Pastel — Cryptoverse AMA
Date : 17th March 2021
Guest : Jeff Emanuel — CEO & Founder
Anthony Georgiades — Co-Founder
Q: Please briefly introduce yourselves and @PastelNetwork to our community?
Jeff Emanuel : Pastel is a purpose built blockchain designed specifically for the use case of rare art . I started working on Pastel 3 years ago and it has been under continuous development since then.
Our goal was to make a system that doesn’t suffer from all the problems and limitations of NFT platforms that are built on Ethereum and other blockchains, which have very high fees that make it expensive to create and trade NFTs, and also don’t include basic features which any NFT platform should have in our view: built in file storage directly in the network, and advanced image fingerprinting technology that allows us to measure how rare or different an artwork is versus the previously registered artworks on Pastel.
We are now very close to releasing our first version of our NFT software, which we estimate will come out in the next 2 or 3 months.
We had our first exchange listing on March 5th, 2021, on the bitcoin.com exchange. We are talking to several other exchanges now and also working on setting up a wrapped PSL that can be traded on Uniswap and other DEXs.
Q: Will Pastel be able to store ownership of physical art pieces on the chain at some point in the future or Will the focus remain on digital art. If so, how does one store physical art on the chain?
A: So the short answer is no, we have no plans to store or do anything with physical artwork. We don’t believe that it makes sense to bridge the divide between the physical world and the digital world of blockchains. There is no way to do so without bringing in a lot of centralization and legal contracts and things like that. We always envisioned Pastel as being made specifically for native digital artwork — artwork that was created for consumption on a screen.
Q: What is the main mission of pastel Network? What is future roadmap of pastel Network?
A: The main mission of Pastel is to empower artists from all over the world — even poor countries, where artists might struggle to pay $400+ to mint an NFT on an Ethereum based platform — so that they can create and sell their artworks to fans and collectors from anywhere, without paying large transaction fees.
Our future roadmap has a lot of exciting pieces. We have numerous technology upgrades planned that will make our platform more scalable over the long term. But we also have a lot of features planned on the user side, such as adding rich commenting/chat functionality (similar to a custom subreddit that each artist can create on their profile page on our platform, which the artist could moderate and their fans could comment or ask questions).
We also have plans to support more media types over time. The vast majority of the underlying technology in Pastel isn’t specific to images. However, we are focused on the art market for now.
We also have plans that would allow Pastel to interact with the broader NFT ecosystem, so that Pastel NFTs could be traded on ETH based DEXs
So imagine a world where creators of all sorts can register and store their rare digital assets (art, memes, gifs, music etc.) on Pastel. The beauty is that Pastel is a really a layer 1 solution, and It will be the gold standard for decentralization amongst any and all rare assets
We have also designed an innovative system that would allow users to purchase small amounts of Pastel (enough for them to get started on Pastel and register a few artworks or buy a few inexpensive artworks on Pastel) by having the user trade directly with Masternodes, so that they could convert USDC and other stablecoins directly in the wallet app. This would make onboarding new users even more painless, especially since many artists aren’t so tech savvy.
The big thing to remember about Pastel is that we did things the hard way, by making our own blockchain. But this gives us unlimited flexibility to do anything, including things that require a lot of compute power such as duplicate image detection. Platforms built on top of Ethereum are much more limited in what they can do given the limitations of Ethereum — it’s slow and super expensive.
This is why it has taken us 3 years to get to this point.
Q: Are you planning to focus solely on creating a token for digital art commerce, or are you planning to expand into other areas in the future, perhaps within or outside artistic path?
A: We discussed this a bit above. There is no reason why Pastel’s technology couldn’t apply to other types of media, such as 3d files for use in gaming, or audio files. We have intentionally kept much of the backend architecture generic and modular to handle these other kinds of files. But we believe that a focused approach is the right strategy for us at the beginning, and art is a huge addressable market where there is already a lot of market interest and traction, so that’s why we are marketing ourselves as an art based project now.
Q: In an article on Medium, you comment that “Pastel is more than just an NFT marketplace”. What are the characteristics that make Pastel transcend beyond simple art commerce and stand out from its competitors?
A: This is a key question, and something that many people seem to miss. People see new platforms popping up now based on Ethereum or Binance Smartchain and think this is the same as what we are doing on Pastel. What this misses is that Pastel has the flexibility and power to offer features that these other platforms could never do in an economically feasible way because of the limitations of the platforms they are building on. For example, just doing the near-duplicate detection on a single artwork requires a tremendous amount of computation. Just to compute the image fingerprints themselves, let alone comparing them all, takes so much computing power that to do that on Ethereum would cost many thousands of dollars worth of gas fees. For us, we can do this on the Masternodes for mere pennies.
Another very big difference is that we can natively store the underlying image files inside the Pastel network (not in the blockchain itself, since that approach doesn’t scale, but stored on the Masternodes in a super redundant, robust way, so that even if 70% of the Masternodes suddenly disappear from the network, users will always be able to reconstruct the images files from the remaining Masternodes).
Other NFT platforms simply have a link that points to the image file, and the image file is stored on something like Google drive, or IPFS. In the first case, it’s totally centralized, and what happens when the owner of the Google account hosting the file stops paying their bill? Will those links still work in 10 years? Probably not. In the case of IPFS, you are bringing in a whole external dependency that is not controlled by the network itself.
Q: Do buyer needs to do KYC before purchasing NFTs in the auction? How do you differentiate if someone try to sell my NFT without my authorization? Do you have any mechanism to prevent hackers to do so?
A: No, there is no KYC process. We are decentralized system that anyone can access — they just need to create a PastelID which costs 1,000 PSL to do, and they can start collecting or minting NFTs.
In terms of people stealing other artist’s work, we will have two features that protect against this. One is our robust near-duplicate detection that compares a new artwork that someone wants to register on Pastel to all the previously registered works on Pastel. If the new artwork is too similar to the existing artworks, then it won’t get the highest designation of rareness on the system.
The other function is one that checks if an image has ever been seen on the broader internet before by doing reverse image searches on the images (the Masternodes handle all this in a decentralized way). If the image has never been seen on the internet before, and never been on Pastel before, then it gets the highest mark for rareness.
Finally, if someone still has their work registered by someone else, the original artist will be able to file a petition on Pastel that explains their story with evidence. The Masternodes operators can review these petitions, and if they are convinced, they can vote to approve the request. If enough Masternodes vote in favor of the petition, then the artwork can be transferred to the rightful owner.
But the other option is that the true artist can register their artwork again, and if they can prove to the public that theirs is the “real one”, their version should be the most valuable.
And collectors could verify this by going to the artist’s social media pages and seeing what their PastelID public key is and verifying that the NFT on Pastel is signed with the legit PastelID private key.
Q: Where does the project name come from? What does it mean for you and why did you choose that name for your project?
A: Pastel is a type of crayon that artists use to make pictures. Mostly we liked the sound of it and the relationship to art. Just as pastels are a tool that can be used for artists to express their vision, so is Pastel Network.
Q: Can you tell about your listing plans? Specially the ones involving major exchanges, CEX and DEX. Are we to look forward to further Partnerships and what values would they bring?
A: We are currently going after a handful of centralized exchanges such as GateIO, Kucoin, and Huobi while simultaneously working on a wrapped version of PSL to be able to list on the likes of Uniswap and other ERC-20 based DEX’s
Q: What is the role of token in the ecosystem? Where can users currently buy it, and what would be its use?
A: PSL is the native utility token that is used for:
* Fees for processing transactions and registering assets.
* Running masternodes on the network via staking PSL tokens.
* Used for governance votes to determine how network resources are allocated
You can currently buy it on Bitcoin.Com
Q: What are the ways that generates income/revenue to maintain your project and what is its revenue model? Also How can it make benefit win-win to both investor and your project ?
A: There are a few ways that we do this. One is that our backers of the project have deep pockets and have been funding our development for the past 3 years and will continue to do so. The other is that 10% of the mining block reward goes to the development fund, and Masternodes can vote in a decentralized way on how to allocate these funds to best advance the interests of the project.
Q: Which area you do focus on at the moment? (DeFi, Nft, Dapps, Stake, Yield Farming)
A: We are mostly an NFT platform, but because we have Masternodes, this is similar to a staking system. If you own 5 million PSL, you can create your own Masternode pretty easily and help run the network, and you will share equally with all the other Masternodes the 20% of the mining block reward that goes to Masternodes. This is like mining without paying for electricity.
Q: Do you have a Global ambassadorial Program or Referral Reward System? Do I get any benefit from holding your token for long term?
A: If you have enough PSL to run a masternode, then yes. But we are looking into ways to help groups of users get together with a trusted operator to run the server and they can split up or syndicate the cost of the Masternode.
Q: Staking programme is very important for any project, Can i stake Pastel Network ? Do you have any plan of starting staking programme?
A: We are running the Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm Equihash, but we also supports Masternodes which require staking 5M PSL.
Q: How will you attract investors and build the trust and win the hearts of millions of people in your project?
A: We think once people hear and understand our story, they will realize that we have a better approach than competing projects. The other thing that will give us a huge boost is when our software is released in 2–3 months and we can get famous artists to release NFTs on Pastel. We already have some big names lined up.
Q: Any plans to increase the number of validators where common holders will be able to stake Pastel Network in the future? If so, are there any estimated launches?
A: Anyone can run a masternode and stake on the network at the moment.
Q: While you build your project, do you take into account community feedbacks and demands?
A: Yes, we welcome input from the community and we are always open and listening to feedback. If you have ideas, please come to our Telegram channel and tell us about them.
Q: PSL Can you tell me what are the main benefits of your project? And what are your plans to raise awareness about #PSL in the non-crypto space? and which areas are on your mind?
A: We are allocating funding towards our artist onboarding. This includes commissioning of campaigns by tackling specific art segments of the market (for example southeast asian ANIME art communities). Basically, the art market is so fragmented both in terms of the types of art and the geographies / demographics etc.
Q: What is your strongest advantage that you think will make your team leading the market?
A: PSL features include:
- Near-duplicate Image Protection — The network rejects any new registration of the “same” (or clearly derivative) art image using Tensorflow with Keras Applications (models)
- NSFW Detection — The network rejects any new registration of NSFW art (for the purpose of excluding illegal child pornography images) using Tensorflow with OpenNSFW models.
- Masternode Reputation Tracking — The network verifies that all Masternodes are actually storing the data they are supposed to store and punish those that are not using cNode’s Validation logic extended to validate MN activities.
Q: Many projects rug pulled and exit scam recently. Why should investors trust your project not to do the same?
A: The rug pull incident actually illustrates one of the best reason why Pastel is different and better. It would be 100% impossible for anyone to replace the NFT image after the artwork has been sold on Pastel, because 1) the image file itself is stored in the network in our storage layer, and 2) the image fingerprints are stored in the blockchain art registration ticket.
Q: Do the token holders have the right to participate in the governance of the project? What kind of decisions can they vote on about the project?
A: Yes because anyone can create a Masternode without permission from anyone, you just need to own enough PSL (5 million). Then you can vote on proposals, with each Masternode getting one vote. But regular users can’t vote because there is no way to do that in a secure, decentralized way (someone could create thousands of fake users and use that to take control).
Q: How, or through which big partnerships do you plan on utilising to pass your product onto the normal consumer — especially non-crypto people?
A: We have the Pastel Growth Fund in place to ensure the continuity of the technical development, operations, business development, and marketing of the platform.
It is not a hard-coded reward but users can submit tickets to the blockchain in order to receive 5% of the block-reward (must be approved by a majority of masternodes). So hypothetically User X could say that they want to receive 1M PSL in order to onboard a new gallery partnership. They will submit this ticket and once approved, the funds will be allocated by the Growth Fund for this campaign.
We will be allocating funding towards partnerships, integrations, and artist onboarding. This includes working with existing platforms to have them build on top of Pastel, or working with emerging businesses who may want to roll out white label platforms on top of us.
Q: What is the role of token in the ecosystem? Where can users currently buy it, and what would be its use?
A: The PSL token is used by artists to pay the registration and storage fees for creating new NFTs on Pastel. Collectors use PSL to bid on the NFTs. And the NFT tickets themselves are stored in the blockchain in the form of special PSL coin transactions.
Q: I’m a developer, and I’m interested in contributing to your project alongside earning, Do you have any Bug Bounty to check for vulnerabilities?
A: Yes, please reach out to us in our Telegram group. We are always looking for talented devs.
Q: Presently as of today, can we possibly use your token in real life for payment? Any plan for increase use cause for the token?
A: We aren’t really focused on this — if you want to use PSL for everyday purchases, you are probably better off converting it into BTC or fiat currency on an exchange.
Q: Where can tokens be bought? What plans do you have as regards partnering to list on major exchanges? CEX or DEX?
A: Right now you can buy PSL on the bitcoin.com exchange. We are planning to release a wrapped version of PSL soon that you could buy on a DEX such as Uniswap.
Q: Does the price of the token matter to you from an operational perspective, if the token price is $1 or $100? Does the price of the token matter to you from an operational perspective, if the token price is $1 or $100?
A: Yes, we care about the PSL price because it sends a signal to the market about the potential of our platform. It also allows us to use the PSL to attract and compensate better developers and to get higher profile influencers and artists to promote Pastel.
Q: Is your project is fully decentralized and is there some risk of centralization in the future?
A: We have designed everything to be as decentralized as possible. Once things are running at scale with thousands of Masternodes, it would be impossible to shut down the system by attacking a single point of control. We want it to be so that even if the President of the US said to shut it down, it would be hard to do it because the independent Masternode operators all over the world could keep running the system.
Q: Too many projects promise magic but never release any working product or prove any revenue, Within a short/long time of release. Is your project also like this? If not can you tell us, What makes your project different from other projects?
A: You can check out Github — we have been steadily working on this for years. Most of the backend infrastructure works is now complete.
Q: Your metamorphosis is a laudable one, how have you been able to survive this longest bear market and continue building and developing because many projects have died out in this time period?
A: We have been able to survive the bear market because our backers have a long term vision and have significant financial resources to fund the project. We aren’t dependent on the market for our funding.
Pastel is coming!
To keep the community informed, we will be posting additional information and updates as the March 5th listing date approaches. The best way to stay up to date is to follow our Twitter account or join our Telegram room for the most current feed! We look forward to delivering a world class experience for artists and collectors alike after our token sale concludes and our platform is live for all. Will you join us?
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