DigitalNote ($XDN), formerly known as DuckNote or DarkNote, is a crypto project born in 2014 and recently revamped after the original one has been abandoned by its creator(s).
The new project has truly little to do with the original one and it is a very promising one. Digital Note is a hybrid coin meaning that its consensus is achieved both via mining (you can mine it using the BMW512 algo) and staking (Echo512 algo) being both ASIC resistant.
This choice is a good guarantee that the network will remain truly decentralized and that 51% attacks will be extremely hard to carry because they would require to achieve 51% of the hash power plus the 51% of the total coins staked.
The mission of Digital Note is to secure privacy at all levels, not only when it comes to obfuscate the sender and/or the receiver of a transactions, but the content itself as the main product to be released by the dev team is a complete messaging platform granting that the communications exchanges will be readable only be elected sources and recipients. It is worth mentioning that the messaging platform is and will be completely free to use.
For more detailed information, I suggest to read the whitepaper available on their website
THE GOOD AND THE BAD OF THE PROJECT
As I will never be better in describing a project than their own devs, I thought it could have been of some interest to write down my personal opinion in the shape of a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis hoping it could help somebody who doesn’t know the project to figure out what to expect.
Here below the synthetic matrix and below some more detailed comments
For those having patience, I will try to elaborate on the main topics and to explain my point of view.
Tech - The ASIC resistance combined with the prevention of almost all the possible 51% attacks is of paramount importance. It grants a sufficient decentralization and it is a great insurance against malicious attempts to take control of the network. Big coins like BTC or ETH are exposed to 51% attacks and, in some manner, they are much more centralized than it is generally perceived.
Dev Team - I do not have enough technical knowledge to assess the capabilities of the team, but they are able to deliver solutions. What is important to me as a user is to see the team very willing to stay in touch with the community and to see them open to consider and accept ideas coming from regular members. A successful project is a project that grows together with its userbase and is flexible enough to give an answer to the wider set of needs possible. This could slow down a bit the time to market, but will make of the final product a better one and less in need of “corrections”
Community -The community is still not so numerous, but its members are pretty active and eager to participate in all aspects of the “development”, being it a tech or a market issue. A cooperative community is another big plus for whatever project
Competition - When it comes to privacy protection and we do not speak only about tx obfuscation, there are not so many projects dealing with it around. The vast majority of competitor are more than happy to promise the sender and a receiver of a tx to remain anonymous and that is all. On the other hand, the volume of communications exchanged via messaging systems is enormous all over the world and it includes a huge amount of personal data that people are willing to keep private.
Incentives - The incentive system is very interesting regardless if you plan to mine XDN or to stake them. The block reward is 300 XDN (100 for miners, 100 for masternode owners and 150 for stakers). At the current price (date of writing) of 11 sats per XDN it can appear not so exciting but seen in a longer run it looks different for sure.
Lightweight solutions – The dev team is planning to release lightweight wallets. In other words, wallets that do not need to store the whole data of the blockchain. This will be a key solution to offer the mobile users a viable tool because it sill solve the problem of long and heavy syncs.
Resources – The project, as far as I am informed, is self-funded by the dev community and highly likely cannot count on big financial support. This is making things harder because it puts constraints almost everywhere and slows down the entire production process.
Dev Staff - For what I can see, the dev team looks a bit understaffed. In times like these, the ability to deliver fast to the market is of crucial importance. It helps in keeping the advantage on competitors (current and potential ones) and always grants the advantage to the first movers. Users are also very often impatient to have available all the tools planned, and “long” waiting times could lead some (or many) of them to leave the project. After all, this is the society of the “everything now”.
Marketing - Marketing wise the project is noticeably under exposed. Social accounts could be managed much more actively as well as media coverage could be much wider. There are no systems incentivizing community building or social posting so the project lives on the good will of community members willing to spread the word around.
Product range incomplete – As for today, it is only available the core QT wallet with the messaging system in beta. Still is a pretty traditional UI not very user friendly. There is no desktop or mobile app. This second, according to the official road map, should enter development during this quarter. Anyway, the overall offer is still limited to be attractive for a wide user base. For the time being is fit for those who did their research on the project and understood its immense potential.
Trading – XDN is currently traded on Bitrex, Upbit, HitBTC and WhiteBit, with the first representing almost 90% of the daily volume traded. Bittrex is for sure a good exchange to be on (one of the top 10), but to gain exposures to more traders the coins should find a way to be listed in one or two more big exchanges
Demand for privacy – It is going to increase a lot especially because it is spreading the awareness that big players, governments and private companies are tracking and using almost all the information we are sharing whatever the platform we use. It could appear useless when it comes to messaging, but via message we all are sharing a lot of very personal information. The demand to keep protected and untraceable those communication will be a key feature of the next gen messaging application.
If this is obvious, is less obvious to see the potential in B2B and to see it you must think to privacy in terms of “confidentiality”. Confidentiality is one of the most serious concerns in every industry whenever delicate information are exchanged or shared with other companies. Contractual agreements, offers, tech developments, legal stuff and we can list a lot more. I am sure the team sees this opportunity and that, in the future, they can come out with some brilliant solution able to serve this huge need.
A good strategy to serve both the retail and the corporate segment will make of this project a true star.
Obstructionism – Messaging apps are in the hands of a very few number of big players whose revenues are strictly connected to their ability to mine your data (if not to gather them openly). I expect that they will fiercely resist and try to put hurdles to whoever will be offering solutions focused on privacy protection and untraceability because that would be a serious threat to their business. They have enormous resources and influence, but they are also very big and generally slow in reaction. Nevertheless, I do not expect them to welcome any competitor nor any potential disruptor of the current system.
Regulatory issues – The same could be said and feared when you think about possible regulations. Governments could become very concerned if systems like these will have success. In part because it could help to share in a safe way information of criminal nature, on the other hand because it could make those “transactions” difficult to intercept. In this sense some legal restrictions could be expected to be issued. It will be difficult to stop a peer-to-peer system like Digital Note, but when it comes to regulatory constraints very often the reality surpassed by far the sickest fantasy.