Disclaimer: Author is a long time ShadowCash community member and project supporter. I am an advocate of privacy and cyber-security and I am an investor in many cryptocurrencies. I personally hold SDC, the ShadowCash cryptocurrency, as I believe strongly in the project and its developers.
18 months ago DeepDotWeb published our article “ShadowCash Hits Zero-Knowledge Jackpot with Casino Style Anonymity.” Since then, a lot has happened around the project but most of all it has evolved into more than just a cryptocurrency.
The ShadowProject has recently released a new software called Umbra which, at the same time as being a regular wallet, is also a privacy platform. So in addition to the normal send & receive coins function you would find in any wallet, there is a built-in ShadowChat system similar to Slack but is fully private with end-to-end encryption. The system doesn’t collect or store any meta data, which makes it one of the most secure & private messenger platforms available today. More great features will be added to the UMBRA platform in the months to come as the developers do rolling-release updates every couple of weeks, typically.
Send & Receive ShadowCash
A lot of effort has gone into this chat system as it will form the backbone of the soon to be released peer-to-peer (p2p) marketplace. The developers of the Umbra platform have explained to us that it is pointless to have a fully decentralized anonymous marketplace without the support of in-house secure communications. When all is done, they will have built a tool which allows anyone in the world to buy, sell, private chat, group chat and send payments in total privacy. This is where Umbra will truly deliver, with dynamic user lists, user tags and your own username (and vendor store, if you so chose). They’re even adding extra layers of protection through automatic Tor and I2P integration to hide each user’s presence on the network itself. It is clear the developers have taken user privacy and security seriously in the design.
While a couple of the developers are fine tuning Umbra and the chat system, Ryno, the lead developer, is preparing for the release of the marketplace. We don’t have an exact release date yet but there is a great deal of excitement among the developers and the rest of the team surrounding the project. This is more than a “Dark Net Market,” it is a full-blown regulation-free, fully private, and global e-commerce platform. Because of its decentralized nature, there will be no leaks of meta data, IP addresses or any information regarding the buyer or the seller and no potential for exit scams (as we witnessed with many markets).
With Umbra’s marketplace, every node on the network distributes and stores all the open market listings. To prevent bloating the network with outdated and incorrect listings, each one must contain an expiration date and the appropriate listing fee must be paid. The anonymity and privacy of both the vendor and possible buyer is done by a blockchain-like mechanism called Private Information Retrieval.
To minimize the likelihood of fraud occurring between the buyer and the seller, a two-party escrow system will be in place. This will stop either party from profiting by defrauding the other without risk. The buyer risks twice the value of the purchase price and the seller risks the purchase price plus the value of the item itself. A 2-of-2 multi-signature address needs the agreement of both parties for funds to be released.
Due to the decentralized nature of the marketplace, escrow agents are viewed as middlemen and will not be used.
Whilst a situation of items being “lost in the mail” can exist and the two-party escrow system may not be a perfect solution, one good barometer will be the vendor’s satisfaction rating with his customers.
The project developers are also working on a mobile application of the Umbra release. Chatting and conducting e-commerce in total privacy on your mobile phone will soon be possible and this will be ideal for people who have no access to regular banking services, like those in developing nations. We believe this platform will also cater to people who once used The Silk Road and those who currently use AlphaBay and other Dark Net Markets. Such users require all communications and transactions be kept completely private, and Umbra can do just that.
ShadowCash has never been much in the limelight but with this great privacy solution it will certainly gain a lot of attention in the near future.
You can download Umbra at https://umbra.shadowproject.io. If you wish to learn more about the ShadowProject head over to https://shadowproject.io or join the ShadowProject slack group at https://slack.shadowproject.io/