Hello! BlockTalkers & Blockchain Enthusiastic!
We recently hosted an AMA with Pastel Network, on February 5th at 03.00 PM UTC. Many of you might have participated or many of not. But we make sure no one missed out from the knowledge shared by Anthony Georgiades, Co-Founder & Early Investor in Pastel Network so here we are up with the AMA transcript, for those who missed the live session, this blog post will be a saver & feeder of knowledge for them.
Introduction Questions Asked By Team BlockTalks
Q1. Could you please introduce Pastel Network to our community in layman’s term?
Ans — The idea for Pastel really stemmed out of understanding that the digital art world can be addressed and innovated through blockchain technology. Tthere are numerous inefficiences that exist in the market for physical artwork, but there is no reason why the new world of digital artwork has to be shackled to this inefficient and inequitable system.
So as I said above, Pastel is all about empowering artists and art collectors to create, collect, and trade provably rare digital artwork in a truly decentralized, secure, and robust way.
When we started this project a few years ago, we concluded that the only way to do this was to make an application-specific blockchain (rather than, for example, just an ETH token) so we could control every aspect. And the problem that we are solving (digital art) is big enough to warrrant it’s own system 🙂
In short, we are a fully decentralized platform for creators to register, and store, rare digital assets (art for now) and for speculators to be able to verifiably purchase these provably raare pieces of art.
Q2. What are the advantages of Pastel Network to other alternatives in the Blockchain field?
Ans — So let’s first answer this by just talking about the market and landscape in general
There are a number of players in the space such as Rarible, SuperRare, WAX, or NIFTY Gateway.
Yes, these platforms do for sure have certain offerings for both creators and speculators. They are interoperable across various across ecosystems, which no doubt can improve liquidity and tradeability.
And then on top of this, have specific token standards (e.g. ERC721) which promise provable scarcity.
But really when It comes down to it if you look at all of these other competitors and alternatives, they are either built on top of ethereum or other blockchains. And so the purpose-built application is totally dependent on the native chain.
This is a MASSIVE problem to us. Imagine an artist starts to take off in popularity or a number of new users quickly join the network and there is suddently heightened NFT demand. Or even demand for the network by a totally independent, separate application. This traffic would drive transaction fees to a point in which it becomes economically in-viable to purchase a single piece of art. We see this in Ethereum right now!
So we solve this problem of scalability by being an application-specific blockchain, supported by an off-chain storage system
Additionally, these platforms or even native, so called self-contained platforms like Wax, simply lack the sophistication or network capability to handle the features we have such as deep learning based duplicate detection, distribute storage, or simply scanning for NSFW.
Q3. What are the major milestones Pastel Network achieved so far & what are in the future pipeline?
Ans — So to start with what we have achieved thus far — we have built out the underlying architecture (combining the best attributes of z-cash and dash), we have fully deployed our cNode system (which underpins the entire system), and we have rolled out the trading system for registering, storing, and trading art.
In short — we are a fully functioning, self-contained blockchain that supports decentralized trading. We are doing some final tests on the pyNode piece (the art trading part) before being released in produciton in the coming weeks.
Our pipeline: First in terms of development, this includes many key milestones such as rolling out a web-based (vs. dekstop wallet) application and then support for various file types (videos, audios, gifs, etc.).
Then we also have specific techincal implementations we want to tackle like Loaded POW or the use of steganogrphy to encode SPHINCs signatures as QR codes in images.
Questions Asked on Twitter For Pastel Network Team!
Q1. Could Pastel Network ensure that artworks can be stored and reconfigured in a distributed way, even in the event of a major network outage? How do LT codes mediate this?
Ans —When a piece of artwork is registered on the system, the file is split into thousands of fungible chunks (using the LT Encoding system) and distributed across ALL masternodes. Because we use fountain codes, there are no ‘missing’ or ‘rare’ chunks (like what you might have with BitTorrent). Each chunk is fungible with any other chunk, as long as It is a chunk you haven’t seen before.
So, let’s say there is a disaster and 80% of all masternodes suddenly dissappear. You can reconstruct the art image files from the remaining masternodes
Q2. Pastel is based on Z-Cash, but unlike Z-Cash, there is no coded mining reward. My question is, what is the cornerstone of Pastel architecture? So where does the Pastel Network compensation and promotion come from?
Ans — We have the Pastel Growth Fund established — 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 hypotehtically 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.
The Pastel Growth Fund is really in place to ensure the concontinuinty of the technical development, operations, business development, and marketing of the platform.
Right now it is being used for ongoing technical development and business development.
Most importantly, we want to allocate funding towards our artist onboarding. This includes commission of campaigns by tackling specific art segments of the market (for example, maybe we target an ANIME art community in southeast Asia)
Q3. Almost all defi projects need liquidity but as you have your own mainnet and this is a digital art project, does your system need liquidity? If yes how can you provide the liquidity? From our partners on your website?
Ans — Yes and no — the platform requires liquidity in the sense of being able to sensibly transact. So liquidity in the sense of buyers and sellers of the underlying rare digital art / asset.
Q4. Ownership of all artwork is backed by, and intrinsically linked to $PSL, but how can that ensure that digital Art won’t be plagiated? When a simple screenshot or picture could replicate it.
Ans — The same way you would check that a physical piece of art is ‘authentic’ by having it examined, simply upload the file to the Pastel Network and it will go through our duplicate detection system
This is a good point actually — let me describe further.
To protect artists and collectors, we realized that we needed a way to detect duplicate images. This is perhaps the most innovative aspect of the project, since we use 5 deep learning image recognition algorithms together with advanced statistics to detect dupes — even if they have been modified in all sorts of ways (like running any kind of photoshop filter on the image, or cropping, or flipping it, or changing contrast/colors, adding random noise pixels, etc.).
Q5. 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?
Ans — The NFT marketplaces that you are referencing are built on top of other blockchains (like Rarible on Ethereum)
We are much MORE than that. We are a full, self-contained system. We validate the authenticity of each artwork through our duplicate detection system + safe registration via NSFW, we provide sophistacted storage through our chunky block methodology, and we faciliate the marketplace — all in one platform. We are not beholden to any other blockchain
Questions Asked by our BlockTalks Community Members during live Session to Pastel Network Team!!
Q1. A partnership is essential for Adoption, so can you tell us what partners you have now and in the future?
Ans — We are currently partnering with CoinCentral, Searched, and Innovating Capital. We are working to form a number of partnerships over the next several months with communities, galleries, and platforms.
Q2. Can you list any unique that Pastel Network has that your competitors don’t have? give the reasons why we have to choose your project and what are the benefits for us?
Ans — I answered this above, will type again 🙂 Most competitors and alternatives are built upon ethereum or other blockchains (e.g. Tron). And so the purpose-built application is totally dependent on the native chain. These platforms or even native, so-called self-contained platforms like Wax, simply lack the sophistication or network capability to handle the features we have such as deep learning based duplicate detection, distributed storage, or simply scanning for NSFW. We are much MORE than that. We are a full, self-contained system. We validate the authenticity of each artwork through our duplicate detection system + safe registration via NSFW, we provide sophistacted storage through our chunky block methodology, and we faciliate the marketplace — all in one platform. We are not beholden to any other blockchain.
Q3. Pastel Network claim to offer solution that makes it possible to monetize digital art, but I I’m not sure how that will be possible when copies can be made or forged so easily? What mechanism have you put in place to help ensure that artists and collectors exchange their works in a secure way?
Ans — Please werid more about our duplicate detection methodology — “To protect artists and collectors, we realized that we needed a way to detect duplicate images. This is perhaps the most innovative aspect of the project, since we use 5 deep learning image recognition algorithms together with advanced statistics to detect dupes — even if they have been modified in all sorts of ways (like running any kind of photoshop filter on the image, or cropping, or flipping it, or changing contrast/colors, adding random noise pixels, etc.).”
Q4. In Pastel Network you believe censorship limits creativity. So all types of art with no filtering on what is or isn’t considered Art are accepted to be part of Pastel Network. Do you filter specific themes like pornography and eating disorder related art?
Ans — We have an NSFW system — which allows for us to filter against items that are illegal. this is not about censorship, but limiting illegal activity
Q5. Liquidity and transaction fees are always important factors. How does Pastel Network solves the above problem to attract users?
Ans — Since we are a self-contained system, transaction fees are always limited and not beholden to other platforms. The platform requires liquidity in the sense of being able to sensibly transact. So liquidity in the sense of buyers and sellers of the underlying rare digital art / asset.
Q6. Talent doesn’t always find its way into the art world, where artists often stick around to try crowdfunding. What are the tools that Pastel provides to creators and designers for Art to revive its value and splendor? How do you attract more artists to be part of Pastel?
Ans — We want to allocate funding towards our artist onboarding as you alluded to. This includes commission of campaigns by tackling specific art segments of the market (I gave an example of southeast asian ANIME art communities). Basically, the art market is sooooo fragmented both in terms of the types of art and the geographies / demographics etc. Which is a challenge, but also an amazing opportunity. We have been basically ‘attacking’ the market in terms of these communities, trying to manage each with almost ‘ community members ‘ and running specific campaigns or promotions for each. For example, a ‘promotional gallery’ approach to ANIME or commission artists for digital contemporary art.
Q7. What is the Pastel Network team currently focusing on? Is it building a community, partnership or NFT market?
Ans — We are focused on finalizing the trading platform (testing + security) — then we will focus on rolling out a web-based wallet. We are focused on strategic partnerships and building the community at all times 🙂
Q8. What region in the world is Pastel Network focusing on right now, like Asia or Africa? Or are you a global project that anybody in the world can use without restrictions?
Ans — We are absolutely global with no restrictions 🙂 No one is restricted from buying or selling art or creating and registering art. That is the beauty of the platform. We may target certain regions to be strategic, but we are absolutely open.
Q9. What is the most ambitious goal of your project? I would appreciate it if you could share with us any Upcoming Updates?
Ans — Our pipeline: First in terms of development, this includes many key milestones such as rolling out a web-based (vs. desktop wallet) application and then support for various file types (videos, audios, gifs, etc.). Then we also have specific technical implementations we want to tackle like Loaded POW or the use of steganography to encode SPHINCs signatures as QR codes in images. I would say these are all equally ambitious, but perhaps being able to support various file types 🙂