think anyone feels that they are underpaid.
In terms of moral, the Phore developers share a certain comradary and sense of working towards a specific set of shared goals. The Phore developers are very dedicated to the project, and I don’t think they would not be if they weren’t happy.
What makes Phore special, different, unique?
There are several things that make Phore different. Some projects have a marketplace, some projects focus on privacy, and some on their ICOs. Phore has a lot going for it in terms of it’s vision and development plans. There are very few projects that include everything Phore is aiming to accomplish. Here are some things that set us a part:
- No Initial Coin Offering (ICO), or Premine. Phore is self-funded and sustainable.
- Phore was the first, and is still currently the only, Proof of Stake network with Masternodes to integrate SegWit.
- Phore plans to revolutionize Masternodes by having them enable Smart Contracts. This is something that has never been done before, nor has Masternode technology been upgraded since Dash launched in 2014.
- Focused on real-world use and adption through projects like the Phore Marketplace and key partnerships such as the Reddcoin and UniFox agreements.
- In addition to developing the Phore platform with capabilties such as Atomic Swaps and Smart Contracts, Phore also offers B2B blockchain services to organizations interested in leveraging distributed ledger technology for their organizations.
Phore is still a young project, having launched in September, 2017. Being under a year old, Phore has accomplished quite a bit. We just released our Q2 Development Report, and we invite you to see what we have done. You can find it here: https://medium.com/@phoreblockchain/phore-blockchain-second-quarter-2018-development-recap-d41fe08b437c
How is Phore realizing and/or furthering Satoshi Nakomoto’s work and vision?
Satoshi Nakomoto, the famous, yet unknown creator of Bitcoin, developed the digital currency at a time when the world was faced with a serious finanical crises. The financial crises largely stemmed from greed and politics, and he had the idea to give financial power to the people, instead of them relying on governments to determine their fate.
Phore agrees with this fundamental belief, to enable everyday people to be more in control of their finanical futures. In addition to Phore being a digital currency, owned, and governed by the people, we are focused on bringing the technology to everyone, through the enablement of free, or low cost ecommerce with the marketplace, and enabling access to, and acceptance of the Phore cryptocurrency, PHR, at ATMs and retail point of sale (POS) terminals throughout the world.
In addition, Phore has a soon to be announced partnership that will bring PHR, and the Phore Marketplace, to developing nations that are currently unserved or severely underserved with finance and banking solutions. We recognize that over 2 billion people on this planet are currently not a part of the global economy, and believe this technology not only will drastically improve their lives, but enrich the lives of everyone. Our plans align perfectly with Satoshi’s vision, and are very passionate about it.
Complete this sentence: Phore is the future of ________. Explain why.
Phore is the future of private, decentralized eCommerce.
Our mission at Phore is focused on mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency, and everything we are building supports that mission.
“The Phore blockchain ecosystem will include not only the main blockchain with fast, secure, and private transactions, but also will have multiple sidechains in an integrated platform, each of which will be optimized for its specific purpose.”
Smart contracts is the first of these, which will allow Phore users to move their coins from the main blockchain to the smart contracts blockchain, run their choice of DApps there (or even launch their own blockchain token!), and later move their Phore back to the main blockchain, or interact with other Phore blockchains.
Phore goes further than this, building decentralized applications to support eCommerce in a variety of forms. The Phore Marketplace is already live in beta on the Phore mainnet, and create your own store and buy and sell goods and services for Phore there right now. We will soon be adding decentralized crowdfunding to allow people to raise funds for projects and causes without needing the permission of a centralized platform, and allowing people to contribute to those projects and causes anonymously if they choose. By keeping as much as possible of our technology and applications decentralized, we bring incredible efficiency and greater privacy to the user experience—information is only shared between the people conducting business, with no requirement to have your personal data aggregated centrally. This means there is no central database to be hacked or turned over to advertisers or governments—you keep full control over your personal data and who you share it with.
What does Phore look like in 5 years?
Phore will be used across businesses, industries and among everyday people for peer-to-peer transactions, and in various countries and different financial situations. Phore will be easy for everyday people to hold, stake, use and transact with.
The Phore Marketplace will be actively competing with the likes of Amazon and eBay with thousands of vendors selling their goods for PHR, and other other currencies. Smart contracts will be used to enforce agreements, enable new projects and a wide variety decentralized applications will enable many financial and business uses.
“Phore is today, and will continue to be, viewed as a thought leader in the industry by introducing new technologies and applications.”
Phore will continue to provide seed money, through Phore Labs, to fund budding new technologies and projects, advancing the industry as a whole. Phore’s philanthropic activities are underway, through Phore Scholoarships, helping to fund young people interested in careers in distributed ledger technology, gaining the education to follow their dreams.
All of the above is being played out as we speak in Phore’s relatively young age. Phore will turn 1 in the month of September this year, and we are well on our way to achieving this 5 year vision. Phore’s story is still unfolding and the future is very promising.
With marketing, a basic foundation has been put into place that has positioned Phore to stand out from the slew of other projects out there. One of our challenges with marketing has been our relatively small budget compared to other projects that have had ICOs or Premines. As a result of this, we aggressively pursue efforts that give us the biggest bang for our buck, as well as strategic guerrilla tactics.