Firo (cryptocurrency)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Firo official logo
Original author(s)Poramin Insom
Reuben Yap[1]
White paperEnabling Untraceable Anonymous Payments in the Lelantus Protocol
Initial release0.1[2] / 28 September 2016; 6 years ago (2016-09-28)
Latest release0.14.9.4[3] / 15 January 2022; 20 months ago (2022-01-15)[3]
Code repository[4]
Development statusActive
Written inJavaScript, C, Python, Go, C++[5]
Developer(s)Poramin Insom[6]
Peter Shugalev
Andrey Bezrukov
Panu Suksumonsin
Rustam Abrahamyan
Aram Jivanyan (Research)[7]
Source modelBitcoin codebase[8]
Timestamping schemeProof-of-work
Hash functionMerkle Tree Proof[9]
Block reward6.25 FIRO per block (next halving September 2024)
Block time2.5 minutes[10]

Firo, formerly known as Zcoin, is a cryptocurrency aimed at using cryptography to provide better privacy for its users compared to other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.




In late 2014, Poramin Insom, a student in Masters in Security Informatics from Johns Hopkins University wrote a paper on implementing the zerocoin protocol into a cryptocurrency with Matthew Green as faculty member.[11][6] The project to create a standalone cryptocurrency implementing the Zerocoin protocol was named "Moneta".[12][13]

On 28 September 2016, Zcoin, the first cryptocurrency to implement the zerocoin protocol, was launched by Poramin Insom and team.[6][14] Roger Ver was the initial investor.[6]


On 20 February 2017, a malicious coding attack on Zerocoin protocol created 370,000 fake tokens which perpetrators sold for over 400 Bitcoins ($440,000). Zcoin team announced that a single-symbol error in a piece of code "allowed an attacker to create Zerocoin spend transactions without a corresponding mint".[15] Unlike Ethereum during the DAO event, developers have opted not to destroy any coins or attempt to reverse what happened with the newly generated ones.[16]

In September 2017, Poramin set up an exchange named "Satang Pro" that can convert Thai Baht to Zcoin directly.[6][17]

In April 2018, a cryptographic flaw was found in the Zerocoin protocol which allowed attackers to steal, destroy, and create Zcoins.[18] The Zcoin cryptocurrency team while acknowledging the flaw, stated the high difficulty in performing such attacks and the low probability of giving economic benefit to the attacker.[19]

In August 2018, Boozeat, a liquor delivery service in Malaysia accepted Zcoin as a payment method.[20]

In September 2018, Zcoin introduced the Dandelion protocol that hides the origin IP address of a sender without using The Onion Router (Tor) or Virtual Private Network (VPN).[21][22]

In November 2018, Zcoin conducted the world's first large-scale party elections for Thailand Democrat Party using blockchain instead of relying the election commission to count the votes.[23][24] In the same month, a video named "Rap Against Dictatorship" was uploaded to Zcoin blockchain after Thailand government's threat of arresting the people involved in the video for speaking against government policies.[25]

In December 2018, Zcoin implemented Merkle tree proof, a mining algorithm that deters the usage of Application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) in mining coins by being more memory intensive for the miners. This allows ordinary users to use central processing unit (CPU) and graphics card for mining, so as to enable egalitarianism in coin mining.[9]


In February 2019, Zcoin was added to wallet supported by Binance cryptocurrency exchange.[26] In the same month, Zcoin partnered with Binance Charity Foundation to raise funds for "Lunch for Children" program in Africa. The charity used blockchain to track and verify the progress of funds from donor to receiver.[27] On 25 April 2019, Zcoin was listed on Indonesian digital exchange KoinX.[28]

On 30 July 2019, Zcoin formally departed from the zerocoin protocol by adopting a new protocol called "Sigma" that prevents counterfeit privacy coins from inflating coin supply. This is achieved by removing a feature called "trusted setup" from the zerocoin protocol.[29] In August 2019, Zcoin was added to an African cryptocurrency exchange named OVEX.[30] In December 2019, Zcoin introduced a decentralised crowdfunding and decision making system to fund ancillary tasks for the project.[31] In July 2020, using the crowdfunding system, Zcoin raised US$22,500 from 89 contributors to fund the first phase of its third-party audit of Lelantus protocol.[32]

In May 2020, Zcoin announced that all founder rewards will be ceased, while at the same time increase development funding to 15% of the block reward, and allocated 35% of the block reward to masternodes. Besides, a US$100,000 reserve fund was set up to protect against price volatility.[33] In September 2020, Zcoin completed first halving of block rewards.[34] In the same month, Zcoin was added to Stakehound for easy accessibility to Decentralized finance (DeFi) while earning staking rewards.[35]


In October 2020, Zcoin announced rebranding to new name called "Firo" which signifies a unique way of burn (destroy) and redeem coins.[36] Firo suffered 51% attack in January 2021.[37] In June 2021, Firo was added to NOBI trading platform based in Indonesia.[38] Firo implemented Receiver Address Privacy (RAP) in June 2021.[39] In August 2021, Firo announced the Lelantus Spark protocol. This protocol offers additional privacy features, including generating new one-time addresses for receiving payments, efficient multisignature operations, and the availability of view keys for authorised third parties to view a transaction.[40]


Firo Core wallet GUI on Windows 10.

Zero-knowledge proofs[edit]

Firo initially implemented the Zerocoin protocol. Unlike bitcoin, money does not travel from one block to another. Instead, it is traded as Zerocoin and redeem for a new coin without any history of transaction. However, the disadvantage of this system is that the transaction amount cannot be hidden.[14] There had been little research interest into Zerocoin protocol because of its similarity to Zerocash protocol.[41]

There are three phases of a Lelantus transaction. Since trusted setup is not needed, it makes the algorithm faster. In the first phase, a block with transaction history is deleted, while generating a new block with no previous history (minting). A serial number is added to the minted coin to prevent double spending. In the second phase, all previous minted coins are parsed and the serial number are published to the blockchain (spending). In the third phase, the participants can verify the block without any actual inputs.[42]

Dandelion++ protocol[edit]

Firo implemented the Dandelion++ protocol in 2018. It is a protocol that helps to increase the anonymity of a sender during the dissemination of a transaction. There are two phases in the Dandelion protocol: stem phase and fluff phase. In the stem phase, a message is forwarded to a single, randomly chosen neighbour. Then, in the fluff phase, the message is broadcast to all the neighbours except forwarder of the message. Dandelion ++ is an improved version of the Dandelion protocol where the problem of transactions lost due to defective or malicious nodes is avoided by broadcasting the message if a node does not receive the message after a certain period of time in the fluff phase.[43] These steps shuffles the IP addresses of the nodes to help to protect users' anonymity.[44]

Receiver Address Privacy (RAP)[edit]

In June 2021,[39] Firo introduced Receiver Address Privacy (RAP) addresses, an adaptation of BIP47.[45] RAP allows users to be able to publicly post their wallet addresses without having to worry about privacy. In the past, wallet users had to create and share freshly generated addresses to attempt to maintain their privacy.[45]


Firo implemented the MTP algorithm in December 2018. Using video cards, mining Firo can be more profitable than mining ethereum.[46][47] Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is able to churn out 6 to 6.5 Mhash/s of hash rate, earning about US$5 dollars per day. Meanwhile, GeForce RTX 3080 is only able to churn out 5. 3 Mhash/s on this cryptocurrency.[48] The algorithm has been changed to FiroPoW on October 26, 2021.

Regulatory responses[edit]

In February 2021, Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) mooted an idea of banning privacy coins from exchanges. Poramin Insom argued that such ban lacks rationale and clarity because all cryptocurrencies including bitcoin have some privacy features in it. Besides, exchanges can easily track customers' details by using Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-money laundering (AML) procedures.[49] In September 2022, Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange Huobi delisted Firo because of financial regulations.[50]

Price and volatility[edit]

In October 2018, Firo was ranked top 25, with fully diluted market capitalisation of US$194,506,940 dollars.[51] Firo had an all-time high price of US$170 per coin in 2017–2018.[52] In February 2020, Firo price dropped to US$3 to US$5 dollars per coin.[53] Firo was priced at US$7.5 in September 2021.


According to researchers from Technical University of Denmark, Sigma and Lelantus protocols both contributed to the area of specialised trustless zero-knowledge proofs but seldom offered strong anonymity guarantees when compared to zk-SNARKS because of performance limitations. However, ZK-SNArK-like proof is complicated and research into simpler zero-knowledge protocols can provide practical and anonymous payments in the future.[41] A cryptographic audit was done in September 2020. According to the audit, Lelantus protocol offers good privacy without trusted setup and reasonable proving time within 2 seconds and anonymity set size of 216.[54] According to R.E Shibai et al., Lelantus was described as "promising" in ensuring privacy and anonymity in cryptocurrency transactions.[55] However, according to a master thesis written by Bontekoe, T.H from University of Twente, he would prefer zk-SNARKS for digital payments because as "the used primitives in Zcoin (Lelantus) do currently not allow for the extensive statements that we most likely require to make our scheme anonymous and auditable."[56]

Lelantus was also implemented into the Mimble Wimble protocol to produce a new protocol named Oscausi.[57]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McIntosh, Rachel (12 November 2020). "'Year of the CBDC'? Central Bank Digital Currencies More Popular than Ever". Finance Magnates. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  2. ^ "Release for v0.1". Github. Archived from the original on 1 August 2019. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Releases". Retrieved 15 January 2022 – via GitHub.
  4. ^ a b "Firo(Zcoin) Fundamentals". Retrieved 6 June 2021 – via ADVFN.
  5. ^ "Firo". Github. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e Ezra Kryill, Erker (4 April 2019). "Cyberwarfare to cryptocurrency". Elite Plus Magazine. Archived from the original on 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  7. ^ Alin K, Gregorian (15 April 2021). "Without Support for Science, Armenia's Future Is in Jeopardy". Armenian Mirror Spectator. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  8. ^ Miers, Ian; Garman, Christina; Green, Matthew; Rubin, Aviel D. (May 2013). Zerocoin: Anonymous Distributed E-Cash from Bitcoin (PDF). 2013 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy. Security and Privacy, 2008. Sp 2008. IEEE Symposium on. IEEE Computer Society Conference Publishing Services. pp. 397–411. doi:10.1109/SP.2013.34. ISBN 978-0-7695-4977-4. ISSN 1081-6011.
  9. ^ a b "Zcoin Moves Against ASIC Monopoly With Merkle Tree Proof". Finance Magnates. 6 December 2018. Archived from the original on 6 December 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  10. ^ "MTP – Zcoin's New Proof-of-Work Algorithm".
  11. ^ Reuben, Yap. "An Interview with Poramin Insom, Zcoin's lead developer and founder". Archived from the original on 24 August 2018. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  12. ^ Evans, Jon (7 February 2015). "What you need to know about Zero knowledge". TechCrunch. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  13. ^ "Moneta - Engineering an ideal cryptocurrency". Archived from the original on 3 February 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  14. ^ a b Kostopoulos, Nikos (25 July 2019). "6 private crypto alternatives to bitcoin". e27. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  15. ^ Osborne, Charlie. "The risky business of bitcoin: High-profile cryptocurrency catastrophes". ZDNet. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  16. ^ Rob, Price (20 February 2017). "A single typo let hackers steal $400,000 from a bitcoin rival". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 11 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  17. ^ "เว็บซื้อขายบิตคอยน์ในไทยมีที่ไหนบ้าง?" [What are the crypto trading sites in Thailand?]. efinance Thai. 19 January 2021. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  18. ^ Tim, Ruffing; Sri Avavinda, Krishnan; Viktoria, Ronge; Dominique, Schröder (12 April 2018). "A Cryptographic Flaw in Zerocoin (and Two Critical Coding Issues)". Chair of Applied Cryptography. Germany: University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  19. ^ Reuben, Yap. "A statement on the paper "Burning Zerocoins for fun and profit"". Archived from the original on 9 September 2018. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  20. ^ Belle, Theresa (3 August 2018). "Boozeat wants to make it even easier to get good liquor at your doorstep". Firstclasse. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  21. ^ Jintana, Panyaarvudh (15 December 2018). "The distributed passion of a crypto pioneer Insom". The Nation (Thailand). Archived from the original on 15 December 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  22. ^ "Zcoin is the first cryptocurrency to implement Dandelion privacy protocol". 4 October 2018. Archived from the original on 2 January 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  23. ^ Jintana, Panyaarvudh; Kas, Chanwanpen. "Reliable voting TECHNOLOGY". The Nation (Thailand). Archived from the original on 3 December 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  24. ^ Chris, Baraniuk (11 February 2020). "Blockchain: The revolution that hasn't quite happened". BBC News. Archived from the original on 11 February 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  25. ^ "Cryptocurrency Used to Protect 'Rap Against Dictatorship' Video From Censorship". ThaiLawForum. 20 November 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  26. ^ JD, Alois (26 February 2019). "Binance's Trust Wallet adds Zcoin Privacy Coin". Crowdfund Insider. Archived from the original on 16 January 2020. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  27. ^ "Binance Charity Launches Blockchain-Powered 'Lunch For Children' Program". RTTNews. 22 February 2019. Archived from the original on 23 February 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  28. ^ Iskandar (25 April 2019). "Zcoin segera hadir di Indonesia (Zcoin presence in Indonesia)". Liputan6.
  29. ^ Andrew, Munro (30 July 2019). "Zcoin cryptocurrency introduces zero knowledge proofs with no trusted set-up". Finder Australia. Archived from the original on 30 July 2019. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  30. ^ Lloyd, Newkirk (29 August 2019). "Zcoin – a private cryptocurrency coming to OVEX". The South African. Archived from the original on 29 August 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  31. ^ Samantha, Hurst (26 December 2019). "Zcoin Announces Launch of Crowdfunding System". Crownfund Insider. Archived from the original on 26 December 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  32. ^ Faridi, Omar (13 July 2020). "More than Half of Paycheck Protection Program Recipients are Focused on Financial Services, but Some Crypto Projects like Zcoin are Self-Funded". Crowdfund Insider. Archived from the original on 26 January 2021. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  33. ^ Arnab, Shome (4 May 2020). "Zcoin Unveils New Block Reward Allocation, Creates a Reserve Fund". Finance Magnates. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  34. ^ Kubrick, Kaitlyn (12 September 2020). "Zcoin's (XZC) first halving is just around the corner". Somag News. Archived from the original on 12 September 2020. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  35. ^ "StakeHound to issue first tokens that allow access to DeFi while earning staking rewards". Hedgeweek. 3 September 2020. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  36. ^ Hurst, Samantha (28 October 2020). "Zcoin Announces Rebranding to New Name & Ticker "Firo"". Crowdfund Insider. Archived from the original on 1 November 2020. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  37. ^ "Bitcoin Daily: BitPay Expands DeFi Options In Wallet App; Bitpanda Introduces Debit Card For Crypto, Fiat, Metal Payments". pymnts. Archived from the original on 21 January 2021. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  38. ^ "Nobi Bongkar Rahasia Keunggulan Applikasi NOBI, Platform Indonesia Pertama Yang Merevolusi Cara Berinvestasi Cryptocurrency (Nobi Unveils the Secrets on the advantages of the NOBI Application, the first Indonesian platform that revolutionizes on how to invest in cryptocurrency)". Industrycoid. 1 June 2021. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  39. ^ a b Woffenden, Claire (17 June 2021). "This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 17/06". The Fintech Times. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  40. ^ Harrison, Polly Jean. "Firo Announces New Privacy Protocol Lelantus Spark". The Fintech Times. Archived from the original on 30 August 2021. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  41. ^ a b Herskind, Lasse; Katsikouli, Panagiota; Dragoni, Nicola (2020). "Privacy and Cryptocurrencies—A Systematic Literature Review". IEEE Access. 8: 54044–54059. doi:10.1109/ACCESS.2020.2980950. ISSN 2169-3536. S2CID 214692882.
  42. ^ Patnaik, Srikanta; Wang, Tao-Sheng; Shen, Tao; Panigrahi, Sushanta Kumar (2021). Blockchain Technology and Innovations in Business Processes. Springer Nature. p. 120. ISBN 9789813364707. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  43. ^ Serena, Luca; D'Angelo, Gabriele; Ferretti, Stefano (25 September 2020). "Implications of dissemination strategies on the security of distributed ledgers". Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains for Distributed Systems. London United Kingdom: ACM. pp. 65–70. arXiv:2007.15260. doi:10.1145/3410699.3413795. ISBN 978-1-4503-8079-9. S2CID 220871275.
  44. ^ Csiszar, John (10 June 2021). "10 of the Most Private Cryptocurrencies To Invest In". AOL. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  45. ^ a b Charles, Brett (7 January 2020). "Zcoin's RAP to enhance wallet address privacy". Enterprise Times UK. Archived from the original on 11 January 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  46. ^ "Minería de criptomonedas en Argentina: un sector en expansión (Cryptocurrency mining in Argentina: an expanding sector)". iProUP. 30 May 2021. Archived from the original on 30 May 2021. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  47. ^ LW (15 March 2022). "Ethereum: 3 alternatives to the popular cryptocurrency". Marca. Archived from the original on 15 March 2022. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  48. ^ Созинов, Андрей (3 June 2021). "GeForce RTX 3080 Ti оказалась весьма хороша в майнинге, несмотря на встроенную защиту (GeForce RTX 3080 Ti turns out to be quite good at mining, despite built-in protection)". 3DNews. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  49. ^ "ผู้ก่อตั้งFIRO เสนอ ก.ล.ต.ทบทวนนิยาม privacy coins-ไม่เห็นด้วยห้ามเทรด (FIRO founder urges SEC to revise privacy coins definition - disagree on banning trading)". efinanceThai. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  50. ^ Ikeda, Scott (22 September 2022). "Crypto Exchange Huobi to Delist 7 Privacy Coins, Citing New Financial Regulations". CPO Magazine. Archived from the original on 11 February 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  51. ^ Bocart, Fabian (27 November 2018). "Inflation Propensity of Collatz Orbits: A New Proof-of-Work for Blockchain Applications". Journal of Risk and Financial Management. 11 (4): 83. doi:10.3390/jrfm11040083. ISSN 1911-8074.
  52. ^ Sant, Sam (2 September 2021). "Firo crypto token price, where to buy, and symbol". Gamer Revolution. Archived from the original on 2 September 2021. Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  53. ^ "Most volatile crypto of January 2020: the top 10 movers". 28 January 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  54. ^ Khovratovich, Dmitry; Kizhvatov, Ilya (September 2020). "Lelantus Cryptographic audit" (PDF). ABDK Consulting. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  55. ^ Daimi, Kevin; Peoples, Cathryn (2021). Advances in Cybersecurity Management. Springer Nature. p. 122. ISBN 9783030713812. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  56. ^ Bontekoe, TH (2020). "BALANCING PRIVACY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN DIGITAL PAYMENT METHODS USING ZK-SNARKS". Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Twente: 36. Retrieved 17 September 2021. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  57. ^ Herskind, Lasse; Katsikouli, Panagiota; Dragoni, Nicola (31 May 2020). "Oscausi - Practical Private Electronic Cash from Lelantus and MimbleWimble". Journal of Internet Services and Information Security. 10 (2): 16–34. doi:10.22667/JISIS.2020.05.31.016.