On October 20, 2020 Haven’s project lead (Dweab) conducted an AMA with the BKEX team on Telegram. Below is a transcript of the conversation, with all questions being answered by Dweab.
Before explaining these things, can you introduce yourself to us, Dweab?
Thank you Jenny. Yes. I am a cryptographer and software engineer with many years experience. I started writing code in about 1984. I have founded several successful digital companies over the years, and became fascinated with blockchain about 4 years ago.
So what exactly is Haven Protocol?
It’s an ecosystem of private synthetic assets that allows anyone to store and use their wealth in a digital vault holding it in a range of different asset classes including fiat currencies, commodities and precious metals. They can choose whether they want market volatility or price stability all within the Haven vault.
How long has the project been around?
The original developers started the project in early 2018. For a variety of reasons they could not see the project through to completion and so a community team took over the development in January 2019 and in July of this year we delivered the promise and launched xUSD as phase 1 of the project. We are very much a community led project and have not done an ICO or similar project funding.
You say users can store their wealth ‘in private’ could you expand on that some more?
Sure, so Haven [XHV] is a Proof of Work cryptocurrency based on Monero and so inherits all of its highly regarded privacy features including anonymous accounts and balances as well as fully private transactions. All assets in the Haven network also benefit from the same privacy set as XHV
Why did you choose to build Haven with privacy?
A good question and one that is subject to much debate in the media and cryptocurrency world.
First and foremost we believe that privacy is a basic human right that should be available to everyone, not just those who can afford it or who have the ‘right’ connections. Money is the most basic and essential good for citizens to participate productively in a society.
Without having control – you could call it ‘financial autonomy’ – then you are beholden to governments, financial institutions and corporations to allow you the choice of how you conduct your financial affairs.
As well as this, with money moving ever closer to the digital age, businesses would not use many of the existing cryptocurrencies due to the transparency of the accounts and transactions. This would mean many businesses lose any form of commercial privacy. Whilst there are private cryptocurrencies and there are stablecoins there have been none that combine the two and Haven exists to change this.
Monero was chosen as the platform to build Haven on for a few reasons including:
- It has base layer privacy by default (not optional privacy as this has proven to be ineffective)
- A large, highly skilled developer community that actively improves the protocol
- It’s technology is widely considered to offer the strongest user encryption and therefore privacy of any major cryptocurrency and has a relatively long history having been around since 2014.
So there’s more than one currency in the network?
Yes, at the moment we have XHV and xUSD live on mainnet and within the next couple of months we’ll be adding the next phase of Haven assets (known as xAssets) onto mainnet for anyone to use. We wanted to introduce some of the more widely known and used assets to ensure the network continues to grow and we can allow as many people as possible to benefit.
We launched xUSD as the first xAsset as it is the global reserve currency and touches the vast majority of all transactions. As well as this, many commodities, such as Oil are priced in USD so it made sense to have this as the primary release.
So phase two will consist of:
- xCNY and xEUR- Having the Chinese Yuan and Euro were important as these will expand our user base across regions that have a high usage of cryptocurrencies and already embrace digital money as being the future.
- xGOLD and xSILV- a large number of our community have requested Gold and Silver and being the most recognised and widely traded precious metals we felt there would likely be a demand for users to hedge against the current global economic situation
So how are the assets backed…do you have collateral in a bank?
In short no, Haven works very differently to pretty much every other stablecoin project that exists. It uses what is known as a ‘mint & burn’ mechanism to guarantee that the xAssets always maintain their peg. So, you can think of XHV as the network collateral and this can be converted to any of the other supported assets using your digital vault. It is carried out with no third party or slippage and you can convert an unlimited amount at any one time. The ‘mint & burn’ ALWAYS ensures that $1 worth of XHV is always convertible to 1xUSD so it can never lose its peg to the US Dollar
So you have to own XHV to be able to convert to all the other xAssets?
Exactly, so at the time of writing there are around 13 million XHV in circulation but this number could dramatically change depending on the demand for a private digital gold [xGOLD] or a digital Yuan [xCNY] because to create say $1M worth of xGOLD you have to burn the same USD value of XHV and this in turn reduces the supply of XHV available on the market. When you add the fact that Haven has implemented the first ever ‘coloured coin’ protocol on a cryptonote coin then there is virtually no limit to what could be added to the network in future.
So you could add lots of different currencies, commodities or even stocks to Haven later on using coloured coins? Could you explain a little more about this concept?
Yes. The term “Colored Coins” loosely describes a class of methods for representing and managing real world assets on top of a blockchain. It was originally proposed as a 2nd layer on top of the Bitcoin blockchain and we have just managed to successfully do this on Haven so we now have the option of doing this with full privacy. We think this will help unlock a huge potential for democratising investment opportunities to anyone with a computer or mobile device regardless of status or location.
Once someone owns XHV how do they convert it to another asset?
We’ve designed and built our own set of digital vaults that are available for the major operating systems and can be used on any desktop or mobile device. We are also developing an app to allow hardware wallets to be used for storing your xGOLD etc. Once you have your XHV in the vault it is a matter of a few clicks to convert to any other asset where you’ll get virtually instant confirmation of the transaction. We use 3rd party oracle providers to feed the asset prices into the network and give us the relevant exchange rates for each.
Could you explain a little more about the oracles you use?
So early on in the development it was originally planned to have our own oracle to provide the price feeds but this was deemed to be open to potential manipulation and since then the technology has become available to allow independent 3rd parties to provide the verified oracle data the network needs for exchange rates. We have initially used Chainlink for this and are currently in the process of integrating Band Protocol. We will add further oracle providers over time to give us greater network resilience and censorship resistance as well as help with the long term goal of decentralisation.
Could you give us some idea on what the roadmap for Haven looks like over the next few months?
Yes there’s a lot going on right now with project development. We’re in the process of finishing off development of the web vault with xUSD functionality as well as mobile and hardware wallets. The next major milestone will be the 2nd phase of xAssets on mainnet and we are in the process of setting up a foundation in order to formalise the project and enable a more systematic approach to project development.
And where are the best places for new users to get involved in the project and reach out to the team?
Our most active community and where the team spends most of the time is on our Discord channel. We also have Twitter, Medium, Telegram, Reddit, Blockfolio Signal and of course our website.
If regulations change tomorrow, how would you incorporate into a tokenized security? How do you comply with regulatory authorities in terms of KYC, DD and AML? How do you enable dispute resolution mechanisms and enforce a transaction or reverse it?
Because we are pure POW with no funding and no ICO, we are not a security. We also have no connection with FIAT and do not sell tokens since they are mined only. Therefore the project is not subject to kyc and AML. It is not possible to enforce or reverse a transaction, or to freeze accounts.
Are you planning to release some unusual tokens like: xPlatinum, xDiamond?
Yes. Because of our coloured coin model, we can create any type of synthetic asset the community desires.
At this point, do you think you need exchanges as a Binance to keep growing? Or is it better to forget those things and focus on other activities.
Good question. Due to the nature of our system, liquidity and depth of liquidity is important to ensure accurate pricing of conversions. Because of this we will continuously seek new exchanges, and new geographic markets like our current push into Asia.
Staking seems to be popular right now on many blockchain projects. Can you please explain the details about XHV staking plan and the benefits of adding “staking”?
Xhv does not provide staking, only POW mining. In the future, we may build a mechanism to ensure that holders of our offshore assets can get an incentive to hold in the form of a share of fees generated by the system.
Your metamorphosis is a laudable one, how have you been able to survive this longest bear market and continue building and developing?
The core team have worked all through the bear and we launched just as the market turned. We were able to do this because even though there was no ICO, and therefore no real funds to pay people, we do receive a small amount of xhv from each block, and the devs hodled their coins all the way through. We believe in the project so much that income is not important to us. The important thing is that this system needs to exist.
Can xASSETS be mined?
No, but transaction fees generated by the system are paid in xAssets to miners
So the same address works for every xAsset?
Thank you everyone for the questions – there are so many I can’t answer them all!