Opposing the Power of Lies, Bullshit and Fake News — Monero Community is Lying to You About Pirate Chain
Over the course of the last few months as Pirate garnered popularity in the crypto-sphere, we witnessed something incredible. The biggest faces aka. influencers of the projects such as Monero and others started spreading lies, misinformation, and even deceiving their followers for personal gain. It’s time to put all the FUD to the rest in this long thread, so be sure to grab a coffee and enjoy.
Pirate, Monero or any other privacy project should all be united in fighting the war on privacy together, but we can see again and again that as people’s beliefs start to crumble the fighting starts, but you know what they say:
“The dogs with the loudest bark are the ones that are most afraid.” — Norman Reedus
Same old FUD from Monero maxis live on Official Monero Twitter Spaces Broadcast
1. Justin Ehrenhofer (JEhrenhofer):
Pirate doesn’t provide the same level of privacy that you would get using Monero
The promoters don’t really seem to have a nuance conversation about the pros and cons
supply is concentrated in the hands of a few people
it’s tied to Komodo in the form of its consensus
refers to Pirate as an: “affinity scam”
2. Don Yakka (DonYakka):
piggyback of the Monero commnunity
stop tagging XMR
3. Dr. Trace (doctor_trace):
some of the Pirate developers have had controversies in the past
90% of supply already mined
Jeff Berwick and others started clubbing XMR & ARRR together
Pirate pays influencers to promote it
Most common FUD found on 4chan
This was also spread massively on Twitter by brainless Monero maxis as seen below:
And more copy/pasta
1. Is Monero really more private than Pirate?
It’s not, but read further :)
Zero-Knowledge Math > Obfuscation
Let’s imagine Alice sends Bob an XMR transaction. At first, they both had a lot of privacy. Alice’s operational security (OPSEC) is excellent, and she never uses that address for anything else. She contributes to the protection of her privacy. Bob, on the other hand, has terrible OPSEC. On every website, exchange, and illicit dark web market he utilizes, he uses the same address. One (or more) of these can collaborate to connect Bob’s details. They may be hacked for this information and forced to give it by law, or the corporations could decide to collaborate to decrease fraud costs.
Any privacy coin protocol, no matter how secure, would be harmed by Bob’s activities. The point is that it harms CryptoNote Protocol coins like Monero MUCH more than coins like Pirate, which use Zero-Knowledge Math rather than obfuscation.
Monero transactions, by default, disguise the actual money you’re spending behind ten other, unrelated coins owned by other Monero users. These are known as “mixins,” and XMR currently employs 11 of them.
As time passes, and Bob’s lousy OPSEC is used, and his friends’ OPSEC is used, and honest users make honest mistakes, Alice’s privacy is compromised. Most crucially, it is lowered as a result of others’ acts, over which she has no influence or ability to improve. There’s nothing Alice can do about it. It’s a numbers game; you’re hiding in a crowd, but it’s a small crowd. It also becomes smaller with time!
Pirate does not have this issue because it is built on Zero-Knowledge Math. The number of unspent shielded outputs at a block height is referred to as our “anonymity set.” Monero’s “anonymity set” is limited to the number of outputs in a transaction, which is a small number. The Pirate anonymity set is much larger and secures all transactions.
Regardless of how it is used, every single Pirate transaction has an encrypted data portion. This means that encrypted data could be present in every transaction. Only the sender and receiver are aware of this. This is a basic functionality that Monero lacks. In principle, Monero might alter and begin doing this. But the difficulty remains: it hasn’t been used in years of blockchain history, and it’s easy to discern if someone is using it now. It has to be enabled from the start, which Pirate has done.
There is no doubt that ARRR currently has no competition in terms of the size of its anonymity set. While Monero and Zcash are its closest competitors, the lack of privacy by default makes Zcash inferior to Pirate and the use of obfuscation instead of encryption make Monero inferior to Pirate as well.
What is anonymity set?
The anonymity set concept is actually quite simple, despite its complicated name. The anonset is the number of people Waldo is hiding amid if you’re playing “Where’s Waldo.” The greater the number of people, the less likely it is to pick at random and make the proper choice.
Anonymity sets are per transaction in privacy coins based on the CryptoNote Protocol, such as Monero and similar forks. Each transaction between Alice and Bob has its own unique ID; unlike Zcash Protocol coins, it is not network-wide.
Monero presently employs anonset sizes of 11 for all transactions, which are referred to as mixins. Larger quantities are used in some Monero forks, but they are modest numbers compared to network-wide anonsets in Zcash Protocol coins. Pirate currently has an anonset of about 540,000 (as of August 2021), which secures every shielded transaction. Check Pirate’s anonset here: https://anonset.dexstats.info/index.php
»The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.« — Stephen W. Hawking
2. Pirate uses Trusted Setup
This is one of the most common, but least understood FUD’s.
A set of public parameters is required in order to generate zk-SNARKs, the specific proof required for Pirate shielded transactions. In Pirate, generating these public parameters is known as the “trusted setup” because you have to trust the players involved in the process.
The process of generating the public parameters in Zcash was split between several people, each of whom generated a portion of the parameters during the Zcash Ceremony (Pirate uses the same ceremony). The public parameters were created by bringing these elements together and combining them. This technique also generates a by-product (dubbed “toxic waste”) that might hypothetically be used to disrupt the blockchain by manufacturing indistinguishable fake coins (the relationship between the public parameters and this toxic waste is similar to that between a public key and a private key). As a result, it’s critical that this hazardous trash be properly disposed of. There is no way to subvert the parameters as long as one of the people involved in generating them destroyed their piece of the “toxic waste”.
So to summarize, an elaborately secure and randomized process was undertaken to generate a set of parameters for use with zk-SNARKs. This multi-party computation involved 87 participants that had to generate data from multiple sources individually and separately all around the globe. All 87 participants would have had to be in cahoots prior to the process and store data from the ceremony to reproduce the parameters. The entire setup remains secure and irrefutable as long as there is 1 honest participant out of the 87. The parameter set has never been violated.
Let’s play devils advocate here and say that trusted setup were to be exploited in the future, what then?
The exploiter would be able to mint as many coins as he would want, BUT the privacy of ARRR would stay intact, not the same can be said if any of the XMR technologies were to fail, oh wait…you need to wait 20 minutes in between sending transactions in order for you to keep your privacy.
3. Supply is already 90% mined and centralized in the hands of a few people
Is a 4 year halving period, that BTC has, the proper halving period for a coin that started a decade later with a 10x faster block time? Crypto, when ARRR launched, is a completely different time period than when BTC was.
So does this FUD have any validity behind it? Pirate was the most profitable Equihash coin to mine for almost the entirety of its existence, it has been mined by quite a few miners, so it is actually a good thing that 90% was distributed out to so many miners in 3 years. Most of the miners were selling to pay for electric costs, which further helped distribution. It is hard to have a coin with a 25% inflation rate, being mined by PoW miners with large out-of-pocket costs, to maintain price level, and indeed ARRR was sold and sold and sold to where its price was pennies.
Monero was 37% mined in the first year… in 2014…. when NOBODY was mining (It’s already 98% mined today). How centrally distributed do you imagine this to be? I would say AT LEAST as “centrally distributed” as Pirate if not FAR MORE SO. Pirate was on WhatToMine before the first epoch, the pool operates dealt with hundreds of miners. Early XMR had a much higher “risk” of centrally mining the chain, than Pirate ever had, just look at the crypto community size in 2014 and its size in 2018. Another thing to add is that Pirate was FAR easier to mine as you didn’t have to use CLI to mine. The hurdles for mining Monero meant that likely, fewer people mined it FURTHER centralizing the initial supply.
The only reason people make a big deal about 90% already mined is that supposedly the early miners will be dumping, but that is provably wrong as there is not that much selling at all. From what can be observed, most of the selling is from current miners to pay for electricity plus a small amount from traders and people that need some liquidity immediately, tl;dr: this is provably a non-issue. Also, any miner that held onto the early mined ARRR through the 2 cents price for 2 years, I say congratulations. Such strong hands will not be selling much at current price levels.
I also don’t understand why people automatically assume that miners are genius hodlers with perfect foresight. Miners have costs, and they cover those costs by selling. If anything, people should be more concerned about how many hodlers a project has, not miners.
I also did an analysis of how many coins exchanged hands in the first 5 months of 2021 (this is 2 months old, but still very relevant). So the people that wanted to dump have dumped already. A portion of those coins were definitely the same coins being exchanged, but there is no way of knowing what that % is though.
People should also take into account the S2F model. Pirate will reach an infinite S2F ratio in 2044, while Monero has tail emissions, meaning an infinite supply, meaning it’ll never be more scarce than Pirate, making it highly undesirable for future investors.
4. Pirate pays influencers for exposure
Not much can be said here, Pirate has spent exactly $0 for such things. Just shows how far some people are willing to go to pump their own bags, it’s just disgusting. Pirate is a community run and funded project. There was no ICO, IEO, or presale. There is no dev reward/fee, so not exactly sure who would fund such things…There is no centralized funds to “pay influencers”. All efforts are community approved and raised directly from the community donations.
5. Pirate is an affinity scam and piggybacks of off Monero community
We are all in the privacy sector together. We need to piggyback from one another, that’s called healthy competition. Lots of Monero holders are Pirate ones as well and vice versa.
Don’t Put All your Eggs in One Basket
All this tribalism just illustrates the hypocrisy of crypto. Monero maxis hate BTC maxis for being closeminded. Yet they are closeminded to Pirate, but this seems to be the circle of life in crypto.
We can see that certain well respected Monero people have no common sense and blame Twitter algorithm problems on Pirate as well…
6. Pirate is less audited and has less developers than Monero
“Pirate Chain’s technology has previously been subjected to Zcash audits. We’ve all heard about misleading peer reviews and audits with hidden intentions in the scientific community. Just because a lot of you believe in peer reviews doesn’t mean they’re useful in the manner they’re supposed to be, because peer reviews simply mean a group of guys agree on something. It’s a naïve assumption that you can always rely on a third party to act honestly because they don’t have their own agenda. What makes you think you’d know that? You believe in peer review’s ability to communicate the truth when it favours your own point of view. When, in reality, you can only persuade people who wish to believe in authority’s power. Everyone else conducts their own research and has little faith in authorities.” — PFriggens
The latest bug in Monero’s decoy algorithm just shows us that no matter how many audits are made, bugs can still be present.
Firstly, Zero-Knowledge Proofs have been around for over 30 years. In 1993 the Godel prize for outstanding papers in theoretical science was awarded to the protocol paving the way for Zcash & Pirate 20 years later to start working on the blockchain equivalent. Monero uses Ring Signatures, a protocol developed nearly 16 years after the first zero knowledge proof studies and RingCT has not even been around for 5 years.
Secondly, Pirate is a feature complete protocol. It is done. Monero is constantly reconfiguring and manipulating their code to try for increased privacy, but as the power of computers grow, the obfuscation protocol of Monero will weaken, always requiring constant upgrades to the code and protocol, making it vulnerable to new possible devastating and protocol breaking bugs.
Lastly, Pirate & Zcash are intertwined, since they share so much of the same codebase, meaning they can both pull code improvements from each other, if they choose to do so. That makes the dev team of ARRR & ZEC comparable to Monero’s dev team.
7. Pirate uses dPoW for mining
If somebody brings this up then the person either doesn’t know how it works or is intentionally just stringing words together to suit their purpose.
Pirate is mined with proof of work (PoW). Period. Just like any other proof of work coin, miners get rewarded with newly minted coins. Pirate’s proof of work blockchain is independent of dPoW and will function just as well as any other proof of work coin without dPoW.
dPoW (delayed proof of work) is an additional security feature. Any blockchain can engage dPoW’s service from Komodo for additional security against 51% attacks. Here’s how dPoW works: Komodo’s blockchain and Litecoin’s blockchains allow for messages to be written to it. The notary nodes index the client’s (Pirate) blockchain every few minutes. The indexed blocks then get written into Komodo’s blockchain, and in turn, Komodo’s blockchain is indexed and written into Litcoin’s blockchain. Therefore, any attempt to perform a 51% attack and reverse Pirate’s blockchain would have to overcome Pirate’s hash rate + Komodo’s Hashrate + Litcoin’s hash rate to roll the blocks back.
A must read if you want to dive deeper:
tl;dr: Pirate does not rely on dPoW, if Komodo and dPoW were to go away tomorrow, Pirate would continue to operate normally, it would only lose that extra layer of protection against 51% attacks. So no, Pirate is in no shape or form tied to Komodo in terms of its consensus.
8. Pirate has not developed a single technological innovation
Rarely seen in crypto, Pirate’s product was technically complete at launch, i.e. the blockchain worked efficiently (as did Komodo’s, ZCash’s and Bitcoin’s) and the privacy protocol remains best in class to this day. Future technological innovation is not prerequisite for contemporary functionality.
Once again this FUDder’s is just fabricating falsehoods. Despite having no block mining rewards taxed for to go to the core team (as seen in other privacy projects), Pirate has released several products built in-house by community contributors:
(1) the world’s first z-z shielded-only mobile wallet
(2) integrated sapling before Zcash
(3) integrated viewing keys before Zcash
(4) a privacy-centric desktop operating system
(5) a merchant gateway designed for optimal client privacy
(6) and several more in active research and development.
Community run projects can really do wonders!
9. JL777 controversies & Komodo premine
JL has been nothing but an outstanding leader of the Komodo project and an advisor to Pirate. Komodo was launched with an ICO, by definition, a premine was required to perform the ICO. Not sure how we’ve come from Pirate FUD to Komodo FUD, but here we are…People have yet to provide any proof of JL having a controversial past, but hey, I guess Monero maxis should look at their own project first “cough cough” Former Monero Maintainer ‘Fluffypony’ Arrested and to Be Extradited for Non-Crypto Crimes, before FUDDING other projects. I always stick with “innocent until proven guilty”, but I just had to throw this in here.
The above just shows how some people are not interested in data & facts at all, but just make up stuff to pump their bags or have been misled by people that they trust and have not verified these claims on their own. I’d argue that this is just as bad as the first one.
ALWAYS stick with and follow this: “Don’t Trust, Verify”
Aaaaaand this is about it, hopefully I was able to educate some of y’all and have a good one!
Also be sure to follow me on Twitter if you haven’t done so already :)