The Purk Project is a decentralized blockchain tip jar, with the goal of monetizing blogs, multimedia projects, and other websites. Purk prides itself on being resistant to application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) mining, and tips donated via the Purk Project are guaranteed anonymous due to the development team’s focus on security and privacy.
How Does It Work?
Purk utilizes ring-signature technology and a form of the Diffie-Hellman exchange protocol to keep tips delivered via its platform private. Purk stresses that transactions made on its platform are unlinkable and untrackable because of the creation of multiple one-time-use keys calculated from a single public key. Purk wallet aliases can be linked to any Purk handle, and they are built into the Purk blockchain itself.
How Does Purk Handle Privacy?
Bitcoin and other established cryptocurrencies provide a path to identifying individuals via their published addresses. These addresses can be linked together and then associated with a certain online persona, essentially outing the person or persons involved in the transaction. The Purk team uses the CryptoNote security protocol to accomplish its privacy goals. In the protocol’s white paper, the team explained the mechanics of ring signatures for privacy.
“We propose a solution allowing a user to publish a single address and receive unconditional unlinkable payments,” the CryptoNote team said in its white paper. “The destination of each CryptoNote output (by default) is a public key, derived from recipient’s address and sender’s random data. The main advantage against Bitcoin is that every destination key is unique by default (unless the sender uses the same data for each of his transactions to the same recipient). Hence, there is no such issue as ‘address reuse’ by design and no observer can determine if any transactions were sent to a specific address or link two addresses together.”
Although donations/tips are untraceable, when the new public API is released towards the end of next month, users who generate a donation button will have the option to make some metrics trackable such as donation totals in PURK, button impressions, tx hash, donor wallet address variance and user button interaction. These metrics still don’t offer a completely traceable method, and can only be called via the API for use in apps/websites
Who’s the Team Behind Purk?
Purk uses a contractor model to ensure ongoing development of the platform. The team notes on its website that about three developers are actively working on the project’s code and roadmap goals; three marketing specialists are always at work spreading awareness of the Purk platform; and two graphic designers and/or web designers are aiding their development and marketing counterparts in finetuning the project’s user interface and advertising.
What Makes Purk ASIC resistant?
It’s no surprise that the majority of Bitcoin mining is carried out with big, expensive ASIC machines. This chips away at the coin’s ostensibly democratic ethos. Only folks with enough capital to throw at a room full of ASICs and the associated cooling equipment have a prayer of getting any serious mining done.
Purk aims to return mining to the masses by limiting the ability of ASICs to produce new PURK coins. This has the advantage of making individual PURK coins available to a wider fanbase and keeps the community engaged by making the barrier to entry – and owning PURK – as low as possible.
“We propose a new memory-bound algorithm for the proof-of-work pricing function,” the protocol team said. “It relies on random access to a slow memory and emphasizes latency dependence. As opposed to scrypt every new block (64 bytes in length) depends on all the previous blocks. As a result a hypothetical ‘memory-saver’ should increase his calculation speed exponentially.”
Is Purk a Replacement for Bitcoin?
Purk aims to be a seamless payment protocol system with an untrackable blockchain. However, it doesn’t aim to outright dethrone Bitcoin. A thriving cryptocurrency environment depends on choice, as originally explained in the CryptoNote white paper.
“We do not consider CryptoNote as a full replacement to Bitcoin,” the paper said. “On the contrary, having two (or more) strong and convenient currencies is better than having just one. Running two and more different projects in parallel is the natural flow of electronic cash economics.”
What’s the Market Look Like?
Purk is currently traded on two exchanges – Altex Exchange and TradeOgre. It is not currently listed on CoinMarketCap, but the development team notes that it has a max supply of 179,424,673 coins – divisible by up to six decimal places – and an average price as of July 2018 of about $0.05.
What’s Next on the Purk Road Map?
Purk’s roadmap is both ambitious and exhaustive. The coin was launched earlier this year with full integrated wallet support expected by year-end. In 2019, Purk plans to launch its full donations platform by the second quarter. Long-term, Purk plans to transition from simple donations to a full-fledged payment platform for merchants. The idea is that Purk’s long-standing status as a donation vehicle can easily be ported to full merchant functionality, with subsequent integration of iOS and Android wallets.
The Purk Project is a fun new re-imagining of the original Bitcoin ethos. As a peer-to-peer currency, Bitcoin has severe limits when it comes to scalability and usefulness for the Average Joe. Mining Bitcoins is difficult and expensive, and so it’s rare to see Bitcoin actually used out in the wild – doubly so for applications like tipping. Purk fills this void by creating an ASIC-resistant coin with an associated tipping platform that can easily be used to monetize everything from blogs to band pages. PURK is easy to obtain and easy to spend, so the platform already has significant advantages over traditional cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
However, the really exciting part can be found way on the tail end of the Purk Project’s roadmap. Although initially geared toward tipping and website monetization, the Purk team eventually would like to tweak Purk to provide anonymous, untrackable peer-to-merchant transactions. If the scalability issues hold – and there’s no reason to believe it won’t – this could potentially be the big break that cryptocurrencies have been looking for. Mass adoption via a quick, simple system like Purk for everyday purchases is the holy grail of the crypto world, and it’s encouraging that Purk is already thinking about this kind of use case as its development just begins.
Ultimately, the Purk project is an ambitious but well-reasoned project with a clear roadmap and achievable goals. These goals are balanced by a long-term vision that could very well put it among the cryptocurrency top-tier, as long as its community stays active.