Panther, which has set out to provide a private scalable infrastructure for smart contract platforms, Defi, and Web3 applications, teamed up with Firo, the company formerly known as Zcoin, that has been developing privacy technology since 2016 and was responsible for the creation of privacy protocols such as Lelantus and Lelantus Spark.
The two companies, which could, to some extent, be viewed as adjacent competitors, decided to cooperate instead and join efforts to accelerate research in the field of privacy.
Panther contributes to the partnership with years of experience in the cryptography and cybersecurity space. Panther’s CTO Dr. Anish Mohammed, for example, with over 20 years of experience in security and cryptography, was an early advisor to Ripple, reviewed the Ethereum orange paper, worked on several projects including Ocean and Boson, and is the co-founder of the UK Digital Currency Association. Another important and notable member of the Panther team is Dr. Arnold Yau, a Ph.D. in Information Security from Royal Holloway, University of London with a 20-year career across academic research, defense R&D, hardware security tokens, financial services, blockchain technology and smart contract security.
Panther enables simple blockchain users, DeFi users, and institutions to exchange value across blockchains and DeFi infrastructure with zAssets: interoperable, fully collateralized privacy enhancing digital assets that leverage zkSNARK technology, while offering a novel price discovery mechanism for privacy.
For the Panther anonymity pools to function optimally, the size of the anonymity set in its shielded privacy pools is especially important, and one of the additional details of the partnership is that Firo holders will be able to act as privacy stakers and be rewarded for providing their assets into Panther vaults.
Firo, on the other hand, created a simple burn and spend model designed to strengthen privacy while making it more broadly accessible. Through financial privacy, Firo can directly guarantee fungibility, a fundamental feature for free commerce.
Some areas of research where Firo and Panther want to collaborate are privacy technology research, cross-chain bridges and liquidity.
Reuben Yap, co founder and project Steward at Firo says:
“We welcome this opportunity. It is incumbent on advocates of privacy to travel together. Working with Panther, we will have a great opportunity to collaborate on our ZK technologies. Onboarding with Panther will also give us access to other chains and as a result, much increased liquidity.”
Oliver Gale, CEO of Panther welcomed the collaboration. “At Panther we take our R&D very seriously. Working with Firo will be an interesting challenge. In some ways the Firo product is more like a competitor, but we are keen to trade Firo assets on our InterChain DEX. Both companies are dedicated to the defence of privacy and that creates our common bond.”
The partnership between Firo and Panther to provide technical collaboration and research between the two companies will look to develop new technology and invest in new ways of deploying zero knowledge proof systems relevant to privacy schemes. This will also allow for the movement of private Firo assets across chains.
Firo and Panther both advocate privacy as a fundamental human right and empower users to regain control of their money.