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Product FAQ

Frequently asked questions about using Polybase.
How are private transactions possible on public blockchains?
While there are several methods for enabling privacy, Polybase uses Zero Knowledge Proofs to protect the details of the transaction, including the sender, receiver, and amount.
Why not use Zcash or Monero?
Zcash and Monero enabled private transactions of their native token but few people trust that currency, and they are hard to use. It’s hard to get business owners or people in different countries and industries to all agree that they should transact in ZEC or XMR. In addition, the value of ZEC and XMR is very volatile and can swing massively, affecting holding value. However, USD is universally accepted as a trusted reserve currency. The conceptual jump from USD to USDC on chain is much smaller than a similar jump to BTC or ZEC. The USD trust factor carries over and improves the cultural adoption of private USDC.
Why go app-specific with USDC first?
When it comes to privacy-focused blockchains, it makes more sense to build an application specific blockchain rather than a generalizable smart-contract enabled blockchain because:
  • It will take a long time for generalised smart contract blockchains to be audited and launched (keep getting delayed) and the kinks to be ironed out (even if Aleo promises to launch before EOY)
  • It’s a much larger surface area to secure, especially when privacy is involved
  • Getting something to market quickly that is actually useful will boost our brand and credibility, allowing us more options to explore further opportunities
  • If a we/competitor launched a USDC payment on a generalised rollup, they would be highly limited to the restrictions of that rollup (KYC, throughput, finalisation, etc), would be out of their control
  • A generalised rollup would offer more innovation and permissionless building (i.e. using a USDC payment rail in another contract, as seen often in Ethereum) BUT
    • As we see with Bitcoin, it’s still possible to build on top of application based platforms
    • We may be able to add some flexibility into the system at a later date
  • The team is better suited for building an application based rollup - team is more customer/application focussed - we’re good at UX and can make the system work well across all
What are the use cases for private USDC transactions?
Privacy is normal! Your bank transfers, Venmo transactions, and credit card history aren't public. You blockchain transactions shouldn't be either.
Here are a few key use cases that we've been exploring more deeply:
  • Payroll on chain
  • Remittances, both international and domestic
  • Cross-border payments, B2B, C2C, B2C, and C2B
  • Token streaming
Which wallet should I use on Polybase?
We plan to have compatibility with Ethereum wallets. For now, we will create our own testnet-compatible wallets that you can use.
Is Polybase EVM compatible?
No. Currently, Ethereum's EVM infrastructure does not allow for private transactions in a computationally efficient and scalable way. Because of this, we have built our layer 2 from the ground up, enabling true privacy on public blockchains.
Will there be bounties or airdrops as part of the testnet?
How can I get started?
Stay tuned for our public testnet launch in early 2024! Check the Roadmap for the specific timing.