Iron Fish: characteristics, technology and planning

Privacy coins are nothing new, but the Iron Fish project, which has just completed financing, will not only provide the basic functions of privacy coins, but also hope to explore privacy coins from other aspects such as user experience, ease of use, and accessibility. Potential.

The concept of privacy coins or anonymous coins has undergone many iterations and updates in the cryptocurrency market. From the early Zcash and Monero to the later  Grin and Beam , as well as the recently announced Iron Fish project, they have all tried to integrate privacy and The attribute of anonymity is directly given to the native token of the blockchain network.


However, many opponents believe that privacy should be a function, so asset anonymity solutions such as Tornado.Cash, Aztec or Wasabi are more worthy of attention, because they can give other assets the characteristics of privacy, so this type of product It also covers more audiences. After all, the user base holding BTC and ETH should be no less than other anonymous coins, and such users still have anonymity needs.

Even so, the Iron Fish project still believes that a privacy-focused platform is still worth exploring, so in addition to supporting the features of previous generations of anonymous coins, they also pay attention to accessibility. Their protocol architecture design will start at the network layer, allowing users to achieve point-to-point network connections in the browser, through the WebRTC and WebSockets transmission protocols.

At present, Iron Fish has started the public beta phase, and anyone can run a complete Iron Fish node. At the same time, it also disclosed financing information. It has raised 5.3 million US dollars from angel investors and institutions. Investors include Electric Capital (Avichal Garg), Elad Gil, Metastable (Naval Ravikant and Lucas Ryan), A Capital (Kartik Talwar), Slow Ventures (Jill Carlson), Dylan Field (Figma), John Lilly, Jack Abraham (Atomic), Juan Benet (Filecoin), Jack Chou, Balaji Srinivasan, Lemniscap (Roderik van der Graaf), James Prestwich and Linda Xie.

However, there are still many details of the project that have not yet been disclosed, such as the specific consensus algorithm, token economics design, etc., and we can only wait for the team to follow up.

Iron Fish name origin: submarine

According to the team, Iron Fish is named after the submarine code used by the “Navajo” decoders during World War II, which is a metaphor for the protection and defense capabilities of encryption technology.

According to Wikipedia, the Navajo community has its own language, Navajo, which has no written words and can only be passed on by word of mouth. Its composition is quite complicated and almost no one outsiders understands it. Therefore, it was used as a password for clear calls in the Pacific War, so that the Japanese army could not crack the American password, and it was not cracked until the end of World War II. In Navajo, “submarine” can be directly translated as “Iron Fish”.

The Iron Fish team stated, “We chose this name because it can demonstrate the power of cryptography. A complex modern concept can be described in relatively simple words, and there are two tradable commodities in its name: iron and fish. .”

Iron Fish core technologies: zero-knowledge proof, Sapling, WebRTC

Unlike some privacy coin projects (such as Zcash), all transactions in Iron Fish are crypto transactions, which means that users do not need to disclose any information to any third party.

In order to achieve this function, Iron Fish chose the zero-knowledge proof technology in privacy technology, especially influenced by the Sapling technology invented by Zcash, but there are some differences. The zero-knowledge proof technology they adopted is the Sapling proof of zk-SNARK Groth16.

Zero-knowledge proof has become the core and most worthy of research technology in privacy and capacity expansion in the industry. For the technical details of Iron Fish zero-knowledge proof, it is recommended to refer to the official  white paper .

In addition, in order to design the crypto currency to be easy to use, any account can be equipped with a key with read-only permission, and the transfer information of the account can be disclosed. This may also be a mechanism designed to solve regulatory problems. For example, Tornado.Cash has also designed such a mechanism so that users can prove the source of their assets.

In order to make it easier for users to access the network, Iron Fish uses a combination of WebRTC and WebSockets as the transport layer to solve the problem of router port forwarding. Iron Fish uses a lot of technology to help nodes establish direct communication, which can be used out of the box, whether in a CLI (command line interface) environment or in a web browser, anyone can easily access Iron Fish.

Consensus: PoW that generates blocks in 15 seconds, and the mining algorithm has not yet been disclosed

Iron Fish uses a PoW consensus that requires computing power, similar to Bitcoin. They will also dynamically adjust the mining difficulty through algorithms to provide an average block time of 15 seconds, which is similar to Ethereum.

Regarding the specific PoW algorithm, the specific details have not been disclosed in the white paper, and will be disclosed before the project goes online.

Planning: custom assets, Layer 2, mobile terminal

Privacy as a function is of course very important, but the ecology of the blockchain network is also the core competitiveness of building barriers. Therefore, from the perspective of Iron Fish’s next work, they also realize that they need to continue to explore ecological construction.

If you look at the asset side first, not only does the Iron Fish native token “IRON” exist in the network, it also needs to support the issuance and circulation of other assets, such as stable coins or other types of third-party assets. In addition, the team has not disclosed whether there is a “FISH” token, but there is a possibility.

In addition, Iron Fish has also taken into account the issue of scalability, and will promote the construction of the Layer 2 network to take precautions. And they said they will also explore richer Web support and mobile support, so that more people can easily access the network.

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