If you want to know more about Conceal :

Website > https://conceal.network/

Discord > http://discord.conceal.network/

Telegram > https://t.me/concealnetworkusers

To start the interview, could you please tell us a little bit more about your background and explain us the reasons why you came to work on the Conceal project? ?

I am krypt0x, the founder of Conceal Community. I have studied Computer Science and been working in IT for over 20 years. My main activity is to empower non-profit organizations with a culture of digital transformation.

I was chatting in a human-rights related channel in 2017 and acknowledged that the majority of its participants couldn’t believe how bad is the privacy set offered by BTC, ETH and other major cryptocurrencies. It didn’t take much time to realize how badly designed were some “privacy projects” at the time too. “Something must be done to address it”, someone shouted and everyone agreed. There were plenty of individuals from several different privacy-awareness organizations participating in the discussions but, in practice, no one seemed interested in getting directly involved into any alternative cryptocurrency project. So, I’ve decided to take the first step by myself and created a brand-new channel (Discord server) to gather all the interested parts..

Could you explain the story of Conceal?

Conceal before being a cryptocurrency project is a community. Our community started in September 2017 with a small group of 16 random people. These individuals have met over the internet in a human-rights related channel where we used to talk about human rights, privacy, freedom of speech, free markets, cryptography, economics, decentralization and cryptocurrencies. After some discussions we have realized that there wasn’t a single cryptocurrency project that could fulfill our expectations of a truly privacy-protected, decentralized and social inclusive cash alternative.

The way we are seeing the society turning into a cash surveillance system is concerning. Any ties with FIAT in the future could be dangerous.

Beside that you are not considering several parts of the world where banks just refuse to install a basic card payment terminal.
Four fundamental pillars have been agreed and are the base of our community: privacy rights, social inclusion, decentralization and censorship resistance.
Privacy: A right to privacy is explicitly stated under Article 12 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. The right to privacy is an element of various legal traditions to restrain governmental and private actions that threaten the privacy of individuals. Over 150 national constitutions mention the right to privacy.
Social Inclusion: If the traditional financial setting segregates who can access the financial services like banking, those discriminated individuals could be offered free banking services through decentralized blockchain technologies. In the near future the majority of low-income people all over the world will do their banking using cryptographic distributed systems. The fractional reserve banking system has completely failed low income people. Of course, most poor people are not even accepted by these banks. The crypto system has significantly lower fixed costs than the traditional banking system and, consequently, allows everyone to benefit from financial inclusion. The poor will be able to make transfers at an extremely low cost. Conceal Network will allow them the benefits of the savings function, giving them the first opportunity ever to climb out of poverty. The effects for poor communities globally will be transformational.
Decentralization: People who see central systems as the answer to everything have usually lived in a stable country for their whole lives. A few days in an unstable scenario would change their minds very quickly. Imagine you lived in a war zone right now. Your central infrastructure is destroyed, as is your money. You don’t want the war, but there’s nothing you can do about it. Now your house is gone, your friends and family are dead, your banks are bombed out and you’re cast out, adrift, homeless and penniless. Even worse, nobody wants you. The world has shifted from open borders to building walls everywhere. You’re not welcome anywhere; you can’t stay where you are and you’re broke. But what if your money was still there, recorded on the blockchain, waiting for you to download and restore a deterministic wallet and give it the right passphrase to restore it? How much easier would it be to start your life over?

Censorship-Resistance: Censorship-resistance implies that everyone can transact with the network on the same terms, regardless of their personal identifying characteristics. If true censorship-resistance is to be achieved, then users should not be able to exclude others from information (amounts can’t be hidden). Censorship resistant money means you can spend your money anywhere, the way you like and without anyone’s approval. A censorship resistant network is a system explicitly designed to resist coercion and control by centralized powers. No one could be able to freeze or seize your funds.
After a few months of research, we decided we should give it a try. In January 2018 we started working on the economic model and by April we had a proof of concept ready. On May of the same year we launched our mainnet and the rest is history. Conceal $CCX mimics the properties of cash. Nobody knows how or where you spend your folding cash. You go to the ATM, take out money and you can buy an ice-cream or that pretty old chair at the neighborhood yard sale and there is no record of it anywhere, unlike with a credit card (or Bitcoin). These powerful privacy-preserving abilities will act as a critical bulwark against the inevitable rise of Panopticon digital money. They may be our only hope. The end of cash means the end of free choice. That’s where Conceal comes into the picture.


What are Conceal key features?

Conceal is a censorship-resistant and decentralized blockchain network that provides a privacy framework for social inclusion through decentralization of financial services and communications. Conceal main features are:

{ Privacy-Protection }

Conceal uses ring signatures and one-time addresses for truly anonymous payments.

{ Untraceability }

Conceal’s transactions can’t be linked between the sender and the recipient

{ Decentralization }

Conceal follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of decentralized, trustless cryptocurrency, i.e. a secure digital cash operated by a network of users. Transactions are confirmed by distributed consensus, and then recorded on the blockchain immutably. Third-parties do not need to be trusted to keep your money safe.

{ Fungibility }

Conceal is truly fungible, thanks to built-in privacy features. Just like cash, all coins are equal, changeable. It is extremely unlikely that a coin will ever be blacklisted by any party due to its association in previous transactions.

{ Scalability }

Conceal blockchain has a DBSM (Dynamic Block Size Mechanism) able to dynamically increase during high usage to support more transactions.

{ Community-Driven }

No one owns Conceal. Everyone can take part. Developed, maintained and funded by volunteers.

{ Simplicity }

Cross-platform supported and easy to use.

{ Protected Proof Of Work }

PoW hash function is designed for egalitarian CPU & GPU mining and ASIC Resistance.

{ Adaptive Limits }

Conceal intelligently adjusts its parameters based on the historical data.

{ Encrypted Messages }

Secure your confidentiality with an encrypted P2P network, secure communications and encrypted self destructive messages.

{ Decentralized Deposits }

Decentralized Compound Interest Deposits using Cold Staking with HTLC contracts paying up to 6% interest rate p.e.

{ Conceal-Bridge }

Cross-chain asset exchange/swap platform

{ Conceal-ID }

Blockchain nicknames

{ Conceal-Pay }

Instant anonymous payment system for merchants

{ Conceal-Live (Clive) }

P2P & E2E audio and video calls). .

It seems Compounding is one of your most popular features. How does it work? Is it complicated?

With Conceal you can choose to lock any amount of your $CCX holdings as a deposit in the blockchain and earn interest on it. The annual interest rates vary from 2.9% to 6% depending on how long you choose to lock your deposit and the amount locked. The bigger the amount and longer your deposit is locked, the higher the annual effective interest rate you will receive. Once you have made a deposit on the blockchain for a certain amount of time, it is locked in until that time and you can’t access your savings. It is a time-locked contract. Totally private, encrypted and secured by the blockchain. No third parties are involved in this process.

Complicated? Not at all. In fact, our compound deposits are even simpler than making a deposit in the traditional banking. Our deposits technology is based in Cold Staking and privacy-protected Hashed-Timelock-Contracts (HTLC). In practical terms, this means that you can stake $CCX with an offline wallet. There is no need to keep a computer, mobile phone, or Virtual Private Server running for 24/7 wasting energy and money. You set up your own terms for the contract privately and anonymously, in a trustless environment and without any third party involved. Yes, that’s it. Nothing else is required.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced when trying to set up a decentralized banking system?

The biggest challenge we ran into is blockchain technology’s lack of connection to the real economy, largely because there is no crypto banking system yet (independent of FIAT). Obviously, a link to the real economy is fundamental to any financial system, and this is the main impediment holding back the entire crypto industry. Decentralized banking services mean that holders of crypto assets need to have the option to link their savings, a store of their value, to productive opportunities in the real economy. Resolving this issue will significantly spur crypto adoption. Decentralized Finance (DeFi) will be the “dot.com” moment for the entire crypto space. This will drive the future value of crypto currencies and many existing crypto community projects.

Why did you choose the cryptonote protocol rather than Zk-Snarks or Mimblewimble?

Zk-SNARKs’ main criticisms can be boiled down to three points:

1) it’s creation required a trusted setup – which is a security concern on its own,
2) it’s very resource heavy – which hinders adoption and makes it slow, and
3) it’s not private by default – which makes it less private overall.

In 2017, Zk-SNARKs’ implementations exclusively needed a trusted setup. Cryptocurrencies like Zcash (Komodo, ARRR, etc.) use a Trusted Setup to initialize their blockchain. This involves generating secret parameters (master key), which must subsequently be thrown away and never discovered, because knowledge of these parameters would not only mint as many new coins as someone wants but compromise the entire system, including its privacy features. At conceal we prefer to trust in the code (math) than a group of individuals with enough power to abuse the system. Should I go further?

Mimblewimble? I would prefer to restrain myself of talking about it but let’s just say, to receive a payment/transaction, both users, the sender and receiver need to have their wallets online and, to make it worse, It only took a few months, to break its entire « untraceability ». (figure 1).

figure 1 -source: https://medium.com/dragonfly-research/breaking-mimblewimble-privacy-model-84bcd67bfe52

Why Cryptonote protocol? Why Cryptonote original?

First of all, Cryptonote has a trustless setup. No one has a « magic secret key » to generate or burn coins.

Second of all, the technology behind it (original Cryptonote Protocol) has been described by Satoshi Nakamoto himself (check fig. 2) [figure 2 – source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=770.msg9074#msg9074]

Lowcap altcoins like Conceal have fragile and insecure proof of work networks. Can you explain to us the protections deployed by Conceal to protect against 51% attacks?

At Conceal we solve this problem with Conceal-Keeper, a 51% Network Hashrate Attack Protection Mechanism.

The purpose of a 51% attack is often to use an alternate chain that the attacker is mining in private, to double-spend or cancel an existing transaction to an exchange. The attacker runs a private chain that has more than 51% of the current network hash rate and reveals the chain to the public after spending spent funds again or removes a deposit transaction to an exchange, in an attempt to get all nodes to use the alternate chain. To that end, we use a multi-pronged approach to prevent the success and viability of a 51% attack.

We have several efficient layers of protection:

1) Limiting the chain reorganizations to the mined money unlock window: To make the above restrictions more effective, we also restrict chain reorganizations to the mined money unlock window, which at present is 10 blocks. Now any node will not switch to an alternate chain that is longer than 10 blocks. With almost all exchange confirmations at higher levels than this, if an attacker attempts to switch to a chain that is longer, both chains, the main and the alternate chain will remain in a permanent split, with the attacker’s private chain remaining split from the main chain.

2) Ensuring that the alternate chain contains all transactions in the main chain: Another protection is that, regardless of the length of the alternate chain, the node will not switch to the alternate chain if it does not contain all the transactions of the main chain. This also prevents switching to an attacker’s chain that is trying to undo a transaction on the main chain. This check comes into effect if the alternate chain is larger than the regular reorganization of two to three blocks.

3) DNS Checkpoints: We also use DNS Checkpoints to ensure that all nodes are on the correct main chain, in the event of a chain split as a result of an attack. All nodes load checkpoints from DNS during startup or whenever there is an attempt to switch to an alternate chain.

4) Increasing confirmations for deposits in exchanges: Since an attacker will use a 51% attack to send money to an exchange and undo that transaction in an alternate chain he is mining, the longer the exchange confirmation window, the longer the alternate chain will need to be in order to be able to replace the chain. That means n confirmations at an exchange, will need a privately mined chain larger than n to succeed.

This mechanism has proved itself to be efficient in the last 3 years.

You have a strong community and a lot of talented developers. What are your sources of funding today and what will be the economic model to allow Conceal to continue its own path?

Conceal’s research, development and maintenance is funded by using a 6% of the maximum supply (premined and locked for 6 years). Every quarter a settlement of 400k $CCX is automatically released by the network using HTLC (Hash Time-Locked Contracts). This method is our only source of income. These funds are managed by a DAO model and basically pay all the fixed expenses (server-side services, nodes, listings, etc) and contributors. All unused funds are kept in an auditable address that will fund future generations of contributors. During the past months we have been working on cross-chain liquidity pools to make it possible to have other sources of income through swap fees and yield farming in the future.

Can you explain how stable deposits work? What are the similarities and differences with Project Haven?

We are planning to discuss this new feature further in our next community consensus. So, the final proposition isn’t complete yet. Although, the core idea behind it is to offer an alternative method of protecting users’ locked funds from volatility (price fluctuations). The main difference from Haven project is that we aren’t using second assets or 3rd party oracles to achieve it. This means there will be no stable synthetic assets hanging around. In simple terms, users will lock their CCX and get paid interest in CCX but based on the numeric exchange conversion pegged to a stable reference. That could be a FIAT asset or any other measure unit (like a basket of other currencies, cryptocurrencies and/or goods in the markets) using own technology to recorded market data in CCX’s chain.

Tell me about the team. Who are the “concealers”? How are you organized?

We have a collection of very eclectic and driven individuals who are hyper focused on progress. We all come from different backgrounds, cultures and even different parts of the world. However, we definitely all have one common goal and that is to create a private and secure ecosystem for both the decentralization of financial services and communication. Privacy is very important to us. The autonomy that privacy provides is essential to Conceal.Network. Privacy enables us to protect ourselves from unauthorized monitoring in our lives. This freedom gives us the ability to be who we want to be and interact with the world around us, without being judged or discriminated against. Privacy is a fundamental right for everyone. As a team, we all strive for a better future for everyone. Collectively, we value four fundamental pillars that serve as the foundation for our ecosystem and community: privacy, social inclusion, decentralization and censorship resistance.

We have adopted a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) model based in 5 divisions (Foundation, Operations Management, Research & Development, Community & Public Relations and Marketing & Business Development). Each team member has stepped up from the community. In total we have 9 core team members, 2 consultants, 3 community managers and 27 regular contributors. We are a community-driven project; anyone can become part of the decision-making process and development. Any community member can contribute, collaborate and step up to become part of the team if his/her skills will help the project.. (Very good video by a member of the community)

Conceal seems to have an unusual economic model where “Economic Equilibrium” is often referred. What is special about it? What is for you a sustainable economic model in the development of cryptographic projects?

I will try to keep it short and simple even if difficult due to the complexity of this topic.

First things first. According to Investopedia, “Economic equilibrium is a condition or state in which economic forces are balanced, a concept borrowed from physical sciences, where observable physical forces can balance each other.” The incentives faced by buyers and sellers in a market, communicated through current prices and quantities drive them to offer higher or lower prices and quantities that move the economy toward equilibrium. The term economic equilibrium can also be applied to any number of variables such as interest rates or aggregate consumption spending. The point of equilibrium represents a theoretical state of rest where all economic transactions that “should” occur, given the initial state of all relevant economic variables, have taken place.

Economic equilibrium is a theoretical construct only. The market never actually reaches equilibrium, though it is constantly moving toward equilibrium. So, Economic Equilibrium per se would not solve our problem and we needed to add some game theory to it. In game theory, the Nash equilibrium, named after the mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr., is a proposed solution of a non-cooperative game involving two or more players in which each player is assumed to know the equilibrium strategies of the other players, and no player has anything to gain by changing only their own strategy. In terms of game theory, if each player has chosen a strategy, and no player can benefit by changing strategies while the other players keep theirs unchanged, then the current set of strategy choices and the corresponding payoffs constitute a Nash equilibrium.

Stated simply, Alice and Bob are in Nash equilibrium if Alice is making the best decision she can, taking into account Bob’s decision while his decision remains unchanged, and Bob is making the best decision he can, taking into account Alice’s decision while her decision remains unchanged. Likewise, a group of players are in Nash equilibrium if each one is making the best decision possible, taking into account the decisions of the others in the game as long as the other parties’ decisions remain unchanged. Nash showed that there is a Nash equilibrium for every finite game.

Where does all these concepts imported from traditional economy fit in your model?

Well, to be honest, all these concepts are lovely in theory but in a real scenario, in the blockchain in this case in particular, they have flaws. They have been discovered studying old and slow economies where changes of events could take place in long periods of time. In the cryptocurrency markets things happen at a much faster pace. One year in the crypto space could be an eternity. We kept finding bottlenecks and other issues in our simulations and ended up with our own model of Economic Equilibrium that we internally like to call “Economic Harmony”. If traditional models can’t be entirely applied to the new digital economy but still have good concepts behind, we need to think outside the box and get the best of them. It was exactly what we did.

In practical terms, we have introduced a few innovations. Our block reward started small but increased with time until halving. The explanation for this is, at the beginning every blockchain have a small number of transactions per day and the block data is still a small file but with time the network grows and the data size and resources will increase too. The mining difficult effort will be bigger, more computation power must be processed, and more miners will be needed to keep the network running safe and sound (securing the network and processing more transactions). The number of miners sharing the same block reward will be bigger, so the reward for solving the mathematical problem. By the time the fees collected started to increase the block reward has decreased again to balance the overall model. With this simple and logical approach, we have avoided as well the unfair enrichment of early miners during the initial stages of very low difficulty. We have successfully reached one of the lowest coin emission curves through mining in the crypto space. We achieved this without affecting the mining profit (mining profit websites’ data could prove it easily).

This low mining block reward emission curve allowed us to introduce a new component in the game – blockchain deposits paying interest. These deposits help the economic ecosystem taking coins out of circulation, coins that will stay away from the markets for a period of time. This process increases demand, scarcity and, subsequently, market value. The interest paid by these deposits will add new coins to the network balancing the ecosystem with coins locked by new deposits. This model not only rewards people for taking coins out of the markets but benefits the miners too (with higher stock to flow ratio).

There is another quite interesting detail, several studies show that there is a direct correlation between good hashrate (GPU & ASIC Resistance vs ASIC/FPGA/CPU_Botnets) and market value. So, in practical terms, more miners will generate more hashrate but bigger hashrate brings a better market value and liquidity, keeping the mining activity profitable. Every detail has been carefully studied and as a few reports have shown we have one of the lowest inflations without affecting the mining profitability in the crypto space.

What are the plans and objectives of Conceal for 2021/2022 ?

To get listed in a popular exchange and have a full-time working team. We just need a better market performance to achieve both of these objectives..

What are your next development ideas to improve Conceal?

We are working on a new amazing feature that provides users more flexibility to adjust to impacts of a volatile crypto market price swing by allowing a deposit to be canceled. Yes, cancel your deposits!

As of now, you cannot cancel a deposit until the lock period is over. This makes users wary of

depositing for longer periods for multiple reasons:

  1. Price volatility
  2. You are not able to sell in case of huge pump or in case you need money
  3. The interest paid is too low to offset all the risk of not having access to your funds

By adding the option to cancel (or early withdraw) your deposit, we increase the flexibility for users to adjust to not only market conditions, but life changes. Now that’s a sweet deal!

Testing has already confirmed that we can offer users the ability to cancel deposits and we are in the process of defining the early withdrawal rules (what exactly happens when users cancel deposits early).

What is the next big thing for Conceal?

Over the last 3 years as we developed our ecosystem (a series of individual ready-to-use privacy tools for defi and communication), an idea emerged.

What if we could access all of our ecosystem tools in one application? A one stop-shop, so to speak. What would be the benefit?

As with any new technology, helping attract new users is something every project/developer continually strives to achieve.

Making it easier for users to interact and navigate with an ecosystem would lead to better user adoption (because of having such a positive user experience). And, having a simple user interface (UI) design would therefore help increase customer engagement and retention.

Conceal Hub represents this new evolution for Conceal Network.

Conceal Hub offers a method of integration that encapsulates every Conceal Network ecosystem touchpoint into one simple UI application.

Conceal Hub is built to house several individual modules that support each of our private defi and communication tools. Including:

Cloud Wallets







In addition, Conceal Hub will improve on privacy by offering an authentication key based system. Users will be able to create/restore wallets without a user account. There will be no need for an email/password login to use. The application will store authentication keys locally on the device.

Conceal Hub will be available on Android, iOS, OS X, Windows, and Linux.

For now, we are working on the initial design of Conceal Hub and integration of each module, but the team is very excited to offer this new tool that will help simplify your Conceal lifestyle.

We remain steady in building the necessary ecosystem to provide you with the best alternative for private defi and communication services.

What is the goal of Conceal ? What are your strategic directions?

Conceal is a censorship-resistant and decentralized network that aims to provide privacy protection for individuals and to free people from the control of any 3rd party actors. Financial freedom and personal communications should not come at the expense of the system’s users losing their privacy in order to participate. All transactions and communications are truly private and untraceable. “Hackers” cannot trace your money or communications even when using public networks.

We may have come at a crucial time in human history. Blockchain will only work out if there’s enough focus on improving privacy and anonymity. Projects like Conceal have high relevance beyond breaking existing censorship mechanisms. Conceal offers a way for us to control our own destiny. For the very first time in the history of the world, we have a way to generate and distribute money, communicate and earn compound interest anonymously and without a central power.

We’re fighting for a world where technology puts users at the center. Not corporations, not governments, not advertisers. People will have control over the money they rightfully earned in with their privacy protected. $CCX mimics the properties of cash. Nobody should know or interfere how or where you spend your folding cash. That is freedom. Conceal restores freedom back to people


Why is Conceal is superior/different to/from its competitors?

I could give you a few different reasons like a unique economic model with exquisite block reward scheme and low emission, the cold staking feature, hashed time-locked contracts, encrypted messages, own mining algo (ASIC/FPGA Resistant), original GUI wallets (desktop, cloud and mobile), powerful API & Cloud services but I will stick to the basics – PRIVACY & TRANSPARENCY.

Conceal is designed to mitigate the risks associated with key re-usage and one-input-to-one-output tracing. Every address for a payment is a unique one-time key, derived from both the sender’s and the recipient’s data. It can appear twice with a probability of a 256-bit hash collision. As soon as you use a ring signature in your input, it entails the uncertainty: which output has just been spent?

Trying to draw a graph with addresses in the vertices and transactions on the edges, one will get a tree: a graph without any cycles (because no key/address was used twice). Moreover, there are billions of possible graphs, since every ring signature produces ambiguity. Thus, you can’t be certain from which possible sender the transaction-edge comes to the address-vertice. Depending on the size of the ring you will guess from « one out of two » to « one out of a thousand ». Every next transaction increases the entropy and creates additional obstacles for an analyst.

Conceal has a huge advantage over other cryptocurrencies whose privacy features are only optional, because everyone who uses Conceal automatically has privacy features by default applied to their transactions. You never have to request and then verify whether other people have enabled a privacy mechanism when sending you funds or messages, because privacy is always automatically applied to all transactions/messages at the protocol level. Furthermore, the always-on nature of Conceal’s privacy features means that even if the majority of Conceal users are not privacy sensitive, they will still automatically participate with the strengthening of the privacy mechanisms for other users that are privacy conscious. We use output transactions mixins since day one and opted in for a universal transaction flat fee to avoid cross-side attacks based on TX-fees’ metadata. Conceal is truly decentralized through its trustless setup, there are no master secret keys. Contrary to some of the competition, users are still able to audit the data (including TX amounts, total coins in the chain, coins locked through deposits, interest paid) in the blockchain without compromising privacy and preserving the transparency required by a global economic ecosystem.


Which projects do you like the most in cryptos? why ?

To be honest I would like to restrain myself to answer this question because most of the projects I like it isn’t by the project per se but because of the people behind it. I have bags too and it would be susceptible of wrongly influence a few people. Internally we have a code of conduct of not talking publicly about other projects and I would like to honor it. Thanks.





Rejoignez nous pour tenir informé et recevoir nos derniers articles

Merci, vous allez recevoir un Email de confirmation!