Firo's Long Term Direction towards a Privacy Ecosystem: Community Feedback

I have been thinking about this issue for a while and wanted to gauge community feedback on Firo’s long term direction. We have our roadmap clear at least in the short-middle term to deliver on Spark and improve the user experience and Spark address use. I’m pretty proud on this and as a community I think it’s really something to celebrate that we can continue to push out good work.

With Spark Assets coming, a big question now arises as to the direction of the project. The introduction of Spark assets means we are moving to becoming a privacy ecosystem rather than just a cryptocurrency for private payments. We want other people to be building on our chain and creating tokens for all sorts of different things.

The problem with doing this in isolation just on Firo’s existing blockchain is that we are in a bit of an island. In an industry where you are competing with L1s that have 100s of millions of dollars to incentivize builders and projects to build on them, Firo does not have similar incentives nor do we have a large enough community to have a network effect. Solana achieved a lot of traction due to its attractive grants/funding despite being non EVM but its activity also dropped off post FTX and while activity is still happening, it remains to be seen if it can recover its earlier heights.

Even communities that do have some network effect also struggle with this. Ravencoin to me is also an example of a project that made ‘token issuance’ as a focus but we aren’t seeing any meaningful up take in that utility. Bitcoin Cash also has attempted this and similarly has developed an EVM compatible sidechain called smartBCH which also seems to have gone relatively inactive. Another project I follow Radix has developed a whole new safer programming language with a blazing fast consensus mechanism but yet has only attracted about 21m in TVL. Our friends at Beam similarly has built out its privacy ecosystem along with its own decentralized stablecoin but only sees 478k USD in TVL and a couple of hundred dollars in volume.

On the other hand, Ethereum and EVM ecosystems continues to remain the leader in market share despite its limitations. The reason is because of mature and active DeFi protocols there along with a whole ecosystem of active users. Let’s take a look at TVL metrics:

The last thing I want is to spend a lot of time on building out Spats only to see a ghost town despite its capabilities.

So we have a few options here (these all require more research and are based off cursory examination):

  1. Remain Firo’s current blockchain and build out Spats independently: This is basically the Zano/Beam approach. This has the least overhead and least risky technically. Bridging over assets may be more complicated or require custodial solutions. This was the original plan.
  2. Don’t build out Spats, focus on Firo as for payments and optimizations to user experience and tech upgrades (such as Curve Trees).
  3. Maintain a sidechain similar to the SmartBCH model with minimum privacy but has Defi primitives and much easier bridging of assets. However this doesn’t really utilize Spark and is a big question mark whether users will use Firo’s main chain even if the sidechain takes off. We can possibly use it as a liquidity gateway to Firo’s main chain.
  4. Become a chain that supports Cosmos IBC. This is the route that SCRT has adopted and has some moderate success (20m TVL). This requires quite a bit of work and the validator set is relatively centralized. Open questions on how to do this with Cosmos account model.
  5. Become an Ethereum L2. This allows to gain mindshare by tapping into the Ethereum ecosystem. However can be quite complex also and would need a lot of reskilling of existing developers. There are opportunities to do this using a UTXO model (such as Fuel Labs).
  6. Become another L1 but with EVM, with UTXO support/Spark. This allows us to retain independence of validators but means also a lot more stuff that needs to be built around it. This is similar to Polygon (without UTXO).

I may be wrong about the options above and open to hearing from other experts on the matter.

Options 4,5 and 6 require a lot of work and probably a change in team and funding. It also throws a way a lot of the work already done and is akin to a new project. It also introduces a lot of migration headaches.

To make option 4,5 and 6 viable, it would require an additional funding raise. One idea is to utilize the unissued portion of Firo to do this with a reasonable vesting cycle. This would not change the overall supply but would mean that we are no longer following the issuance cycle of Bitcoin (which to me is outdated anyway). It does make us more ‘VC’ investor based though but at the same time might attract more funding and activity. Or we can be more flexible and use this as a way to align incentives better while protecting existing Firo holders.

I don’t have any particular personal preference currently as each have their own pros and cons.

I am engaging a preliminary study to evaluate these options in details so I can come up with a more educated post and summary on these options but still wanted to gauge preliminary community appetite to this.

Things to Factor in

  • Ease of bridging tokens from other ecosystems
  • Ease of creation of AMMs/internal DEX
  • Compatibility with Spark/Spark Assets technology
  • How censorship resistant is the consensus/security mechanism
  • Amount of work + team changes required
  • Additional Funding required?
  • Replacement of role of masternodes

Hi, for me option number 1 is better. looking at the current situation and conditions regarding the community which is still not large, option number 1 is probably something that can definitely be realized. carry on as is and while waiting for the moment when privacy will be really needed, I am sure that there will be help that will come in the mission of developing Firo in the future. like only BTC, where BTC reached what it is today, it was not without various contributions from developers, communities, to investors and retailers who were involved in the presence of BTC.

Whatever it is, I really appreciate the Firo team in developing Firo to date. struggling is part of success. Today Firo may be nothing but in the future Firo will be useful for anyone.

keep it up !


In my opinion Spats can be adopted in huge if there will be:

  • reliable way to bridge from/to other chains
  • easy way to exchange tokens (Firo ↔ Spats exchange)

That would make possible for people currently using ERC20 tokens to swap and use Firo Spats instead.

So my ideal would be for Spats be something like ERC20 tokens but on Spark, with DeFi exchanges and bridges to other chains.

However I understand that without huge funding and some big projects joining is not realistic.


Personally I’m not a fan of 3, 4, 5 or 6 due to issues already mentioned, and potential concerns with structural censorship vulnerabilities with some of the options. Also, while it is important to be able to pivot direction and change path according to changing conditions. We also shouldn’t ignore that uncertainty regarding a projects fundamental direction also has a cost to the community. So while this is important to discuss in order to weigh up our options. It would be good, if the timeline for such discussions are not any longer than they need to be imo.

Below are my preliminary thoughts, which may change with more info.

No.1) This is the most desired outcome for me personally. However having a ‘non’ custodial solution to bridging in and out would be important. Would hate to see a lot of resources be dedicated to this, only to see custodians get shut down later down the road, and before non-custodian solutions are up and running. However using custodians initially, my be the smartest thing in order to help get the project off the ground. In which case it’s a calculated risk.

No.2) I would prefer to amend this to ‘Delay’ build out Spats. Delaying could mean we miss out on an early mover advantage opportunity that may currently exist. Should the expense of No.1 not be feasible at certain points, I would like to see efforts to improve the user experience of Firo’s basic functions.
Also as progress in the crypto sector moves quickly, it may mean that new bridging technologies are discovered by other projects that may simplify the process of building out spats and reduce our expense.

However some of these points are hard to weigh up without knowing more details. i.e. if we invest in Curve Trees, how much larger would anonymity sets be, how much faster and smaller could TX’s be etc.


Curve Trees would have global anonymity sets. Meaning billions. Comparable performance.


Pretty darn cool then!!!

I guess really the most important issue is how to grow, as that pays for all the nice tech we want to research and implement. Remember 425 coffee?
I can no longer use Firo to buy coffee.
"Quinton, [Jan 22, 2024 at 7:14:07 PM]:
We recently changed over to Coinpal as our crypto payment processor. Im sorry but they do not offer Firo as a paymnet option.

Was that your crypto that went through earlier?"

I still think we should of invested in a MyCryptoCheckout alternative. Something simple free and easy for crypto enthusiasts to setup and offer to their customers, as long as they offer Firo payment option.
i.e. it was a strategy for user growth, that shouldn’t cost the earth.
I’m not really the right guy for the job though, it was a pita to get info. I don’t have the required knowledge or contacts with devs etc.


At this stage, when we have just launched Spark, it is necessary to focus on the best implementation and expansion of the new technology to our existing infrastructure. It is necessary to find out possible weak points of Spark in the main network and provide full protocol support for our services and wallets. It is necessary to implement payment from mining and masternode rewards to Spark addresses and then launch Helsing. Simply put, we first need to get firmly on our feet with a new running solution. That is, this is option number 2:

After implementing the main tasks with the new protocol, we can move on to implementing option number 1 with Spats support and creating/expanding a confidential ecosystem (but this should not be the main goal of the project):

Options 3, 4, 5 and 6 are not applicable to me. We must go our intended path, and not jump from branch to branch. Privacy coins will be of great interest to people in the near future and we must save our face.


1 or 2. Let’s not get lost in the chimera that is/was defi.


1 or 2. Stay solid and be who we are.


Should we undertake some research to evaluate this further? Or are we set on approaches 1 and 2?


sure. do some research.


I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of days, and I think Firo needs to stay true to itself - and stay on course - so this would be options 1 and/or 2.

Having said that - there are different reasons people get involved with crypto: some just want to ‘get quick rich’ - which can be done with almost any other coin. Others, once they see a coin like Firo get attracted to the idea of private transactions and put all their effort into a coin like Firo and never look back (like myself). The world is in such a mess right now - Firo may be a safe-haven for many people if governments go too crazy.

People have changed crypto into a store of value to some degree, and in many parts of the world most crypto is actually treated as securities (which I don’t think it should be - I think it should be treated as cash). Let’s face it - Satoshi’s original vision for crypto has all but been destroyed by business or government takeover of Bitcoin. That’s one of my biggest concerns about Firo - will it stand the test of time - and do what we want it to do - basically be a newer safer more private form of cash.

What’s missing from virtually all crypto out there is a solid reason for using or needing crypto - and solid and usable apps or platforms that basically ‘anyone’ can use. I read though options 3-6 and would need more research/info on all of them to be able to comment at all.

What I think is required is some way for the general public to accept crypto in general (and Firo specifically) for something that they really need it for. I’m not sure if this would be for paying for normal things (governments would likely put a stop to that) or some special use case that most people will end up using. Of course - if I knew what that was - I’d be rich … Whatever this ends up being would be separate from Firo - but could be developed in parallel with Firo - assuming there is enough money to do it. Just thinking out loud at this point in time …

Basically - in crypto we are missing the ‘magic sauce’ to make it really work.

Firo team - keep up the great work!


Option 4-6 is interest
Stick to the same things It doesn’t help.

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Options 1 and 2 seem to be the right path for us. I believe it is important to have a long-term plan for progress when considering these options.
The team has been working intensively on Spark recently and has completed it. I think everyone in the Firo community has seen the dedication of the core team.
Of course, it is necessary to move forward in the best possible way and create new methods.
Actually, I think it would be good to create a positive/negative roadmap for option 1 and option 2 to inform the whole community.
In the meantime, I want to thank the Firo team and the valuable members of the community. I see people working day and night to make Firo better and this is promising for our technology.


Hello, I think that following the route with options 1 and 2 would be the most prudent. Thinking about the following: Keep the current Firo blockchain and Don’t develop Spats (for a reasonable amount of time).

First of all, the idea of being able to have tokens that enjoy the privacy features that spark offers sounds attractive and I think Firo would be a pioneer in privacy assets. Will you change that route? There is still a long way to go in the way of regulations that will come and everything indicates that many more will be imposed every day.

On the other hand, you can do more in-depth research on points 3-6 and present a comparative table (infographic) with the advantages and disadvantages of each option (including the current Firo route), so that the community can make a better decision.

It is not unreasonable to try to enter the world of Defi using spats to do so, while Firo keeps privacy intact with Spark. Any other option taken must always take into account the advantages and disadvantages that each option offers and the community must be aware of this.


100% agree with jlrmedina.
Why not try to increase Firo adoption with, for example, the Wanchain blockchain solution? They’ve already connected 35 chains.

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Reuben, your insights on Firo’s long-term direction open up a vital discussion about our path forward. I’d like to share my perspective, which I believe is crucial for Firo’s survival and growth.

The recent trends around privacy coins are concerning. Mainstream, centralized entities, under pressure from regulatory bodies like the SEC and ESMA, are starting to crack down. What we’re seeing with Binance’s monitoring is just the beginning. The likelihood of other centralized exchanges following suit is high, and this poses a significant threat to privacy-focused cryptocurrencies like Firo.

My primary concern with most of the strategies proposed is their potential to keep Firo on the same trajectory we’ve seen in recent years – a gradual decline in community engagement and market value. This path leads to an organic death, compounded by mounting challenges from centralized entities.

To avoid this fate, I believe Firo needs to pivot drastically. The first and foremost goal should be achieving complete independence from centralized dependencies. This means prioritizing compatibility with major DeFi platforms. While initially, we might operate in both centralized and decentralized spaces, prioritizing DeFi ensures Firo’s long-term viability.

Once we secure our position in the DeFi ecosystem, we can then focus on enhancing our privacy features. After all, if the project doesn’t survive, the privacy features won’t matter.

Observing market trends, it’s evident that the projects thriving today are Layer 1, EVMs, and IBCs that are interoperable with other blockchains. This interoperability is key to engaging with the broader DeFi ecosystem.

I propose considering one of three paths:

1. Adopting the Cosmos SDK: This offers a massive community and potential for growth, interoperability through IBC, and a solid foothold in DeFi. It also provides an avenue to promote Firo within the Cosmos ecosystem.

2. Transitioning to an EVM blockchain: Similar to platforms like Fantom (FTM) or Harmony (ONE), this would enable Firo to participate in the expansive Ethereum-based DeFi space.

3. Creating an Avalanche-like multi-chain framework: This could involve a primary privacy chain (FIRO P-Chain), an EVM-compatible chain (FIRO E-Chain), and possibly another for validators/contracts (C-Chain). This setup would maintain our privacy features while allowing participation in DeFi.

Whichever route we take, it’s imperative to include a mechanism for seamless token swaps between chains, preserving fluidity and user experience.

In conclusion, our focus should be on growth and DeFi, ensuring Firo’s relevance in an evolving market. We need a strategic shift that embraces independence and interoperability, securing our place in the future of decentralized finance.

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Reuben what game are you playing?
You’re about to play someone else’s game, then you will lose!
My choice is 1, 2, because it is impossible to lose in your own game!

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I personally think that a variation of options 1. or 2. is the most promising way forward. Options 5. and 6. do sound worth considering but the additional investments in manpower, manhours, required funding and the fact that we’d be throwing away a lot of work make it considerably less attractive than it might sound like at first.
Also while the impact and importance of tech upgrades shouldn’t be ignored I think building up a solid fundament in Spark and later Spats with proper bridging of assets offers much greater short and long term impact on usability and adoption. However I strongly feel that relying on custodial solutions, though perhaps beneficial in the short term, would be a mistake when considering the long term development of the project and the needed additional resources to do it “properly” from the get go would be very well spent here. Not just due to concerns about censorship or custodians being shut down for other reasons but also to avoid the technical debt that would more likely than not have to be addressed in the form of a migration to a non-custodial solution later on anyways.

We’ve all seen how just the announcement of Binance adding the monitoring tag has impacted the price and (to me at least) more importantly it probably didn’t help get people excited about Firo either. And just to be clear this is not something I hold against the team at all. The pressure/looming dread of regulation is something that was and is inevitable for any privacy focused project like this.
Point being that I don’t think any privacy coin has a future right now if it continues to rely too much on centralized infrastructure of any kind, be that payment processors, exchanges or whatever else.
That doesn’t mean we should immediately ditch all CEX’s, cut ties with everyone and basically go rogue, but we need to consider the fact that regulation more likely than not will continue to pile on. That might just mean that being delisted from a lot of CEX’s is inevitable, not today or tomorrow but nobody knows for certain where regulations are headed. The best case scenario in my mind is we see more sensible regulation, worst case scenario we’re delisted over night without much if any advance warning which is why I strongly believe we need to work towards being more independent in the long term.

If a focus is placed on becoming more independent/decentralized, working on interoperability, developing Spats, putting a greater emphasis on resilience and DEX’s and we end up actually seeing more sensible regulation that effort would still not be wasted in my opinion as I said before it would lay the groundwork for future expansion as well as obviously much greater utility than “just” a payment option. The alternative to me seems orders of magnitude more risky if the worst case scenario or even a less extreme version of it comes to pass.

In the end I most closely find myself aligning with Fiendish, FiroFan as well as CaptainT. I think options 1. and 2. should be the focus for future discussion of what way forward there is for this project considering the concerns that others have already brought up in this thread.


VCs cannot be trusted.

Most of us in here remember what a single VC who invested in Zcoin back in the day was able to do last bull run . . .

VCs cannot be trusted.

The crypto world is largely populated by degens gambling, on one side of the table, and pump and dump scam artists operating on the other side. Sure there are people that are speculating on FIRO but the Firofam are the real cypher punks, true to Satoshi’s original vision of crypto as an alternative monetary system. The reason that we support the project so fervently is because of its anti-establishment nature. Stiffs in suits will not fit in well here, and certainly not those that would be happy to sell their own grandma, that is to say . . .

VCs cannot be trusted

I don’t know if any one here has read the book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff ? There is a YouTube synopsis available in which she summarises it very succinctly. Reading it made me very proud to be part of the Firofam, those people taking a stand against corporate greed, co-option, corruption and surveillance.

For the reasons above I’m only ever going to vote for 1,2 or possibly 6 (which sounds very much like 1 to me except that we would be devoting a lot of energy, resources and time to ETH compatibility . . . & because, in my opinion, ETH has lost its way [like BTC has] this will ultimately end in disappointment.

3 is a non started because it does not build on Spark.

We have come a long way from where we were with Zcoin thanks to serious effort and sacrifice from the core team. The integrity of the project’s paid staff and the sound ethics of its long term supporters really make FIRO standout among its peers. We should hold tight to our core values and maintain as much independence as possible to pursue our ideals. The true rebel always walks alone.