Category

decentralised vpn

Introducing the dVPN Alliance

An alliance to make every netizen untraceable, unblockable and unhackable

After months of planning and collaborating with Sentinel, we’re excited to reveal the decentralized VPN (dVPN) alliance to the world. The new alliance is open to all Web 3 projects who want to build a better internet and create a unified standard around how censorship-resistant, privacy-focused platforms and tools are built.

Both Mysterium and Sentinel developed some of the first decentralized VPNs in the world. This initiative is more than a passion project – it’s time to step up the game. The alliance continues our commitment to protecting all online users from personal data hacks, cybercrime and surveillance. 

The internet continues to crumble in the hands of governments and corporations, as the first quarter of 2020 became the worst in data breach history with over 8 billion records exposed. Targets include high profile organisations and companies such as the United Nations, Twitter and Easyjet. Just this week, over 400,000 users of food delivery app Chowbus had their personal data leaked.

The news of our launch was syndicated in various global news publications, including Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, Business Insider, Digital Journal, Crowdfund Insider, Blockonomi and Daily Hodl.

Marcel Velliux, a member of the SNT Foundation, a core supporter of the Sentinel network, spoke about the need for a decentralized alternative to regular VPNs. These common and popular VPNs hide the risks and flaws of their technology, such as logging and centralized storage of user data.

“There are very few enforced standards when it comes to building the platforms and tools which make up the internet today, said Velliux.

“This means that businesses, including VPNs, are free to track their users and store their data insecurely. While new legislation such as GDPR is a step in the right direction, it does nothing on the infrastructural level, which is why data hacks occur on a weekly basis.” 

dVPN alliance

This new digital collective hopes to bring more projects to the table to help shape policy and public understanding of how decentralized internet technologies make a significant social impact. The alliance has already produced an in-depth guide on dVPN exit nodes, to inform and protect users who run them. 

Our own product owner Jaro Šatkevič had this to say about the alliance;

“Fixing our broken internet is a mammoth challenge to take on. If we’re to undo decades of centralization and corporatisation, we need typically competing projects to work together. Just like decentralized, peer to peer technologies depend on people coming together for a common purpose, our cause unites teams who are dedicated to making the internet a more accessible and safe public space for every netizen.”

The alliance is founded upon a dedication to the following principles in Web 3 development; open source, permissionless, distributed logs, peer to peer and privacy. A collaboration on multi-network relays and multi-hop solutions is currently in development.

Explore the alliance here, and read the manifesto.

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. 

Building on the bleeding edge

As the Head of Product of Mysterium Network, I am charged with everything from driving micropayments research to delivery of working applications on Android, Windows and Mac.

A regular VPN application is hard enough, but it’s even more challenging when we are seeking to decentralize the infrastructure through which the service is provided. Let’s add peer to peer and blockchain payments into the mix of network security, and you’re bound to have multiple shifting pieces that you’re building upon.

Here’s an update from me as Mysterium Network transitions into Mainnet. 

I first want to quickly reiterate the goal of the MYST token migration.

We were looking to implement an easy way for consumers to top up their dVPN app accounts using ETH and for node runners to withdraw earned MYST into ETH (and maybe even DAI) automagically using a decentralized exchange. We wanted this to happen in a single transaction, so users would have the best possible experience.

ERC777 based token and their callback hooks looked like a good solution for our needs. That’s why we announced the migration of MYST into an ERC777 based token.

Mysterium Network will transition to updated ERC20 token with `permit`: 712-signed token approvals (ERC2612) at the end of August. 

Part of our process gearing up for real payments on Ethereum blockchain included the submission of two versions of our token to our security auditors (both ERC777 and ERC20 +ERC2612 versions). 

Based on feedback from auditors, and our deeper research into current DeFi projects, we are making the decision to par back the scope of our token migration for the moment. 

This is due to several factors. The ERC 777 token standard is a new technology. It was peer-reviewed for two years and finally marked as final on 7 May 2019. The token is extremely advanced and powerful. However, its use in DeFI projects can be dangerous because of some specific vectors of attacks. Even though more popular projects (e.g. Uniswap v2 or Kyber network) are taking steps to be protected against these types of attacks, there are some who may not take such precautions.

In saying that we have found an alternative and less risky solution for achieving all required peer to peer payment system functionality. 

This will involve an upgrade to the ERC20 token with the extension of `permit`: 712-signed token approvals (ERC2612).

What is the ERC2612 standard, and how does it help Mysterium Network? 

ERC2612 is standardising `permit` function which was introduced in DAI token and is now popularised by the Uniswap team.  

So first things first, for the geeks amongst us. If you’re not a developer, feel free to skip past this section. 

What is the permit functionality?

   function permit(address holder, address spender, uint256 value, uint256 deadline, uint8 v, bytes32 r, bytes32 s) external {
       require(deadline >= block.timestamp, 'MYST: Permit expired');
       bytes32 digest = keccak256(
           abi.encodePacked(
               '\x19\x01',
               DOMAIN_SEPARATOR,
               keccak256(abi.encode(PERMIT_TYPEHASH, holder, spender, value, nonces[holder]++, deadline))
           )
       );
       address recoveredAddress = ecrecover(digest, v, r, s);
       require(recoveredAddress != address(0) && recoveredAddress == holder, 'MYST: invalid signature');
       _approve(holder, spender, value);
   }

The function permit extends the ERC20 allowing for the following benefits: 

  • Transactions involving ERC20 operations won’t require ETH and can be paid for by the token itself. 
  • Approve and pull operations happen in a single transaction, instead of two consecutive ones – making the transaction cheaper.  

This means that MYST token holders who don’t own ETH are able to  give permission to smart contracts which would extend the native token functions and allow more advanced operations (similar to those provided in ERC777). This was possible before with `approve` function, but only for ETH holders. Now it becomes possible for various apps where users are not holding ether, e.g. Mysterium dVPN app.

 

Our plans ahead.

Our token migration will commence at the end of August.

TestNet

Mysterium Network is currently running on TestNet, this means that test token payments are happening on Ethereum’s Goerli testnet and node bounty payouts are managed by the Mysterium Team.

BetaNet

We will begin with an invite only BetaNet. During this point, there will be a development freeze on our TestNet. We will be working with a small group of initial testers on our BetaNet. Interested in being a part of the Mysterium Network BetaNet? Use this form to register or jump into our discord channel and let the team know!

The rationale behind an invite only BetaNet is to provide a controlled environment as we transition to real peer to peer payments with MYST on the Ethereum blockchain.

MainNet

Once our team has battle tested our technology during the BetaNet phase, we will merge all the code into master repository on github, deploy final version of smart contracts and update all the apps and services. This will become Mysterium Network MainNet.

Looking into the future

After the token migration and a successful transition onto Ethereum Mainnet, we are planning to integrate with a decentralised exchange, most probably Uniswap v2. This integration with Uniswap will open up app top-ups with ETH for consumers and direct withdrawal to ETH or DAI for node runners as we will have liquidity pools there.

PS: We code golang, and are hiring. If you’re a golang whiz, I’d love to hear from you. Ping me on our discord or send me a message on twitter

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.

The Launch of Mysterium Network

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. 

The past few years have been spent building technology from scratch. We had an idea, but no blueprint for it. This means solving riddles in a backwards way; we only know the answers, but not which questions to ask. 

But after three years of building, breaking, and questioning, it’s time to release Mysterium Network into the wild. 

Here we share our official launch timeline and breakdown how we’re taking Mysterium global.  

 

Read our blog about the role our native token MYST will play in keeping the whole network running, and its planned upgrade from an ERC20 to an ERC777 token. 

What is Mainnet?

Mysterium Network is currently running on its own testnet (has no real payments on the “live” blockchain). This BETA process has helped us to test our product in parallel network conditions and configurations. After a couple of years in this development stage, we have been able to refine, iterate and learn invaluable lessons along the way.

Now we’re ready to finally launch on the mainnet Ethereum. First, we will transition onto the Ethereum Goerli testnet to stress test our P2P payments. Once we’ve monitored and are satisfied with the results, our network will then plug into the mainnet (the “actual” blockchain) with the peer to peer payments system built into the protocol. 

How will the launch work?

The release on mainnet will happen in 3 stages, and during this time several network forks will occur. We understand that this will be difficult for node runners as it will create a temporary state where the app and nodes may run on different networks. This is an unfortunate and inevitable pain we must go through as a community. We will work to make this transition as smooth as possible for both node runners and users. 

Stage ONE (Middle of July): 

  • We will first issue some newly upgraded MYST (ERC777) token on Goerli testnet. We will also upgrade the payment system to prepare it for the Ethereum Mainnet launch. This will create the first network fork.
  • Following this, the ERC777 tokens will be deployed on Ethereum mainnet and token migration will begin for MYST ERC20 token holders. We are aiming for the end of July.

Stage TWO (Middle of August):

  • Mysterium payment system smart contracts will be deployed on Ethereum Mainnet. New discovery, transactor and Hermes services will also be deployed. This will cause the launch of a parallel network (beta net). Not all users will be required to switch into it. And our official dvpn and node apps will still be using testnet. 
  • On betanet transactions will be done on Ethereum mainnet but we will still be using MYSTT test token. No MYST token usage at this stage yet.
  • The Mysterium Node Pilot will not apply for betanet users, but it will be possible to convert MYSTT token into MYST tokens using our special “MiniDEX” smart contract. 

Stage THREE (Middle of September): 

  • We’ll release 1.0 version of nodes and mainnet ready dvpn apps which will begin using and accepting MYST token. This will introduce a 3rd network fork. There are no further forks planned or anticipated after this stage.
  • The Mysterium Referral program launches, bringing consumers and paid traffic into the network.

What changes for nodes?

During the second stage, the node registration process will be changed. 

Currently, users can plug in a Raspberry Pi, which is “found” by the host My.Mysterium.Network. Users turn their Pis into nodes and become a part of Mysterium Network. We will introduce a new onboarding flow. This includes setting a beneficiary/payout wallet during first node run; setting your staking amount to determine your settlement thresholds and maximum amount of tokens during one withdrawal; create your own password; set the price that you’d like to offer your VPN service. Only once the above has been set up, nodes can start providing their services.

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 P2P payments model.

What is a peer-to-peer network?

What is P2P (Peer-to-peer) technology?

For centuries, human connection has never been a simple equation. 1+1 often equals 3, sometimes more. We had messengers who carried sealed letters, phone operators who connected our calls, and now Internet Service Providers who hook us into a matrix of other businesses, platforms and infrastructure owners just to send a simple email.

Perhaps the most perplexing and inconvenient way of communicating – the singing telegram…

Yet with the dawn of peer-to-peer (P2P) technology, the role of these middlemen (and women) has perhaps become obsolete.

P2P networks (and P2P software) allows 2 devices (and therefore, two people) to communicate directly, without necessitating a third party to ensure it happens. The technology has often been rejected and buried in the darker corners of the web, especially as corporations have taken over our communication channels. These businesses have dictated how we connect and communicate with one another for decades.

But before the web was ruled by the corporate letheans of today, it was once powered by the people who used it. This P2P ecosystem meant that users could connect and communicate with each other directly. The bluetooth in your phone functions similarly to this – you airdrop files directly between devices, with no need for any intermediary to facilitate or even see what files you’re sharing.

Maybe you remember Napster. They popularised P2P music file sharing. While you were downloading and sharing files from this platform, you were also spreading a new phenomenon which the internet made possible – community-powered, governed and owned technology that stretched into our social and economic realms.

Vintage P2P network. A window you recognise, even if you never used it. Source.

But first - what is the client-server model?

The internet that we know today is mostly made up of the client-server model. All machines or devices connected directly to the internet are called servers. Your computer, phone or IoT device is a client that wants to be connected to the web, and a server stores those websites and web content you want to access. Every device, whether client or server, has its own unique “address” (commonly known as your IP address), used to identify the path/route for sending and receiving the files you want to access

How does the internet “work”? A look at the client-server network model.

Servers store and control all this web information centrally. The biggest and most widely used ones are owned by companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon. These possess the computing power, memory and storage requirements that can be scaled to global proportions. It also means that a single server can also dictate the consumption and supply of resources and websites to users (clients), like you and me.

What is a peer in networking? How does P2P work?

Peer-to-peer infrastructure transforms the traditional role of a server. In a P2P system, a web user is both a server and a client, and is instead called a node. (Your computer or device technically acts as the node.)

Related: The ultimate guide to running and earning with a Mysterium node by sharing your bandwidth.

Nodes power the network by sharing their resources such as bandwidth, disc storage and/or processing power. These can be shared directly and information is distributed evenly among all nodes within the network. These sorts of decentralised systems use shared resources more efficiently than a traditional network as they evenly distribute workloads between all nodes. Together, these computers equally and unanimously power web applications. Because there is no need for a central host or server, these networks are also less vulnerable from a security and network health standpoint, as there is no single point of failure.

What is an example of a peer to peer network? what is P2P used for?

“Peer-to-Peer mechanisms can be used to access any kind of distributed resources

There are many uses for peer-to-peer networks today. P2P software have characteristics and advantages that are missing from the web today – trustless and permissionless, censorship-resistant, and often with built-in anonymity and privacy.

P2P file sharing BitTorrentsync-and-share P2P software which allows users to download “pieces” of files from multiple peers at once to form the entire file. IPFS has also emerged, where users can download as well as host content. There is no central server and each user has a small portion of a data package. IPFS is the evolution in P2P file sharing and functions like BitTorrent and other torrent protocols. IPFS mimics many characteristics of a Blockchain, connecting blocks which use hash-function security. However, IPFS does support file versioning, while blockchain is immutable (permanent).

P2P knowledge – Decentralised Wiki (Dat protocol)an article is hosted by a range of readers, instead of one centralised server, making censorship much more difficult. 

P2P money – Bitcoinwhere value is digitised, encrypted and transparent – and as easily transferred as an email. Computers or machines (nodes) with enough GPU power maintain and secure the network. Peers can store and maintain the updated record of its current state. 

P2P computing power – Golemdecentralised supercomputer that anyone can access and use. A network of computers combine the collective processing and computing power of all peers’ machines. The connection grows stronger as more computers join and share resources.

P2P communicationSignalperhaps the most popular communication app with end-to-end encryption and architecture mimics P2P tech. Their server architecture was previously federated, and while they rely on centralised options for encrypted messaging and to share files, this facilities the discovery of contacts who are also Signal users and the automatic exchange of users’ public keys. Voice and video calls are P2P however.

Peer-to-peer in many ways is human-to-human. These virtual and collaborative communities hold us accountable to each other and the technology we’re using. They offer us a sense of responsibility and comradeship. They have been called “egalitarian” networks, as each peer is considered equal, with the same rights and duties as every other peer. If we’re all helping to keep something sustained – a living digital community where responsibility is equally shared yet belongs to no one – then perhaps we can emulate these same lines of thought beyond our technical networks and into our political and social worlds.

Can a P2P network teach us about purer forms of digital democracy? 

“In peer-to-peer networking, an algorithm in the peer-to-peer communications protocol balances load, and even peers with modest resources can help to share the load.”

Popular peer to peer networks and platforms

The theory of P2P networking first emerged in 1969 with a publication titled Request for Comments by the Internet Engineering Task Force. A decade later, a dial-up P2P network was launched in 1980 with the introduction of Usenet, a worldwide discussion system. Usenet was the first to operate without a central server or administrator.

But it wasn’t until 1999, some 20 years later, that a P2P network really proved its potential as a useful, social application. American college student Shawn Fanning launched Napster, the global music-sharing platform which popularised P2P software. Users would search for songs or artists via an index server, which catalogued songs located on every computer’s hard drive connected to the network. Users could download a personal copy while also sharing music files.

Napster Super Bowl XXXIX Ad “Do The Math”

Napsters experiential marketing tactics during the 2004 super bowl, when they abandoned their P2P network to paid model. 

Napster was the dawn of P2P networks “as we know them today”, introducing them to the mainstream. It has been suggested that peer-to-peer marketplaces – some of the most disruptive startups to grace the web – were inspired by the fundamental values and characteristics of Napster. Businesses such as AirBnB and Uber kickstarted the new sharing economy, but sold us the illusion of community. As conglomerates who are simply the middleman between our peer-to-peer transactions, we also become their hired workforces without realising it. This business model relies on us to supply our own homes, cars and time to create the sharing economy, while they simply facilitate the transactions (and take a cut).

With P2P systems, we can remove them from the picture altogether. If we decentralise the sharing economy, you become the user, the host and the network itself. As peers, we are incentivised to contribute time, files, resources or services and are rewarded accordingly, with no one taking a cut. Decentralised P2P networks are transparent, secure and truly community-run systems.

A strange sharing economy infographic by Morgan Stanely, who thinks everything can be shared – including pets? Source.

Jordan Ritter (Napster’s founding architect), was quoted in a Fortune article:

“As technologists, as hackers, we were sharing content, sharing data all the time. If we wanted music… It was still kind of a pain in the ass to get that stuff. So Fanning had a youthful idea: Man, this sucks. I’m bored, and I want to make something that makes this easier.”

Napster soon became the target of a lawsuit for distributing copyrighted music at a large scale, and was consequently shut down just 2 years later. Yet this “clever-if-crude piece of software” demonstrated new possibilities for applications, and “transformed the Internet into a maelstrom, definitively proving the web’s power to create and obliterate value…”

Corporate profit, infrastructural control

While digital networking has led to an unprecedented evolution of our social and professional lives, the potential of peer networks to power those daily interactions took much of a backseat as the web started to take off in the early 2000’s. While protocols of the early Web 1.0 were founded upon decentralised and peer-to-peer mechanisms, centralised alternatives eventually took over.

Related: What does internet censorship look like in 2020. And how can decentralisation change it?

Yet since centralised systems began to plant their roots deep into our internet infrastructure, the web has been slowly rotting away underneath shiny user interfaces and slick graphics. They make the internet less safe, with servers that are routinely hacked. It makes the internet far less private, enabling mass-surveillance conducted by cybercriminals and organisations alike. It makes the internet segregated and broken, rather than unified and democratic, with nations building impenetrable firewalls and cutting off the outside world altogether.

It’s said that P2P money poses a large threat to governments, who seem concerned that without regulation and oversight, these “anarchist” networks could grow beyond their control. The crackdown on cryptocurrency in countries with rampant human rights violations, corrupt governments and crippling economies only lends to the theory that peer to peer systems undermines the very foundations of traditional government structures.

Places where cryptocurrency seems to thrive, are often the same where censorship, corruption and economic instability. 
 

First P2P Money. Next, P2P Internet.

Yet the common, centralised standards which were born out of corporate and political needs are failing us today.

It’s time to turn the tides if we want to surf the web on our own terms.

Peer-to-peer networks have opened up entirely new philosophies around social and economic interactions. Researchers from a 2005 book exploring the potential of Peer-to-Peer Systems and Applications believed that these networks “promise….a fundamental shift of paradigms.” The applications which formed in the early 1980s “can no longer fully meet the evolving requirements of the Internet. In particular, their centralised nature is prone to resource bottlenecks. Consequently, they can be easily attacked and are difficult and expensive to modify due to their strategic placement within the network infrastructure.”

In the past decade, we have seen a re-emergence of P2P protocols. These new community-powered networks are creating entirely new systems and services, that are evolving beyond the traditional concepts of P2P. This was kickstarted in many respects by Bitcoin. Its underlying blockchain technology redefined our understanding of P2P, merging it with game theory, securing it with cryptography and expanding its network with a common CPU (in the first few years, at least).

P2P access

There are many P2P “layers” that can restructure the internet itself. A decentralised VPN is one such layer, offering P2P access to information.

This dVPN utilises a blockchain (the technology underlying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies). Anyone can be a part of the network; your computer becomes a node, acting as a miniature server. This means it can help power the entire network by directly sharing its bandwidth or IP address – and be paid for it. There is no need for a host or intermediary. The bigger this distributed network grows, the stronger and faster it becomes. Its democratic and self-governing architecture creates an open marketplace that serves a global community in need.

This is what a future without internet censorship looks like… An internet powered by people is the next stage of its technological and social evolution.

A community-run VPN is different to a regular VPN in a few different ways. VPNs are businesses which exist to turn profit. Common VPNs own or rent servers that are centrally owned, and which could store logs of all your traffic without anyone knowing (in theory). You simply have to trust that they won’t do anything with this info. And while your data is encrypted, there have been cases of past hackings.

A P2P VPN instead leverages a decentralised network so that your encrypted data passes through a distributed node network, similar to Tor. A single node will never be able to identify you or your online activities, nor can authorities and third parties. In its decentralised form, a VPN pays people (nodes) for providing the privacy service. And as with most P2P systems, a decentralised VPN has no single point of failure or attack, making it safer and stronger than centralised alternatives.

Related: VPN vs TOR vs dVPN. What’s the difference?

Power of the P

Often perceived as a more rudimentary technology, the potential of peer-to-peer technology has been shoved to the digital back shelf for some time. But as the internet evolves as a social and economic landscape, it’s slowly starting to take its rightful place in the online realm. In its simplicity lies its beauty. The most complex and honest human interactions are always the most direct and transparent.

A P2P VPN is just one example of these many different applications. You can try the Mysterium VPN for yourself and experience how P2P works. There are versions for  AndroidMac and Windows, currently free before our full launch.

Mysterium Network May 2020 Product Update

Mysterium Network is building a decentralised VPN. Our global network is open, permissionless and distributed. Last year we focused on finetuning our node software, and understanding dynamics in incentivised networks. This year, we’re balancing out the marketplace with focus on consumer applications. If you haven’t already, please make sure to download Mysterium VPN for MacOS and let us know what you think.

The past month at Mysterium has seen us ramp up efforts as we prepare for our summer mainnet launch. 

With our mainnet launch, we are making strides towards our goal of building a peer to peer incentivised system. During our launch, we will release Hermes protocol – micropayments infrastructure for dVPN – onto Ethereum blockchain. Hermes protocol is exciting for us, as it will power our network of nodes and allow end-users to pay nodes directly without us functioning as intermediaries. 

Hermes protocol is going to power a distributed, incentivised network of users and VPN service providers. We’re building it into the dVPN application so that the user journey is as seamless as possible. We’re putting the final touches on the technology, and will soon start making noise (with your help) to spread the word about Mysterium through a referral program. More news on this coming soon.

Some key updates from the development team:

Mysterium VPN is going to migrate to WireGuard protocol
As a protocol, WireGuard®️ has proved faster, more stable and easier to develop as the foundation for Mysterium. WireGuard®️ is an open-source software and communication protocol for VPNs, creating secure point-to-point connections. Step by step, we’re slowly migrating it as our main protocol. Our upcoming versions of Android, macOS and Windows apps are only going to use the WireGuard®️ protocol. More details about this development approach will be released soon.

Check out our new macOS desktop app
We just launched our macOS desktop app. This means anyone with a Mac computer or MacBook can use the Mysterium dVPN to power an anonymous and uncensored web experience. Read more about our dVPN for Mac

Watch this space for a reintroduction of our Windows application
We will soon be releasing the dVPN for Windows too, which is currently in BETA. This will mean Mysterium can be used with all computers operating Windows – roughly 80% of the world’s computers today. We hope this will help kickstart Mysterium’s global journey.

Updates to Node Software
New version of node v0.34 was released recently. This version has a swift and seamless identity registration feature which is optimised for onboarding new users. This is especially important for our mainnet release, as blockchain transactions could take up to one hour to be confirmed. With our new registration system, users will be able to start using our VPN service in a matter of seconds.

New graphic user interfaces (GUIs), coming your way
We’re working on a new design for our web user interface. We will be sharing the design mockups with our community to get their feedback and to develop the best dVPN experience in the space.

In our next update, we will be much closer to our transition from the Ethereum Görli Testnet to Ethereum blockchain. Stay tuned for exciting updates. If you are interested in participating, running a node, or generally have any questions, jump into our discord channel and speak directly with our core team. 

This summer, we’re excited to share with you Mysterium Network – a permissionless P2P network – three years in the making and the realisation of our founding whitepaper. 

In the meantime, try our free VPN for Android here and VPN for Mac here.

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

Mysterium Network 2020 Q1 round up

Mysterium is building a decentralised VPN. What is a VPN? And how is a dVPN different? Find out more.

Related: What is internet censorship? 

The last quarter for Mysterium Network has been an eventful one, to say the least. We grew our node network to an unprecedented scale, resulting in many adaptations and changes, especially to our bounty rules.

Related: The definitive guide to becoming a Mysterium Node

We have now pivoted our focus away from node acquisition and started working on various implementations of our decentralised VPN application to attract more users and businesses to the network. We also launched our first developer bounties, encouraging entrepreneurs and programmers to take advantage of our infrastructure and build new privacy-focused Web3 tools and products. 

As always, there has been an ongoing process of testing, learning and iterating.

how to build a vpn

Here are the latest updates from our team

First, a little info on our March release (v0.22):

  • We have added a “pay for traffic” functionality. This means all transactions made in the network are now paid ones. We also tested our micropayments system, using the “pay for time” feature. 
  • An even more advanced NAT hole punching was implemented. After this fix, about 80% of all nodes are able to work out of the box. This is an increase of 50% from previous implementations. 

 

What we achieved in April 

We released version 0.31 which introduces one big change and adds a couple of smaller enhancements:

  • P2P communication after establishing tunnel #1797
  • Providers should be able to set own price #1962
  • Store payout address on blockchain #2040

 

Developing the desktop dVPN app

We’re also actively working on a new desktop macOS dVPN app and are going to release the public BETA soon. You can see the progress of app development in this repo or watch related tasks here.

We also did some work towards reopening our Windows app. You can already download the Windows build and use it as a consumer via CLI. Building the Windows desktop dVPN app is our next task and we’re aiming to complete it by the end of May.

 

Refining our free (for now) dVPN Android app

Our latest version of the Android app is much more stable and should have much better connection times with nodes running v0.31.

By the end of May, we’re going to add more filtering options (e.g. by node IP type) and have some UI enhancements.

 

Fine-tuning our payments 

Thanks to our community, we have found many bugs in our payments implementation. Many of them are already fixed.

We’ve been testing our micropayments solution from the end of December 2019. During the last 4 months we implemented almost all the features of the Hermes protocol (our in-built payments solution) and are going to open source the code at the beginning of June. From then, the network will be able to operate with several Hermes hubs, as we aim to decentralise the network further. This will push us closer towards becoming a fully distributed network, launching on the Ethereum mainnet and utilising MYST as the major payment method.

 

The logic behind these releases

As we draw closer to mainnet, we have changed our release process. We have scheduled a couple of RC (release candidates) before our final release, with planned upgrades to the whole network. With this change we expect to have more stability and speed, with less things breaking with additional  minor releases (e.g. 0.22.1, 0.22.2 …).

 

Why are we jumping straight from 0.22 to 0.30?

In our last release we added a huge change, making communication between consumers and providers even more P2P, while avoiding centralised communication servers (such as our message broker service).

What's next?

We’re still working hard towards a mainnet release this Summer. This means you can use the P2P dVPN service, and earn when you rent your bandwidth to others. It will be the launch of our unique micropayments infrastructure which enables everyone in the network to pay and be paid in a secure, efficient and private way. It’s also an open invitation to developers who can see our open source code in action and would like to plug into our global node network to build some exciting new use cases themselves. 

You can already try our free VPN for Android here.

VPN for Android