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Firo (cryptocurrency)

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Firo
Firo-logo.svg
Firo official logo
Ticker symbolFIRO
Development
Original author(s)Poramin Insom
Reuben Yap[4]
White paperEnabling Untraceable Anonymous Payments in the Lelantus Protocol
Initial release0.1[1] / 28 September 2016; 4 years ago (2016-09-28)
Latest release0.14.7.0[2] / 10 June 2021; 13 days ago (2021-06-10)[2]
Code repositoryhttps://github.com/firoorg/firo/releases[8]
Development statusActive
Written inJavaScript, C, Python, Go, C++[3]
Developer(s)Poramin Insom[5]
Peter Shugalev
Andrey Bezrukov
Panu Suksumonsin
Rustam Abrahamyan
Sproxet
Aram Jivanyan (Research)[6]
Dr. Aaron Feickert (Research)
Tigran Mamikonyan (Research)[7]
Source modelBitcoin codebase[9]
Websitehttps://firo.org/[8]
Ledger
Timestamping schemeProof-of-work
Hash functionMerkle Tree Proof[10]
Block reward12. 5 FIRO per block (next halving September 2024)[8]
Block time5 minutes[11]
Block explorerhttps://explorer.firo.org/[8]

Firo, formerly known as Zcoin, is a cryptocurrency aimed at using cryptography to provide better privacy for its users compared to other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

History[edit]

Zcoin[edit]

Creation[edit]

In the late 2014, Poramin Insom, a student in Masters in Security Informatics from Johns Hopkins University wrote a paper on implementing the zerocoin protocol into a cryptocurrency with Matthew Green as faculty member.[12][5] The project to create a standalone cryptocurrency implementing the Zerocoin protocol was named "Moneta".[13][14]

On 28 September 2016, Zcoin, the first cryptocurrency to implement the zerocoin protocol, was launched by Poramin Insom and team.[5][15] Roger Ver was the initial investor.[5]

2017-2018[edit]

On 20 February 2017, a malicious coding attack on Zerocoin protocol created 370,000 fake tokens which perpetrators sold for over 400 Bitcoins ($440,000). Zcoin team announced that a single-symbol error in a piece of code "allowed an attacker to create Zerocoin spend transactions without a corresponding mint".[16] Unlike Ethereum during the DAO event, developers have opted not to destroy any coins or attempt to reverse what happened with the newly generated ones.[17]

In September 2017, Poramin set up an exchange named "Satang Pro" that can convert Thai Baht to Zcoin directly.[5][18]

In April 2018, a cryptographic flaw was found in the Zerocoin protocol which allowed attackers to steal, destroy, and create Zcoins.[19] The Zcoin cryptocurrency team while acknowledging the flaw, stated the high difficulty in performing such attacks and the low probability of giving economic benefit to the attacker.[20]

In June 2018, Cookly, Thailand based cooking classes and culinary experiences platform raised series A funding through Zcoin. The company also planned to use Zcoin technology to facilitate its transactions. [21]

In August 2018, Boozeat, a liqour delivery service in Malaysia accepted Zcoin as a payment method.[22]

In September 2018, Zcoin introduced the Dandelion protocol that hides the origin IP address of a sender without using The Onion Router (Tor) or Virtual Private Network (VPN).[23][24]

In November 2018, Zcoin conducted the world's first large-scale party elections for Thailand Democrat Party using blockchain instead of relying the election commission to count the votes.[25][26]

In December 2018, Zcoin implemented Merkle tree proof, a mining algorithm that deters the usage of Application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) in mining coins by being more memory intensive for the miners. This allows ordinary users to use central processing unit (CPU) and graphics card for mining, so as to enable egalitarianism in coin mining.[10] In the same month, Zcoin released an academic paper proposing the Lelantus protocol that remove the need of trusted setup and hides the origin and the amount of coins in a transaction. The paper was revised in November 2020 to incorporate new changes to the protocol.[27]

2019-2020[edit]

In February 2019, Zcoin was added to wallet supported by Binance cryptocurrency exchange.[28] In the same month, Zcoin partnered with Binance Charity Foundation to raise funds for "Lunch for Children" program in Africa. The charity used blockchain to track and verify the progress of funds from donor to receiver.[29] On 25 April 2019, Zcoin was listed on Indonesian digital exchange KoinX. [30]

On 30 July 2019, Zcoin formally departed from the zerocoin protocol by adopting a new protocol called "Sigma" that prevents counterfeit privacy coins from inflating coin supply. This is achieved by removing a feature called "trusted setup" from the zerocoin protocol.[31] In August 2019, Zcoin was added to an African cryptocurrency exchange named OVEX.[32] In December 2019, Zcoin introduced a decentralised crowdfunding and decision making system to fund ancillary tasks for the project.[33]

In January 2020, Zcoin will implement Receiver Address Privacy (RAP) so that users can share a single permanent address to the public to receive money without the outsiders knowing any transaction history in the address.[34] In May 2020, Zcoin announced that all founder rewards will be ceased, while at the same time increase development funding to 15% of the block reward, and allocated 35% of the block reward to masternodes. Besides, a US$100,000 reserve fund was set up to protect against price volatility.[35] In September 2020, Zcoin completed first halving of block rewards.[36] In the same month, Zcoin was added to Stakehound for easy accessibility to Decentralized finance (DeFi) while earning staking rewards. [37]

Firo[edit]

In October 2020, Zcoin announced rebranding to new name called "Firo" which signifies a unique way of burn (destroy) and redeem coins.[38] Firo suffered 51% attack in January 2021.[39] Firo has since implemented ChainLocks on Firo's blockchain which should make it nearly completely resistant to 51% attacks.[40] In June 2021, Firo was added to NOBI trading platform based in Indonesia.[41] Firo implemented Receiver Address Privacy (RAP) in June 2021. [42]

Design[edit]

Firo Core wallet GUI 0.14.6.0 on Windows 10.

Zero-knowledge proofs[edit]

Firo initially implemented the Zerocoin protocol. Unlike bitcoin, money does not travel from one block to another. Instead, it is traded as Zerocoin and redeem for a new coin without any history of transaction. However, the disadvantage of this system is that the transaction amount cannot be hidden.[15] There had been little research interest into Zerocoin protocol because of its similarity to Zerocash protocol.[43] Therefore, Firo implemented a new transaction system called Sigma protocol on 30 July 2019 that replaced the previous Zerocoin protocol. Thus, the trusted setup was removed and proof size was reduced from 25kB to 1.5kB. Besides, Firo also developed the Lelantus protocol by improving upon the Sigma protocol.[44]

Firo had 5500 masternodes as of August 2019.[44]

Dandelion++ protocol[edit]

Firo implemented the Dandelion++ protocol in 2018. It is a protocol that helps to increase the anonymity of a sender during the dissemination of a transaction. There are two phases in the Dandelion protocol: stem phase and fluff phase. In the stem phase, a message is forwarded to a single, randomly chosen neighbour. Then, in the fluff phase, the message is broadcast to all the neighbours except forwarder of the message. Dandelion ++ is an improved version of the Dandelion protocol where the problem of transactions lost due to defective or malicious nodes is avoided by broadcasting the message if a node does not receive the message after a certain period of time in the fluff phase.[45] These steps shuffles the IP addresses of the nodes to help to protect users' anonymity.[46]

Receiver Address Privacy (RAP)[edit]

In June 2021,[42] Firo introduced Receiver Address Privacy (RAP) addresses, an adaptation of BIP47. [34] RAP allows users to be able to publicly post their wallet addresses without having to worry about privacy. In the past, wallet users had to create and share freshly generated addresses to attempt to maintain their privacy.[34]

Mining[edit]

Firo implemented the MTP algorithm in December 2018. In July 2019, Firo improved its MTP verification speed by 30%.[44] Using video cards, mining Firo can be more profitable than mining ethereum. [47] Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is able to churn out 6 to 6.5 Mhash/s of hash rate, earning about US$ 5 dollars per day. Meanwhile GeForce RTX 3080 is only able to churn out 5. 3 Mhash/s on this cryptocurrency.[48]

Regulatory responses[edit]

In February 2021, Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) mooted an idea of banning privacy coins from exchanges. Poramin Insom argued that such ban lacks rationale and clarity because all crytocurrencies including bitcoin have some privacy features in it. Besides, exchanges can easily track customers' details by using Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-money laundering (AML) procedures. [49]

Price and volatility[edit]

In October 2018, Firo was ranked top 25, with fully diluted market capitalisation of US$ 194,506,940 dollars. [50] In February 2020, Firo price dropped to US$3 to US$5 dollars per coin. [51]

Analysis[edit]

According to researchers from Technical University of Denmark, Sigma and Lelantus protocols both contributed to the area of specialised trustless zero-knowledge proofs but seldom offered strong anonymity guarantees when compared to ZK-SNArK because of performance limitations. However, ZK-SNArK-like proof is complicated and research into simpler zero-knowledge protocols can provide practical and anonymous payments in the future.[43] Lelantus was also implemented into the Mimble Wimble protocol to produce a new protocol named Oscausi.[52] A cryptographic audit was done in September 2020. According to the audit, Lelantus protocol offers good privacy without trusted setup and reasonable proving time within 2 seconds and anonymity set size of 216.[53] Hierarchical One-out-of-Many Proofs, the underlying building block for the Lelantus protocol, was adapted for use in Triptych protocol by the Monero cryptocurrency.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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