Tai Zen: What’s up guys. This is Tai Zen. Welcome back to this video series. Today, we have some very special guests with us and we’ll be talking about the Particl cryptocurrency project.
We have the honorable grandmaster, legendary LeonFu.com. In the studio, we also have Michael Spruill, who is one of the advisors to the Particl project. He’s a longtime veteran cryptocurrency investor as well. Say, Hello Michael
Tai Zen: Joining us live from South Africa, we have Rhino Mattei. He is the lead core developer for the Particl project says hello Rhino.
Tai Zen: Joining us also from the city of Columbus, Ohio, which is located in the Northern part of the United States of America, we have Paul Schmitzer. He is the communications manager for the Particl project. Say hello Paul.
Tai Zen: In part 1, we talked about the background of the Particl cryptocurrency project. In part 2, we talked about the technology behind Particl and the necessity for it. In part 3, we talked about the value of the project and Michael gave us his projected valuation of the Particl project.
In this part right here, we want to talk about the Particl community. Do you want to mention real quick about what Charles Hoskinson…
Leon Fu: That’s right. The reason we decided the topic of this part is he said us something that we think it is a major principle here at cryptocurrency.market.
He said that all the value was in the community, not in the technology. It is the people that give it value, not the tech marketplace. I mean those are all the reasons, but it’s your community that you build using that. Therefore, we want to go over a little bit about like who’s involved here.
Tai Zen: The community means the developers, the engineers, the users, the merchants, even the people like us who just talk about it.
Let’s go through this real quick. Let’s start with the Particl technical team. Rhino, you are taking charge of this and explain to us who’s on your team, why are they qualified to work on the Particl project, how you found them, what their experience is and what they’re going to be doing for Particl.
Rhino: As the lead developer in the Particl, I’ve been in this fin tech industry for 10 years. I started working with cryptocurrency since 2013 and my previous projects experience in cryptocurrencies.
Technovert works on He also has 10-years experience in fin tech and I’ve known him since we were in school. He got some skills.
Tai Zen: Did you go to school with Technovert?
Rhino: No. I just meet him. We studied in different schools.
Tai Zen: Is he from South Africa also?
Rhino: Yeah. Yeah.
Tai Zen: Does he just choose to remain anonymous on the team?
Tai Zen: Have you met him in person?
Rhino: Yeah. I guess he doesn’t want to be socially connected with anyone.
Tai Zen: Okay. We understand that. This is a privacy coin project so we can understand that someone wants to protect their privacy rights. What about Ido Kaiser?
Rhino: He’s a student at the moment. He has a programming background. He’s done quite a lot of commits to us. He came out of the community. He’s done much work as everyone has done. He is probably the most active out of the stage and running a lot of the community at this stage. Therefore, he became a full-time member.
The last one is Shazzy. He’s been advising us of many projects since the end of 2014. After the stealth address, he added many inputs and we had loads of discussions on the actual anonymity, privacy, and hospital attacks.
He’s got lots of experience from different projects that he’s worked on and used that experience to help the team. He is there every day, putting in hours helping us with testing and doing research on whatever else is being worked on. He’s an awesome guy to work with.
Tai Zen: Would it be safe to say that you’ve had more than a year of experience working with these guys?
Rhino: I’ve worked with kewda (Ido Kaiser) about 1,5 year, but the rest of the team is since 2014.
Tai Zen: Okay. Let’s go to the Particl business and marketing team. Do you want to cover this real quick Paul by starting with yourself?
Paul: Sure. In this Particl project, I’m the head of communications. I don’t have a technical background. In real life, I’m a licensed architect and do healthcare hospitals for about 20 years.
I got into crypto in 2011 and stumbled on ShadowCash and privacy project when I was investing in privacy coins back when they first started.
I really liked the team and what they were producing, so I became an active member of the community. When we did this pivot, I tried to plug myself in with some of the expertise I have with marketing and communications through my real life job.
He’s a developer. He’s been here longer than me. He’s a branding expert. He does all our frontend UI UX stuff and backend stuff a little bit. He’s just a real integral part of Particl. He probably could have been even on the first slide.
A new member of the team just for Particl is Henk Swardt. He is from South Africa. He has a crypto background, but he’s a strong project manager. Therefore, we brought him in to help us spearhead pivoting to Particl. He’s on full time to help us move forward, deliver on our roadmap and any of the new research and development we’re going to plug in. He is a real strong member and just making sure we’re doing things and hitting deadlines.
Nick has been around for a long time in the ShadowCash community and then moved to Particl. He’s a community member just like I was that just got more and more involved. He’s the treasurer. At edu online, he was involved as a community member. In ShadowCash, he’s an active community person and has stepped up as we did to this new project.
Then, there’s a whole list of people that are really active in the community and have really stepped up, especially with this new Particl pivot that we’ve done. However, we only had room for a few of the slides.
I just like to give a quick shout out crypto guard, bb2s16 and couple other guys that stepped up, especially in the last few weeks by writing articles, working in the slacks and everything. They just have a passion like all of us and have really stepped up and hopefully built the community with that too.
Tai Zen: The next group of community members in the Particl community that I think that the investors would like to know about is the advisors. I would like to ask you about this Michael.
Michael Okay. Well, I’ll start with myself. I’m Michael Schmitzer. My background is in finance. I started my career at Merrill Lynch. After that, I split off and co-founded an investment firm here in Atlanta. I’ve got a couple of partners now.
We are basically a quant finance firm. Everything we do is computer-science-based. We have been going with that flow of logic and got interested in cryptocurrencies for several years. We were starting with Bitcoin, then we got into altcoins and other cryptocurrency projects.
I stumbled across Shadow project almost 2 years ago. I was immediately interested in it and I got very involved in. I, my friends and my business partners all started buying up the coins because we saw that there was huge potential with the project.
For over a year, I was simply a community member and an investor. Early last fall, I started getting more involved in the project. Then, I came on board essentially as an advisor to help kind of restructure and figure out what to do with the Shadow project and kind of how to take this mainstream.
I brought in new contacts, connections. I help out with a marketing, PR, finance, anything business related, anything investment related, portfolio management. All different facets of the project.
Tai Zen: I also want to include this. I think that it would be helpful for the investors to know this.
When I first met you, one of the first things I asked was why you’re involved in this and why they recruited you. You had mentioned that because of your background in finances and everything. You said that the Particl project wanted to bring you on so that they have an actual structure because you were telling me how the current ICO projects out there were not compliant.
Michael: Right. There are all sorts of obstacles that we’ve had to deal with legally.
At first, we didn’t foresee these issues with Shadow projects. Then, when we started meeting with legal counsel and 2 different groups of attorneys, they all said the way you would like to do this was not compliant anymore. Even to the point that last year, there were projects that did this stuff that may have been kind of in the gray area. They said that those projects might be facing legal hurdles in the future.
Therefore, when we did this entire shift, it was with some legal constraints in place, so I was one of the members that had to help kind of sort this out
Tai Zen: not only from a legal perspective but also from the fund-raising perspective.
Michael: Yeah. There could be arguments made to how projects are raising capital right now is going to come back to bite a lot of people pretty bad because you’re raising $5,000,000; $10,000,000 with zero product and zero white paper.
There’s a couple of products I can name that have done that and it just doesn’t make sense. I don’t understand why anyone would fund a project like that. VC certainly wouldn’t. If anyone did their due diligence on a project and went to check the boxes, at least projects I’ve seen in the past wouldn’t pass.
Therefore, what we wanted to do is bring a structure in place, which is why we did the seed round before doing a primary round.
Tai Zen: We’ll go into detail on that on the next part, but basically this is ……..
Michael: …how it works in the real world. This is when you’re trying to attract serious professional capital. We had to structure the project this way…
Tai Zen: so that people on Wall Street and professional finance firms..
Michael: They can take a look back at how you’ve done this in the past and say these guys understand how it works.
Tai Zen: Let’s talk about Yann Allemann.
Michael: Yann is a good friend of mine. He’s actually a structural engineer at Ferrari in Italy. He’s a really smart and analytical guy. He helps with business strategy and PR. He’s also been one of the liaisons on our legal side. He’s hosted a lot of calls with legal counsel.
He’s basically not only a friend of mine that I brought on, but also he’s been a longterm Shadow project community member and token holder. Therefore, he’s taken a vast interest in the project to help get to where it is today.
Joe is a very passionate community member from the Shadow projects. He was actually one of the original miners when it was proof of work and then switched to proof of stake. Joe knows so many different people in the community. He knows all the guys on the team, the history of the project. He also functions as our e-commerce strategies.
Tai Zen: You said we have a scheduled interview with him just to focus on Particl marketplace and go more depth about it.
Michael: Yeah. I’m trying to answer as a vendor that I’m not really familiar with, but he’s a vendor in real life on Amazon and different platforms.
When he saw the project and what it’s trying to do, especially with Particl, he’s been super enthusiastic with it because this is an answer to so many of his prayers as he said. He said as a seller, this is going to fix a lot of issues I had with Amazon and different platforms. That’s what he does in real life. He could be a witness and an evangelist to why this is…
Tai Zen: Just also full disclosure too. I have a bias for Ferrari. I think that the best supercar out there. I’m going to be biased about the fact that Yann works at Ferrari.
He and I can discuss whether we go with Lamborghini Huracan, McClaren 570 or Ferrari 458. Therefore, I’m going to have a bias. Just full disclosure.
Let’s talk about the people involved in the Particl project here. One of the things we wonder as an investor is if Rhino, these developers, and even you and Paul are good, especially on the technical side, why aren’t you working at google or facebook?
This is one of the things that when we talk to Charles Hoskinson, the former co-founder of Ethereum. He’s one of our trusted advisors to our business. When we were talking about we were doing research on this, he said why these guys weren’t working at google or facebook because they were good.
Leon Fu: I’ll go into this a little. From Charles again, you can’t out pay these guys. You don’t have anywhere near their resources. Therefore, if you want to attract talent and build a community, you need to have a strong cause of vision, a mission statement because they can’t just come here to make money. If they’re good, they can make money elsewhere.
As a result, why should people come and join the Particl community? What does this community believe in? What is their mission statement?
Michael: I think Paul can answer that.
Paul: Yeah. I think you hit it on the head. As far as a passion, if you’re really smart, you can go work at one of these big firms and stuff. However, why do startups even get started? Because people have a passion and they’re trying to solve the problem.
I think that’s where a lot of our community members are excited because they are passionate about how they can help contribute. We started to see that even with Particl.
Just the basic on what Particl is. It’s going to be an open source decentralized privacy platform and it’s specifically built for global, person-to-person, business-to-person and e-commerce. The problem we’re trying to solve is private person-to-person transactions.
Basically, we’re recreating a centralized platform that enables private transactions and that can be for goods, services, information, even wealth. If you’re just doing a currency-to-currency trade, all that can happen on the privacy platform.
Tai Zen: maybe some feedback from Rhino here because you’ve worked with some of the developers.
What has been your experience of why people gravitate towards working on the Particl project with you? What have you noticed? Is there any incentive?
Obviously, from the result of the fundraising, you are not going to be able to get paid $300,000 a year doing this. Therefore, what’s prompting or motivating these guys to come work for the Particl project?
Rhino: A lot of guys were really enthusiastic about privacy. I guess it is a big factor that attracts people. It is because of the fact we working on the privacy area.
Tai Zen: Okay. Basically, the main motivation that these guys gravitating towards the Particl project is privacy.
Michael: Not only that. I mean what got me into the project, in the beginning, was cryptocurrency. I love what it stands for. It’s outside the system. It’s an exit for people that don’t want to participate in the system. You combine that with privacy and actually know that we can make an impact on people’s lives. That’s really cool.
Tai Zen: That was similar to the reason why we got involved in researching these privacy coins and looking into Particl. As you know, ultimately, we’re investing channel. The first priority is making money from the privacy coins, but the second motivation was we do have a strong belief that human rights should be protected. Governments, institutions, and businesses should not be spying on us for no reason without our permission.
Michael: Yeah. A platform like this levels the playing field for vendors and sellers. We know that sometimes anyone wants to set up shop, but eBay, Paypal or Amazon says you can’t sell here or they ban you for whatever reason. This is where everyone’s welcomed.
Tai Zen: Let’s talk about the governance for Particl. How’s the project governed? In other words, when we talk about governance, for the investors, it’s who makes the final decision. Therefore, who makes the final say in the Particl project?
Leon Fu: The reason I’m bringing this up is because of recent events. We have the whole Bitcoin core versus unlimited. The community is about to split into teams. We also had the Ethereum community actually fractured. There is actually and Ether and Ether classic. That’s why I created this slide.
So I want to hear who’s leading the Project. Is it an autocrat like Vitalik dictating down? How do you see the governance now and how do you see it evolving into the future?
Michael: Rhino can touch on this too. Rhino has always been kind of the captain of the ship. People respect him. People look up to him. Especially in the community, he’s very well versed in the platform and the code himself. He’s actually even active in the community. He’ll come in and talk to people. Then, there are a couple of others around him that are kind of on his right-hand men.
Overall, everyone is very respectful in the community and they looked to what Rhino said. For all the people that have decided to join the Particl project, there are people saying that Rhino, the captain of Shadow project, is moving to a new project. There’s going to be some people that say I disagree with that and they’ve moved away or moved on, maybe they’ll come back.
However, for the community that’s chosen to participate in the Particl project, they’re looking to Rhino and they respect him. They know that his number one priority as leader of the project is for the community and for the platform itself. Whatever he deems necessary with guidance from the council, people are going to follow that.
Tai Zen: Okay. Do you have anything to add to that, Rhino?
Rhino: No, I guess there is a lot of time we have to make a decision, but at least I have a good team to help me make decisions.
Tai Zen: Okay Alright. Thank you for watching this part on Particl. For more information visit the Particl.io website and we’ll see you in the next video.
Learn more at www.Particl.io