WOW, “The Core of Privacy” was so fucking important to them that they killed it, without any prior hint of what their “re-branding” would entail.
“Anonymity is the name of the game for ShadowCash (SDC),” they wrote in February of 2016. Well, once it dies, the SDC will have achieved total anonymity, yet another botched project, yet another bunch of trusting investors screwed over, yet another project thrown onto the heap of crypto memories, a graveyard of hopes.
March 17, 2017 was the day they announced “re-branding” to “Particl” in some complicated scheme of another ICO or whatever they call it (check it out here, under “How is the token exchange structured” section of their FAQ. They operated under delusion that such a “token exchange,” due to burning of SDC, as they were exchanged for PART, would create scarcity and therefore the price to rise.
Well, this is how the investors felt about that clusterfuck:
“Based on the Bitcoin protocol but with dual-key stealth addresses and traceable ring signatures added, it came into being as SDcoin in July of 2014. After a couple of more name changes it ended up as ShadowCash. The website was originally sdcoin.co, then shadowcoin.co followed by shadow.cash but for important reasons it changed to shadowproject.io. ShadowCash has built-in features such as ShadowChat which is an end-to-end encrypted messaging system and the team are also working on an e-commerce solution which aims to be the first truly decentralized marketplace.”
That was beautiful. And than it died. We have serious suspicions that SDC is a guinea pig for Wall Street guys like Micah Spruill (he’s also involved with ARK, another project that needs scrutinizing) who could not give a flying fuck for the investors, believers and / or first adapters and as any money-grubbing freak, grab as much as possible for themselves.
But we can not prove it and will not dig deeper into that “re-branding” fiasco and let you decide for yourselves.
The following was posted by user “miragecash” on Monero forum (link):
“I don’t dare post this question on the BTF because I don’t want to be accused of being a pump and dumper shilling for Monero (I’m not). It’s a legitimate question. I read that the devs for SDC were the pump and dumpers for Cloakcoin, which they destroyed. What I’m really suspicious of are;
— it was mined proof of work for only 2 weeks before it was switched to proof of stake. This means that ALL the coins are in the hands of the devs, their investors, and maybe a handful of early miners.These few people could drive the price of the SDC into the ground if they all dumped. Contrast with Monero, it is still being mined? (I am still trying to figure out how to mine it, lol)
— they have flashy marketing and hired a marketing consultant firm. When you are basically a low cap stock, you are faced with a hard choice if you have limited funds. Do you spend your money on marketing or talented developers? Bitcoin had ZERO marketing. Satoshi Nakamoto did not hire any marketing consultants. Contrast with Monero. Monero has horrible marketing, but talented devs, just like early Bitcoin. Even the name sounds kinda like a V.D. Lol. The website design is kinda scattered and incoherent. I almost overlooked it as an investment until I came across a very short list of equitably mined coins with no instamine nor ninjamine. Scammers of course would favor spending money on marketing while a real startup would concentrate on getting a working product up and running. I really like the web wallet. It worked well. I only lament that it doesn’t have a native bar code scanner. SDC has a crappy, unstable wallet that freezes and crashes. It feels like an alpha testing product.
— They have no ETA for their shadow market. I wish Monero has an ETA for multisig. 4. They have no peer review for their zero knowledge cryptographic algorithm. Their cryptographer is anonymous. Monero has at least some public figures in their core team. Although, the cryptographer for Monero is anonymous also. Overally, Monero feels more legit, though there are some worrying things. However, Shadowcash feels very much like a scam. There is a definite need for anonymous digital money. Alternatives to Monero are not satisfactory;
Dash – sending money through their gimmicky mixer is excruciatingly slow.
Tor hidden service mixers – thieves at worst and excruciatingly slow at best.
Dark Wallet – in alpha testing forever due to lack of funds. It says that a “known issue” is accidentally sending your funds without mixing even though you think it has been mixed! Not good.
— shadowcash – due to lack of academic review, their shadowsend feature is a big black box that could be one big fat fraud just like Cloakcoin. If it works, shadowcash is superior to Monero, but it feels very scammy. I seriously doubt that it will work.
— Monero – great web wallet that just works.
What do you think? Shadowcash is legit or a scam? Why?” (source)
Hey, I’ve been a Shadowcash holder for some time and have converted my SDCs to PARTs. I feel like I should clarify a couple of things you mentioned here as most of this piece is actually innacurate then people could make up their mind in a more accurate fashion. I’d like to first address the “botched project” statement. As a privacy platform, Umbra did very well as a wallet (HTML5-based), filled with interesting GUI features that made it very easy to use most of the features Shadowcoind offered. I would absolutely disagree that is a botched wallet and I used to use it everyday for staking and barely ever encountered any bug. Considering Shadowproject was basically a hobby project with little to no funding (except from community donations which were quite low), what they’ve accomplished is actually quite remarkable. In fact, they developped one of the best wallet in crypto (which has been copied a lot by other projects, that is a mark of success in open-source projects), a fully-functionning alternative version of the BitMessage protocol to create a perfecly anonymous P2P chat system (actually more secure than Signal, for example), as well as complete their anonymous and decentralized marketplace (it was never released, but is mostly ready in CLI form for when Particl launches). Other less known achievements include integrating ring signature to the bitcoin protocl, creating a neat dual-token blockchain (kind of behaves like a sidechain), first proof-of-stake mobile wallet (that was taken down after they released their HTML5-based wallet, Umbra), and etc. Again, considering all of this was done voluntarily by people with no funding, no physical meetings, and a small team of volunteers that came and diseapeared as they came, this is pretty impressive. As for the ninja-mine accusation in the linked old FUD article, it is mostly that, FUD. There is no way to say with confidence that “ALL the coins are in the hands of the devs, their investors, and maybe a handful of early miners”. The dev team has been known to have little funding through the two years it developped. The insta-mine was from a mining farm and it cannot be associated with the team in any way, even if that were true. So this is a baseless assumption at best. Also, this whole argument is contradicted by the fact that for most of its life, SDC was valued at a few cents, and that for paying for anything would have severly emptied their alledged pockets. As for the statement on “trusting investors being screwed over”, I fail to see the argument, in all honesty. ALL SDC holders are being offered a 1:1 conversion rate, meaning you get just as many PARTs as you had SDCs. For those looking to increase their holdings, the team has proposed a “bonus rate” which you can fund. Basically, this bonus is paid for in BTC and allow you to get a discounted amount of PARTs proportionally to how much BTC you send. These BTCs act as a donation to the team, allowing them to pay devs full time, expand the team with more devs, PR guys, advisors, legal firms, third-party code audits, universiy grants and etc. They also used these BTCs to setup a Swiss Foundation which is basically going to be their legal body. A lot of people have compared this to an ICO, which, in some way, can be compared to even though it is technically not an ICO. In the end, a project that wants to be sustainable long-term needs funds. Developpers cannot be expected to work for free forever and keep delivering great features. For this to be possible, they had to either hard-fork the chain or start anew with a completely new blockchain. They have explained in great details the reasons they have chosen to start anew, please visit their AMA here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Particl/comments/60dpzw/ama_with_the_particl_team_rparticl_march_20th/ and more precisely this answer: https://www.reddit.com/r/Particl/comments/60dpzw/ama_with_the_particl_team_rparticl_march_20th/df6qr4p/ One of the concerns is also that it effectively creates a 15%-25% haircut to all holders (since the supply is increased to account for the BTC bonuses). While it may look like a loss of value short-term, this is actually a great thing for all the stuff I’ve mentionned above. Personally, I would rather get a 15% haircut and have a team that is funded, works full-time and gets advised by PR and legal firms, and has its code audited by third-parties rather than to keep the current supply but with a team that codes here and there on their free time and is generally not well organized because of lack of financial interests. Don’t forget also that 80% of all unclaimed PARTs (SDCs that will not be converted into PARTs because they are either lost or the owner is dead, incarcerated, etc) are redistributed to ALL swappers. Depending on the amount of unswapped SDCs, and combined with the 15% bonus, this could totally offset the haircut. Note that one of the reason they had to change the name of the project and start a new chain was that no PR/legal firm wanted to associate themselves with the project and they were highly advised to do so if they wanted to be as safe as possible. As for the price tank, if you zoom out the charts back to a month or so ago, the price is pretty much the same. It is pretty clear that three situations led to this insane pump. 1- Everybody knew the news was coming 2- Price was highly manipulated by a single whale (600BTC buy wall than was instantly pulled and various pumping schemes) 3- Speculators were diversifying away from BTC (BTC dominance index went from 86% to as low as 61% in that same timeframe) Considering this is a swap to a new blockchain and that the Parts will be locked until the new chain launches, it scared speculators who are looking for quicker profits away, understandably so. There were also a lot of people who panick sold before they were expecting the price to keep shooting up but instead were met with a news that didn’t mean this short-term. I wouldn’t say the investors thought it was a clusterfuck, after all, more than 60% of all SDCs in circulation are already converted and most conversions took the bonus as well. Speculators didn’t like the news for short-term gains, but that is okay. Speculators don’t equal long-term investors. As for Umbra dying, in a sense it is true, but all token holders are given the same amount of tokens (and more) on the new chain. Umbra was effectively their “prototype”, as Particl doesn’t start from scratch, starting where Umbra left. It will have a very similar look, the same anon features as Umbra + a shitload of new stuff, including lightning network, segregated witness, the new bitcoin codebase (most alts are running on 5 year old codebases), sidechain, various integrated DSNs, a market and a couple of undisclosed features. It will even have integrated in-wallet fiat gateways with well known partners at some point and work with all currencies on Shapeshift. What’s not to like, really? The article you linked is a really old pro-Monero FUD article and its main concerns were already refuted by Umbra’s platform achievements so it is pretty outdated and irrelevant. Monero has a long history of FUDing Shadowcash so this isn’t surprising, and the end of their article confirms it is basically Monero shills. The “flashy marketing” accusion really is baseless, as Shadowcash had very little PR going on for them as they had almost no funds. The article stating that SDC focused on marketing more than development is plain lies. Anyone can look at what SDC team has done tech wise and compare it with the almost absent amount of PR they had going and it is pretty evident that this baseless accusation is a fallacy. Other wrong points from this article: – Main cryptographer is NOT anonymous and hasn’t been for quite some time. Most of the team members have come up and stepped out of the shadow – They are going to get their protocol peer-reviewed by third-party firms and through university grants – The marketing accusation is bollock, as I mentionned. – The ninja-mine with ALL the coins being in the hands of insider is baseless accusation with no proof. You can go back to SDC ANN bitcointalk thread and you will clearly see the devs ended the proof-of-work period early because they panicked when an unknown mining farm came and raked in most of the coins. They didn’t want the coin distribution to be centralized. This is all on record. – The accusation of them pump and dumping Cloackcoin is, again, baseless accusation with ABSOLUTELY NO proof given to his argument If this were a scam, why would all the team that used to be mostly anonymous come forward and reveal their identity? They didn’t want to do it before because ShadowCash was deemed the next SilkRoad. Of course they would want to remain anonymous, and of course no legitimate firm would associate with such a reputation. In conclusion, this “research” on Shadowcash to determine whether it is a scam or not is pretty bad, no offense meant of course. Linking to a clearly outdated Monero FUD article to make up for about 50% of your argument is just plain lazy and misinformed. I assume this is not intentional on your end, but you may want to revisit some of your argument. If you disagree with some of my points, please comment and we’ll talk about it. Just trying to shed some light…
Ps: sorry for the formatting, seems like this website doesn’t allow for paragraphs -_-
CCR: they published your first comment as an article, “Passionate Defense of SDC / Particl” at https://satoshiwatch.com/hall-of-shame/sdc/articles/passionate-defense-sdc-particl/
Seems like they did GreyGhost! Pretty cool of them 🙂