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 Veil project ?
I’m Strontium. I worked previously with a good chunk of the Veil team on PIVX. I personally have a background that blends strategic communication, psychology, and research, which I’ve used in the blockchain space since 2017.
Could you explain the history of Veil project, and relation with Pivx? Why did you create a new project?
Veil was founded by James Burden (4×13 on Discord). James was also one of the original founders of PIVX. James felt PIVX, with its community governance, had slipped from his original privacy-focused vision he had for it. That vision is important to him, and something the rest of us share, which is how Veil came about.
You will choose Progpow / randomX / SHA-256D as mining algorithms. Can you explain this choice to us? Is Veil secure today with this mixed POW / POS?
The combination of PoW and PoS goes a long way toward protecting the network from being controlled by a single entity. That’s always a potential problem for any project, but especially younger ones. Bringing several mining algorithms in will help ensure as much veil goes out to as many miners as possible, which is necessary for a healthy currency.
How does the team work together ? (nb of people, dedicated roles, governance…)?
The Veil team has some stratification, with James, project managers, and leads. We manage tasks with Basecamp, which has proven very useful. As for decision-making, the managers and leads, along with James, make those calls, but it’s rarely without discussion with the greater team.
What are Veil key features?
Veil’s key features are changing as we speak, with the new PoW system already mentioned being implemented, and RingCT providing private staking soon. We’ll keep innovating beyond that too of course. I guess it’s reasonable to say the key feature of Veil is the dedication to innovating towards a private, user-friendly experience.
NB: the original idea to change from hybrid proof of work and proof of stake to only proof of stake was soon permanently cancelled as the hybrid has proven to be more secure and preferable than proof of stake alone
Can you tell us more about “supersonic protocol”?
It’s still something being researched for now while RingCT staking takes priority. Truth is SuperSonic isn’t something that can adequately be explained in a couple of sentences, so I urge anyone interested to check out posts on our website’s news page and the technical papers accompanying them.
The project was created in November 2018. At the beginning your project was to be a mix of the Zerocoin protocol and ring CT. Finally you decide to change to the supersonic protocol. Can you give feedback on the history of Veil since your creation?
The project is actually older than that, with most of us starting mid-year, and some devs earlier still. The short version is that Zerocoin was exploited, which was a shame because outside of that vulnerability, Zerocoin was a great privacy protocol. RingCT was being used as a secondary privacy protocol for Veil before that exploit, and then became the primary following it. The aim then became having it support staking, so privacy could be maintained while supporting the network with PoS.
Few altcoins can create / develop new protocols. Many altcoins just copy Zcash, Zcoin, Monero, Grin / Beam. What are the skills of the teams to develop a protocol like SuperSonic?
Developing these protocols is incredibly difficult. Not only is the programming very complex, but the math supporting it needs to be impeccable. Truth is there are a very limited number of people who can successfully bring protocols to life. You’ll find that most of the privacy protocols across those mentioned projects come from the cryptographic work of a very limited number of cryptographers. Having experienced, talented individuals is paramount, and even then, things go wrong, such as with Zerocoin. I don’t think investors place enough value on the coins actually producing their own protocols and code.
How does Veil fit into the anonymous crypto landscape? and what relationships do you have with these different projects?
Veil tries to stand out by having a broader set of goals than to simply exist. Our 2020 Vision discusses some of these: https://veil-project.com/blog/2020-vision/. As for other privacy projects, we work to maintain good relationships with those projects bringing value to the space. The Zerocoin exploit is a good example of this in action, as devs from several projects worked together finding solutions and minimizing damage.
This time, I will speak as a user. Staking seems complicated and unstable at present, the wallet does not work well. In regards of the current profitability of staking, I find this very harmful for the investors and the community that supports the project. Do you plan to resolve these issues quickly?
These are problems we’re well aware of. This is where Veil X and RingCT staking will shine, as they will finally do away with the vast majority of hurdles users face.
You are going to coming out the « Veil X » wallet. Can you tell us about these features?
W=Gabriel Nergaard is the head of the Veil X project, so this article directly from him sums up everything we’re able to say for now: https://veil-project.com/blog/veil-x-ux/..
What are the plans and objectives of Veil project for 2020/2021?
The 2020 Vision I mentioned earlier covers this to a good degree. If you’re interested in knowing more though, our very own Joshua Marriage will be giving a talk in a couple of days me answering these questions: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/blockchain-developers-miners-and-investors-forum-tickets-104074740350. He’ll have more to add there.
If you had to convince investors to take a close look at the Veil project, what would you say to them? What is your speech?
Me personally, I’d point to the real-life applications a currency that is private and fungible provides. I know many get caught up in the hype for moon lambos, but Veil stands for more than that. A passion and dedication to providing a real, reliable, working product should speak for itself.
If you were to compare yourself with other altcoins, which ones are closest to Veil project intentions?
That’s a complicated question. Talking strictly about technology, those privacy coins you mentioned earlier that are innovating are all heading in a broadly similar direction. When it comes to the reasoning and ideals accompanying that though, lines get blurred, and that’s where we feel Veil is quite unique. It may not seem so obvious just now, but in the near future we’ll have more to share giving substance to that claim, so please look forward to that.
Which projects do you like the most in cryptos? Why?
Me personally? Anything really innovating. If you’re not here to push the envelope, you’re just looking to bleed investors, and that’s pretty uncool. I look forward to the day this space becomes a lot less lenient with copy-pasted code with no real attempt at something new.