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Sharmini

Mysterium Residential IP bounty evolves as network grows

Mysterium Network is building a decentralised virtual private network (VPN). In the last few months we have transitioned from our Testnet 1.0 to Testnet 2.0. You can dive deeper into what these updates have meant for our network in our latest product update

Following our upgrade to Testnet 2.0, we have seen organic growth of Mysterium node network – with a 1000 stable nodes and counting to date. 

This has meant a need to review our residential IP bounty program, as we hope to extend the opportunity of earning in Mysterium Network to more regions around the world. 

Attention all Mysterium Node Runners

We are updating the Mysterium Residential IP bounty to offer more flexibility as we go grow our node network. This will mean quick and iterative changes to our Residential IP bounty. 

This begins with an introduction of a cap of bounty rewards to 60,000 MYST/ month for the residential IP bounty program. 

We will also be reviewing growth of Mysterium node network monthly and making amendments to the regions included alongside with maximum payouts per node. Firstly we are increasing the amount of nodes who will receive payouts in our residential IP bounty from 250 to 400. This applies to node runners in the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Australia. 

For the month of March we are excited to announce addition of Canada and India into our residential IP bounty program! This has been a long awaited region in our community and we hope to see consistent growth of node runners offering service from the region. 

The following are the main changes to Mysterium Node bounty programs:

Residential IP bounty

  • Maximum earnings of 150 MYST / Mysterium Node 
  • 400 nodes will earn in total
  • New region introduced: Canada 

Global IP bounty

  • Maximum earnings of 40 MYST / Mysterium Node
  • 4 nodes / region in Global IP bounty 

You can find more details of the changes noted here

To learn more about running a node on Mysterium Network you can check out the following resources: 

  1. What is a Mysterium Node
  2. How to earn on Mysterium Network?
  3. What is the Mysterium Node Residential IP bounty? 

What’s coming in the future?

We are inching closer and closer to the much anticipated Mysterium Mainnet. With this we will seek to implement the following: 

Unified Node Pricing


We will seek to remove manual price selection and unify pricing in Mysterium Network based on region, type of node, quality of service and the supply and demand coefficients in that region. More detail on this coming soon. 

Onwards to a more open internet 

Mysterium Node Runners are the foundation of the core technology that Mysterium Network is building out. We are excited to welcome more node runners into our community. 

To those of you who have been a part of the journey so far, we thank you for your continued support. We couldn’t do this without you. Want to learn more about our project or stay up to date? Follow us on twitter or jump into our discord to chat with our core team. 

Testnet 2.0 is here – Ready for your all-crypto VPN?

New year, new testnet.

Last month we shared details of Mysterium’s testnet upgrade, which came with some exciting new features and functionalities.

We have been in stealth mode upgrading a small percentage of our user base and node runners onto Testnet 2.0, to test and learn. 

Now we’re rolling out Testnet 2.0 to everyone on Mysterium Network.

Experience the power of our global, decentralized network at your fingertips, using your crypto of choice! Top up your Mysterium dVPN account with Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether or any other major crypto thanks to our Coingate integration. Download Mysterium dVPN today.

 

What is Testnet 2.0?

Mysterium has been running on a Testnet 1.0 for some time as we battletest and refine the code before our mainnet release on Ethereum. This constant process of revision will ensure the dVPN is robust and glitch-free upon its full launch. This is imperative, as when this happens, the app will already be serving hundreds of thousands of users, with a supporting and worldwide node network.

We gave access to the latest iteration of the dVPN to a small handful of BETA testers. Now we’ve received and acted upon their feedback, we’re ready to introduce all Mysterium dVPN users and Node Runners to Testnet 2.0

With this network upgrade, called Testnet 2.0, a number of things have changed, such as node registration flow, updates to My Mysterium Network, a different UI, the ability to earn in 2 networks during the migration, top up VPN apps with your crypto of choice (not just MYST), and the freedom to use our dApp in China!

Read about all these new updates in more detail, as well as how to upgrade and claim your node in Testnet 2.0, in our guide.

Download Mysterium dVPN – now crypto enabled

In a world where censorship is growing rampant, now it is more important than ever to understand your digital rights. With Mysterium Network, we are working to provide a censorship-free internet to all.

Mysterium dVPN has been upgraded to Testnet 2.0, which means you will get some free test tokens. After you run out of these tokens, you’ll be prompted to top up with MYST, BTC, LTC or other cryptocurrencies. Check out our upgraded apps on Testnet 2.0 and let us know what you think.

Matic Network powers Mysterium P2P payments

Are you ready for faster, cheaper dVPN transactions? Matic Network is making it happen for you!

 

We’re excited to share that we’ve partnered with Matic Network. We’re only weeks away from our live integration with their custom Layer 2 solution, which will provide all users of Mysterium dVPN with almost instant P2P payments, at a fraction of the cost. (Quite literally, it’s a millionth of a fraction…)

 

The problem we are solving with Matic Network

As the wider community is surely aware, we as an industry have been facing specific challenges with expensive transaction fees on the Ethereum blockchain. 

With the freedom of speech online being debased, a global pandemic and other macro forces in play  – we see it as a priority to enable peer to peer payments in the most frictionless way possible.

Mysterium Network, with our pay as you go service, is a natural ally for emerging markets when high transaction fees on Ethereum lock these users out.

This integration with Matic Network will mean that Mysterium account creation and top-ups will happen on a sophisticated and scalable Layer 2 sidechain, instead of on the Ethereum blockchain.

MATIC network

What this means in technical terms:

  • Hermes, Mysterium’s accounting hub, will be running on both Ethereum and Matic – find out more about Hermes hub in our micropayments whitepaper.
  • You will be able to move MYST tokens onto Matic via a Hybrid Plasma-POS Bridge. This bridge provides a POS and a Plasma option to bridge assets between Ethereum and Matic. 
  • The mysterium payment system will support cross-chain payments. This means that VPN users can have funds on L2 Matic chain, and Mysterium node runners can accept funds on L1 (Ethereum)

 

Some relevant numbers – registration TX fee on…

ETH mainnet: 10.3322418978 MYST

Matic: 0.000005699966589 MYST

In short, Matic is  1, 812, 685 times cheaper!😱

 

Want to know more?

We have written extensively on the topic in the context of building out a global censorship-resistant layer. For those interested: 

  1. Layer 1, 2, 3 and beyond: The search for the cheapest and fastest microtransaction
  2. Introduction to micropayments in a decentralised virtual private network (dVPN)
  3. Read our technical deep dive on peer to peer micropayments.

Want to get involved in Mysterium Network today?

Mysterium Network is a decentralized VPN, with a growing global residential IP node network. There are versions for AndroidMac and Windows, currently free before our full launch.

Follow us on Twitter for regular updates or jump into our discord channel to speak directly with the core team.

 

Time to migrate your MYST tokens

Mysterium Network has been hard at work building a decentralised VPN. To date, we have maintained an incentivised test network of residential IPs for over a year. Our next step, peer to peer payments – which come with Mysterium Mainnet.

Relevant Reads:

  1. Mysterium Token Migration Guide 
  2. The Road to Mainnet: Mysterium Product Roadmap Update 

Mysterium Network began our token migration as part of our wider move to MainNet. To date, we have migrated about 15 million legacy tokens.

As we approach Mainnet, we would like to encourage our core community to migrate legacy MYST tokens. To help this initiative along, we are launching an airdrop between the 18 & 25 November 2020! 

We are launching an airdrop between the 18 & 25 November 2020!

Why an airdrop?

We plan to compensate MYST token holders for the high Ethereum transaction fees they might incur during the token migration process.

To reiterate terms of our token migration: 

  1. This a 1:1 token migrations
  2. No new tokens will be created

Want to get 10 MYST airdropped into your wallet? 

  • Migrate your tokens from your old addresses to a new one from 00:00 between the 18 & 25 November 2020
  • Regardless of the number of tokens that you own, we will compensate you 10  MYST (One user gets 10 MYST). 
  • Multiple applications from one participant, as well as other actions that can be qualified as fraud, will result in disqualification from this airdrop. Simply put, no MYST if you try to game the system. 
  • MYST tokens will be distributed to new token addresses between 26 November and 2 December 2020

As you can clearly see, the nature of the service we are offering and the emerging markets that we are a natural ally to, make Ethereum’s current transaction fees a lock out when onboarding new customers. 

As such, like many other Ethereum-based projects, Mysterium Network has had to reroute our roadmap in search of scalability solutions to give our users the cheapest and fastest service possible, while maintaining decentralized and noncustodial architecture. 

In the following sections, we will review existing Layer 2 solutions in relation to Mysterium Network’s use case, explaining how they offer both opportunities and limitations.

How can I get support migrating my legacy MYST tokens?  

 We have an easy to follow token migration guide to get you started, otherwise jump into our discord channel and speak directly with our core community and team.

How can I get support on this airdrop?

If you have any issues with the airdrop after successfully completing all terms of requirements, please, write to us at [email protected]

Mysterium Network begins token migration

Mysterium Network begins its official token migration today, 31st August 2020. This will be a 1:1 token migration, so no new tokens will be created. Legacy tokens will not be supported in the network, so you will need to migrate your tokens before topping up in-app.

Here’s the new MYST token address: 0x4Cf89ca06ad997bC732Dc876ed2A7F26a9E7f361 

Find out more about how the Mysterium Network token migration moves the project towards peer to peer payments on the Ethereum blockchain.

What is Mysterium BetaNet?

Mysterium BetaNet is the first iteration of peer to peer payments within Mysterium Network: 

  • MYST as a means of value exchange in the network 
  • Payments are settled on the Ethereum blockchain 
  • It’s our second stage towards Mysterium Mainnet.

Mysterium Network is running an opt-in BetaNet. Mysterium Network will not be migrating TestNet users to BetaNet at this stage. VPN services continue to be accessible on Mysterium TestNet.

Sign up to take part in Mysterium BetaNet.

What should MYST token holders do?

MYST token holders are encouraged to migrate their tokens at their earliest convenience.  

Though there is no deadline on the migration, you will not be able to access VPN services within Mysterium Network using legacy MYST. 

If your MYST is held in a decentralised exchange or in a wallet, you will have to migrate your tokens yourself. Please follow the token migration guide. 

If you have your tokens stored on HitBTC, they will be migrated for you. The Mysterium Team is currently working with their team and will provide updates as we progress.

High Ethereum transaction fees, and what that means for Mysterium Network

Ethereum transaction fees spike, affecting dapp user onboarding

As we all know the market is changing. The DeFi bubble has led to insane Ethereum transaction fees

But it isn’t just decentralized exchanges that are being hit by this spike in GAS prices. Decentralised applications building within the Ethereum ecosystem is having to go back to the drawing board.

As you can see in the chart above, you can see that this a problem that is here to stay. 

Take for example the impact of a $3 transaction fee with a median expected top-up value between $3 – $10. Using a dex would incur an even higher transaction fee. So in some cases transaction fee can be as big as topup value, such situation is a point of friction in our user onboarding process. 

In the long term, there will be widespread and commonly accepted layer two solutions for the decentralised community that will solve for these spikes in the transaction fees on Ethereum. This could be ETH 2.0 or a widely adopted second layer solution based on payment channels. 

But this isn’t the current case. As a team committed to user onboarding, we put serious time and thinking into how we can alleviate this friction point for users within Mysterium Network.

What about other blockchains?

We have taken time to consider other blockchains and analyse if this is a solution to the transaction fee problem. There are several EVM compatible solutions such as RSK, Tron, TomoChain, just to name a few.

In case you were wondering…

There are endless solutions which are just as promising when it comes to cheap and fast transactions, for example, EOS, Liquid, Stellar, Nano, Holo, and the list goes on…


Here are some of our reasons for our continued commitment to the Ethereum blockchain: 

  • The Ethereum ecosystem holds a large community of users who know how to use Ethereum wallets
  • Integrations with DEXes such as Uniswap, which will allow for ETH, DAI and other ERC 20 token holder communities to easily pay for VPN services within Mysterium Network
  • Proven security model 

Big and growing developer community. As builders, we want to be amongst our own. 

But does this mean we have to live with the high transaction fees? Not necessarily - Introducing “Mysterium Pro”

How does Mysterium Pro solve the transaction fee problem?

The only place where these high transaction fees touch Mysterium Network’s service offering is in the top-up function. All other transactions are happening in our own, scalable micropayment channels based L2 solution. Find out more here:

  1. Introducing payments on Mysterium Network
  2. A deep dive into payments on Mysterium Network

This is the moment where end-users top-up their payment channel so they can begin to pay for VPN services within the network. 

With Mysterium Pro, users can circumvent high transaction fees by choosing to top-up their payment channels with BTC, BCH and other low transaction fee tokens. 

Mysterium Pro will also include a solution which batches end-users tokens before converting them to MYST, therefore spreading the cost of transaction fees over users. This allow means mucheven cheaper top-ups for Mysterium Pro users.

Mysterium Pro launches after our mainnet release. See our latest update on MYST token migration.

Want to get involved in Mysterium Network today?

We’re building towards Ethereum mainnet. This is when peer to peer payments within Mysterium Network become a reality. As part of this, we are recruiting testers for our beta net, a place where we will work with our community to battle test our code.

Here’s a snapshot of our progressive migration onto Ethereum mainnet: 

If you’re interested in getting involved, sign up here!

Want to get involved in Mysterium Network today?

Mysterium Network is a decentralized VPN, with a growing global residential IP node network. Download our apps to browse the internet freely.

What is the Web 3.0?

web 3 mysterium

Will all technology eventually become obsolete, replaced or abandoned? Or are some things so deeply rooted in our world that they can only evolve, just as we do? 

It’s hard to imagine the internet as a technology of the industrial revolution. This giant and permanently entangled web of wires, routers, servers, towers, and electric currents passes information at a speed somewhere between that of sound and light.

This internet infrastructure exists everywhere, a cloud that lets us carry “the web” in our pockets and power our homes with smart devices. It’s no longer one technology, but an undefinable mesh of countless technologies, protocols, software and hardware, interoperating and speaking to each other.

We are all now connected by the Internet, like a neurons in a giant brain.

stephen hawking
Hundreds of thousands of kilometers of submarine cables connect us, but will these age well? 

And yet the internet we know today - referred to as the Web 2.0 - is falling apart.

Over-centralization has become a threat to its accessibility and democracy. Officially governed by “no one”, the internetit has flourished into a commercial machine which serves a handful of powerful and self-interested businesses. Corrupt governments can cut off their citizens from the internet altogether. And if your personal data hasn’t been hacked yet, it’s only a matter of time

But rebuilding the internet itself seems an impossible task. Instead, we can decentralise it.

New technology can help change how we build business, how we design our governance systems, and how we operate global organisations.

Juan Benet

The decentralisation of the web is a global movement, led by many different groups all working towards the same objective; to ensure equal, free and uncensored access to the web for all. We do this by taking the same physical pieces that make up the internet today, and repurpose them so they protect and serve users.

Before, we were merely plugged into the internet. Now we can become the internet itself.

Important sidenote – the internet and the web are two different things; when we refer to the internet, we mean the physical infrastructure – the wiring and protocols governing how computers communicate with each other. The “web” is made up of websites, web applications, web browsing. It’s a platform which hosts documents and applications, with clickable hyperlinks.

Weaving the World Wide Web

Before we dive into Web 3.0 and its mechanics, let’s take a brief look at the history of the internet.

In its early stages, the internet was made up of a distributed network of computers. Its original architects, including founding father Tim Berners-Lee, envisioned it as inclusive and open. To access and be part of this network meant to contribute directly to its growth and development, with everyone sharing responsibility equally. Each user could communicate with each other directly, without the need for third parties or businesses, such as ISPs today. 

Towards the end 1990, the first web page became available on the open internet. 

In 1991, this Web 1.0 was launched as a public domain, a digital and shared space like a public library or park. Users anywhere were invited to join this new online community.

In the mind of Berners-Lee, the internet was designed to be “a collaborative medium, a place where we [could] all meet and read and write.” But as more people connected and the network grew in size, Berners-Lee understood that to unlock the power of the internet, it had to be “permissionless”, meaning no one had to seek permission to join. 

Had the technology been proprietary, and in my total control, it would probably not have taken off. You can’t propose that something be a universal space and at the same time keep control of it.

Tim Berners-Lee

However, the web at this time was mostly static, offering read-only content. There were very few content creators, with most users of the internet “acting as consumers”. The internet was soon taken over by the first internet businesses like AOL and Yahoo, who became the gateways to the web.

In 1994, Netscape launched the first commercial-grade web browser, and the dot-com explosion began. 

Web 2.0 - Users at the bottom of the internet foodchain

In the early 2000s, the internet became more interactive. The evolution of the read-only Web 1.0 to the read-write Web 2.0 brought us the “web as a platform”. Users could easily start creating and publishing content themselves, even learning HTML (HyperText Markup Language, the markup language for the web) to build their own websites. 

As an interactive and dynamic system where anyone could participate, this read-write web is what catalysed the birth of many new systems and applications which today have become some of the biggest businesses in the world. Participatory social networks like Facebook and Myspace, online marketplaces like Amazon, AirBnB and Uber, content creation and entertainment – all these plug into Web 2.0, creating new economies and standards for socialising, communication and business. Social media in particular has reinvented the way we shop and consume news.

Unfortunately, the business models propping up the internet today are as exploitative as they are successful. It exists to serve those “who have something to sell”, who even in the 90’s were predicted to become the main beneficiaries of the web. Companies rely on user-generated content to keep their platforms running, yet our personal data is harvested and sold to companies we’ve never even heard of. 

And if it’s not monetized, our personal information is routinely hacked due to the insecure centralized systems that have led to countless data breaches in the past year alone, exposing millions of records. These centralized databases are gold mines, making us targets for cybercriminals who can steal our personal information, banking details or simply sell our identities on the dark web.

So despite the internet being hailed as the greatest technological advancement of all time, it turns out corporations have really made a mess of things (but earned billions in the process). We desperately need to protect users and preserve the future of the internet itself, before it’s too late to turn things around. 

There are many teams working to restore the internet to its former glory. The resurgence of decentralized, P2P technology has meant we can rewire the internet so that it becomes private, safe and accessible by default. It will protect and compensate users, instead of milking them for data and profit. 

A slight digression… what is the “other” Web 3, the “semantic web” ?

It was once thought that the evolution of the Web 2.0 into Web 3.0 would bring us the “semantic web”. 

The semantic web was to improve web technologies so they can “understand the meaning of words, rather than on keywords or numbers… In this version of the Web 3.0, computers can understand information like humans in order to provide faster and more relevant results. They become more intelligent to satisfy the needs of user.”

Tim Berners-Lee described this web as a “Global Brain” which could process content in a human-like way, interpreting the nuances of concepts and information. Though billions of dollars were invested to develop the semantic web, it has not been brought to life (at least for now).

The decentralized web - a digital rebellion

The best way to think of the Web is as a direct-to-customer distribution channel, whether it's for information or commerce. It bypasses all middlemen. And, it turns out, there are a lot of middlepersons in this society. And they generally tend to slow things down, muck things up, and make things more expensive. The elimination of them is going to be profound.

Steve Jobsin a 1996 interview with Wired, about the impact and future of the Web

The “new” Web 3.0 is often referred to as the decentralised web, as this is the main underlying technological and theoretical standard which powers it. As we shift into a new internet era, this adaptation of the Web 3.0 actually draws it closer to its original roots. 

One of the biggest problems with the internet today is that it is heavily centralized, with a small collection of companies storing and powering the web via privately owned servers. Remember Web 1.0? That was a decentralized system, with a network of computers (and their users) storing that same data. There was no long line of middlemen, queuing up to connect us and take their cut. With that version of the web, no one had to pay a company or service to join, there were no centralized nodes, servers or governance systems, no single point of failure, and no “kill switch”. These are all qualities and components that the decentralized web hopes to restore.

But how does the decentralized web “work”?

The Web 3.0… an inclusive set of protocols to provide building blocks for application makers. Present a whole new way of creating applications. These technologies give users strong and verifiable guarantees about information they are receiving, what information they are giving away, what they are paying and what they are receiving in return.

@GAVofyork

With the introduction of new technologies like blockchain and distributed ledger technology, we can decentralize many different systems that were once dependent on centralized methods. (This can also be applied to systems beyond internet protocols, such as law and economics, but that’s a story for another time.)

Blockchain technology has democratic and self-governing architecture. Take the Bitcoin blockchain, for example; as a peer-to-peer system, it is run by its own users, who are rewarded when they help keep it running. Due to its heavy encryption and clever mechanics, it is practically incorruptible. And the best part is, a blockchain is available for anyone to verify and anyone to join. 

Learning all the lessons of what Bitcoin did to money, we’re starting to do this to all other kinds of services. Torrents and other file sharing sites kickstarted the P2P revolution. Bitcoin entered the scene providing the final piece that was missing all those years ago – incentivisation. Blockchain’s economic model has changed the game, and makes it far more scalable.

And with the advent of smart contract technology, we can ensure the benefits of decentralized protocols are easily passed onto the user. (Smart contracts are pieces of code that can automate and self-execute tasks based on an agreement. And since the smart contract acts as the “middle-man”, it doesn’t need to be paid). 

Now we take these unique protocols and plug them into the web itself. Instead of centralised servers, we can create peer to peer systems which allow people, not business, to securely share and store data online. Your computer becomes a node, acting as a miniature server (node). As a node, you help power the entire network by directly sharing your excess resources, such as bandwidth or processing power. And as a decentralized system, it runs without any kind of official host or authority at all, making it stronger from a security and network health standpoint, with no single point of failure. The bigger this distributed network grows, the faster it becomes.

Learn more about P2P networks

Much, much bigger than the cloud.

You can imagine the decentralized web as a new layer, one which still utilises all the existing infrastructure of the internet today, but “rewires” it on a technical level and reimagines it on a social one. This new layer relies on people, not business, to keep it powered, open and free. In this way, the Web 3 alters the very way we access the internet, retrieve information and operate online. One of the best promises of this tech is its ability to return sovereignty over data ownership. Now we can truly own, protect and profit from our own data. 

And perhaps the most important and new property introduced by the decentralized web is verifiability. It enables any user to verify and confirm the claims of the services they are using. 

We can now check that services are being delivered in the way they’re promised, and that our data is being handled securely.

Pieces of the decentralization puzzle. 

Some Web 3.0 companies.

Much of the decentralized community is already committed to open-sourcing their code, but with Web 3 platforms and apps, this transparency is often built into the technology itself. Verifiability is embedded in the infrastructure. Users no longer have to trust the teams and spokespeople behind the platforms, as the technology itself is trustless by design. This is a far cry from the current state of Web 2.0, where online businesses hide behind terms of service and codes of ethics, and we just have to take their word for it.

P2P privacy

The Web 3.0 enables anyone to build all kinds of autonomous applications and networks. The practical use cases of blockchain and DLT have made their impact on industries from health, law, finance, energy, the sharing economy. 

Mysterium Network is one such network that is helping to weave together this second layer of the internet. As a permissionless, decentralized network with a focus on censorship-resistant web applications, it helps us reformat the web, allowing people like you and me to own and manage the internet. The first app to be utilise the network is a world-first decentralized VPN (dVPN). 

As with other decentralized apps and platforms which make up the Web 3.0, a dVPN service is powered entirely by other web users like you. Each person rents out their IP address and bandwidth to others in this P2P network, earning crypto in exchange. Due to its distributed infrastructure, none of your data can be physically stored anywhere, and all traffic being routed through these personal nodes is heavily encrypted.

You can use this Web 3.0 app to bypass unethical censorship and surveillance. Governments everywhere regularly attempt to prevent the use of encryption tools and anonymity in any form. With over a quarter (27%) of the world’s internet users living in places where they can be arrested for posting, sharing or even “liking” something on Facebook, it’s time to fight back. The Web 3.0 can protect its users, keeping them anonymous while they browse the web openly and safely. 

We don’t have to keep making new privacy tools that can be blocked – we change the very nature of being online in the first place. We’re building safer roads, not inventing safer cars. 

It’s invisible and undeletable internet infrastructure. 

The decentralized web is an equitable and open space where everyone can contribute, build and reap the rewards for themselves. 

You can join it for yourself, just by downloading this app we made just for you 🙂 It’s free to use for only a short while longer.

Learn about the upcoming launch of Mysterium Network on mainnet. 

Mysterium Network Pre-Mainnet AMA

Netflix VPN

ICYMI…

We put some Mysterium faces front and center for a pre-launch AMA special. Answering all your questions was founder Robertas, product owner Jaro and head of marketing Sharmini. 

We covered everything from our financial runway to why we sometimes release “broken” software. We also pulled apart the network on a technical, commercial and social level, explaining our processes and why we do what we do. 

As we prepare for our launch, Mysterium’s mind is on few things: 

  • Keeping our node pool strong and diverse, with the right incentives to maintain network health and scalability
  • Plans for rewarding loyal and long-term users, including staking opportunities 
  • Preserving the utility, stability and liquidity of MYST via world-first micropayments architecture 
  • Testing, testing, testing 
  • Effective marketing to onboard new users and make as much noise as we can about this decentralized, permissionless VPN
  • And keeping our ultimate promise; delivering a platform where you can not only access privacy and anonymity on your own terms, but own it fully. 

Watch the recorded video and see for yourself what’s to come. We’re sure there are questions that might not have been asked, so please reach out to us on Discord or via our support. 

MYST, migration and mainnet – what you need to know

Update: 13/08/2020 – See the following blog post to see how our token migration and launch processes are changing.

 

**

We are fast approaching the official launch of Mysterium Network. This will be the realisation of our founding whitepaper and the crowning of our world-first peer to peer VPN. 

In preparation, the network will undergo some big technical updates and transitions. This includes an upgrade of our native token MYST, which is a core component of Mysterium and which keeps the network sustainable, secure and permissionless.

Read our blog about our unofficial launch timeline and breakdown of how we’re taking Mysterium global. 

What is MYST?

MYST is a utility token (a type of cryptocurrency) at the heart of Mysterium Network. It acts like digital fuel, serving various functions and keeps the network humming along.

Transfer of value – MYST is used as the network’s native currency. If you’re using the VPN (consumer) you will pay using MYST. If you’re a node (provider of the VPN service) you will receive MYST. While additional tokens could be introduced in the future, this is the network’s reserve currency and standard for the time being. 

Identity registration – when you first sign up for the network, you will need a little MYST so you can receive and verify your unique identity. The registration is processed as a transaction, so it’s permanently “on-chain”. Once you receive your unique ID/address, you can start to receive and send payments. By committing a little financially, this proves you have skin in the game. It’s also designed to prevent lots of people signing up for free and creating spam accounts, which will help protect the network against DDoS attacks. 

Staking – nodes (providers) should stake MYST (lock it up as collateral) to prove they are even more committed to the network’s longevity and success (even more skin in the game). Staking is particularly necessary due to how our P2P payment infrastructure works (more on this in below sections). While nodes can start providing their service even with 0 tokens at stake, a stake of at least 12 MYST must eventually be committed. If the user doesn’t stake anything at first, the stake will be accumulated and collected automatically by the network over time as they provide ongoing value and continue to earn. The network will take 10% from each settled payment until the full 12 MYST is received.

Why use cryptocurrency?

Mysterium Network is a decentralised system, meaning its users can be located anywhere around the globe. These systems are also designed so that all users can be anonymous. As a censorship-resistant and anonymous virtual currency, cryptocurrency provides a way for all these participants to interact and trade with one another without trust and without third parties being involved (permissionless). 

While we could have used other (or even more popular) cryptocurrencies for payments within Mysterium, we needed an in-built protection mechanism for the network’s many different actors. MYST is not just used for payments – as a token unique to our system, it’s a representation of your active involvement and intention to participate within Mysterium Network. In this way, MYST enables more than just P2P payments. When network actors have skin in the game, they help increase the overall security of the network, protecting against various types of attacks. It also establishes a community around a purpose, so the network can grow and evolve with its token holders. 

This also gives us the flexibility to use MYST over several blockchains in the future (e.g. similar to Tether).

Hermes protocol, our P2P payments infrastructure

Mysterium Network is a peer-to-peer VPN service, made up of consumers and providers. For us to remain a permissionless network, we need to ensure that all payments must also be peer to peer. This will be facilitated by the Hermes Protocol, our unique infrastructure we designed to enable fast, frequent micropayments on a global scale. 

In brief, it creates payment channels (a special type of smart contracts) between network participants (consumers and providers) and a selected Hermes hub during their registration. Hermes will verify “payment promises” made by consumers to nodes and smart contracts will ensure that tokens are calculated correctly and are safe. Instead of users constantly paying nodes in high volumes (by doing expensive blockchain transactions), consumers can make “promises” to providers, similar to IOUs. When providers (node runners) decide they want to settle (get a payout) their income, the final tallied record is executed on the blockchain and sent as a single transaction. 

Related: Learn more about how micropayments works in Mysterium Network

Additionally, providers (node runners) must stake a certain amount of collateral. While you can stake nothing at the start, as described above, you can stake any amount of MYST to guarantee the size of your payment channel. This will be the amount of tokens you can earn before settling your earned token and confirming this final tally on the blockchain. It will also guarantee faster withdrawal of these payments sent to your personal wallet. 

EXAMPLE: I run a node and want to provide the VPN service. I stake 20 MYST to open up a payment channel with the network’s smart contract. This ensures that consumers in the network can start using my service, and I will keep earning MYST until I reach my staked amount of 20. When I’ve reached my maximum, I have to settle them into my ethereum wallet (ethereum will charge a transaction fee). After that, I can keep earning MYST again until I reach my channel limit and will have to settle again. If I will decide to stop providing services on Mysterium Network, I can get my initial 20 MYST stake back.

Here’s how it works in action:

  1. Use MYST to pay for your identity registration 
  2. If you’d like to use the VPN service, top up your account balance with MYST 

If you’d like to provide the VPN service, stake a certain amount of MYST tokens

  1. Consumers pay providers using “Payment Promises” (off-chain transactions)
  2. Providers can choose to cash-out these promises at any time

Staking is necessary for the function of payment channels. There needs to be an amount of tokens locked in a provider’s payment channel to keep it active and ensure that the smart contract can pay the amount corresponding to their Payment Promises. If your Payment Promise tally is higher than your tokens at stake, for example, then this could lead to a situation where there are not enough funds to pay you out. This protects users against the threat of double-spending. Similar locking tokens mechanisms are also implemented among other payment channel-based networks, such as Lightning Network, Lumino and Raiden. 

In the future, the staking component could change. Staking more MYST, and therefore having more skin in the game, opens up a few possibilities for loyal network participants. It could enable higher traffic (higher position in ranking = more users  = more income)   for providers, or even allocate a percentage cut of network transaction fees. 

What is token migration?

Migrating a token is simply to upgrade the smart contract of that token (its “standard”). In the case of Mysterium, we are migrating from the ERC-20 to the ERC-777 token standard. This is a 1:1 token migration so there will be no new tokens created. 

Why are we upgrading MYST?

Different smart contract token standards offer different functionalities. The ERC-20 standard is the oldest and most common standard, initially developed in 2015. However, this token standard has not aged well. For some time now, its limitations have been exposed as more complex smart contracts have emerged which offer more functionalities, and are therefore better suited for more use-cases.  The ERC-777 token standard was approved last year following collaborative, community-driven discussions that began in 2017. 

ERC777 is an extension of the ERC20 standard. This new standard brings greater benefits to Mysterium Network as it plays host to some important features and multiple quality of life improvements. It adds token receive hooks which are used in our payment system, enabling the auto-conversion of MYST to other tokens during settlement. This opens us up to all kinds of crypto communities, even alternative blockchains such as Bitcoin. It also reduces the number of transactions required for the registration of a Mysterium ID, therefore reducing the cost of fees.

As we create more liquidity for the MYST token through its listing on various exchanges, we also require a full audit of the token. With an ERC777 MYST token, we will perform an audit with aims to also reinforce trust in its security.

How will token migration work?

At the end of July, MYST token holders will be able to start migrating their tokens into the new token standard. This will become the standard MYST token used within Mysterium Network’s payment system.

All exchanges are informed and are preparing for the upgrade on their end. If you are holding MYST on exchanges such as HitBTC, the migration will be done automatically and you will not need to do anything. While the token migration is planned for the end of July, it may take some days for exchanges to complete the upgrade, so please keep this in mind. Trading inside exchanges is unaffected by this migration.

For those who have the technical capacity and knowledge to conduct the migration themselves, our developer tooling will be available. Taking a DIY approach, users will be able to use our custom tooling to migrate their own tokens. We will publish written and video tutorials on our website in advance, so check back for updates. 

While there will be no time limit for migrating tokens, please be aware that only the new token standard will be used in the Mysterium Network payment system and actively traded on exchanges. 

However, you will not lose your original MYST tokens if you do not migrate within a specific deadline. This means you can perform your token migration at a convenient time to you.

Your wallets which are supporting only ERC20 tokens will work fine with MYST token.

Our token will support both ERC20 and ERC777 interfaces. This means that any wallet which supports ERC20 can be used to hold MYST token.

We’ll be publishing more important details in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, join our Discord channel and download the app for Android, Windows or Mac to get a taste of the free version before we move to the pay as you go model.

Introducing our decentralized VPN for Mac 🎉

Mysterium VPN app for Mac is now live.

This means anyone with a Mac computer or macbook can use the Mysterium dVPN to power an anonymous and uncensored web experience – all while rebuilding the web from the inside out.

Download the free VPN for Mac here.

Available for macOS versions 10.14+ and later

What is Mysterium VPN for Mac?

Mysterium dVPN is an anti-censorship, anti-surveillance tool. It is more similar to Tor network in its philosophy and infrastructure, but preserves the essential functions and ease of use of a VPN. You can easily connect to the Mysterium VPN and run it while browsing online, no matter where you are. This will protect yourself against cyberthreats and help you bypass firewalls and geoblocking. It’s free to install for a short time only, and its simple user interface helps you get started in minutes. 

Under the hood, Mysterium is very different to other VPNs for Mac. While regular VPNs connect you to servers owned or managed by businesses, our VPN is powered entirely by its users. Mysterium’s P2P, decentralized (distributed) network is made up of people all over the world who share their bandwidth and IP address with each other in exchange for crypto. So you can be in dVPN mode to use it, or in node mode to power it and earn. Note that you need to have a node set up to start earning in the network. You can learn how to become a node in our guide, and we’ve even made a dashboard for nodes which lets you track your earnings each day. 

Just like Tor, when you use the dVPN your encrypted traffic is sent throughout the network in an unrecognizable form. We also use various security protocols such as OpenVPN and WireGuard® to ensure the network is safe. The decentralized nature of our network means we can’t store logs centrally, even if we wanted to. 

What’s new with our VPN for Mac?

We added new features such as advanced filtering, auto-updates and a seamless onboarding experience. 

Advanced filtering allows you to select your connection type, country and even price. 

As with our Android app, you’ll be able to select from a dropdown menu of residential IP addresses located around the world. You can curate your VPN experience, unlocking content from countries based on your browsing needs.

The app also has an inbuilt in auto-update functionality, so you’ll always have the latest and best version. 

Our new onboarding process is fast and seamless, so you can register your identity (MystID) in a matter of seconds. Your identity is linked to a unique Ethereum address generated for you, where you can top up your MYSTT balance. MYSTT is our testnet version of our native MYST token. You can use MYSTT to activate the service and begin paying by the minute or amount of data transferred.

What’s coming next?

Mysterium wants to open up the internet to everyone, ensuring every web user has equal and secure access. We released our dVPN for Android last year, and have been working hard to make the Myst VPN compatible with all devices and systems. This new macOS release lays the foundation for our upcoming Windows version. Our user interface code is shared among platforms, so you’ll have the same experience across every device.

Discover our VPN for Mac