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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

Top 5 online hackathons; cure your quarantine boredom with bounties

Virtual is the new black.

As more and more of the world makes a pact to #StayTheFHome this COVID19 season, all planned conferences, meetups and hackathons are adapting their events for the online domain. 

So switch off Netflix and polish up your webcam – there’s hacking to be done, things to learn and bounties to win.

Funding the Future Virtual Hackathon

Organised by: Gitcoin 

Dates: March 16 – 30th

Prize: Up to $6500 per challenge

Gitcoin is a platform for you to get paid for working on open source projects. They’ve built a strong community of developers who collaborate and monetize their skills. 

They frequently host online hackathons and bounty programs, so you can check out the full list of current and upcoming virtual events, including their Funding the Future Hackathon. 

This two-week virtual hackathon features sponsors and projects from across the emerging decentralized finance (DeFi) space. Hackers will work together to build projects and tools that create, grow, and share value in brand new ways.

They’re also running a Blockchain for Social Impact hackathon, with 4 different categories: Sustainable Cities, Plastics and Pollution, Carbon Footprint, and Celp Peace and Prosperity. Winning ideas receive $6,500 in prize value (and runner up gets $1,500). Not a bad sum for trying to fix the planet. 

Can’t Be Censored Challenge

Organised by: Mysterium.Network

Dates: Applications close April 14th

Prize: Up to $5000 (first prize)

Calling all devs who give a sh*t about keeping the internet accessible and free. 

Mysterium Network is a distributed, permissionless privacy network. We’ve grown a large residential IP network for all kinds of next-gen privacy applications to be built on top of. 

Enter our “Can’t be Censored” challenge by submitting an app/DApp that fits into one of the featured categories and ultimately helps global citizens access the internet, no matter where in the world they are.  

We’re looking for new application ideas that span across iOS, Browser Plugin, Android TV, Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, Windows – or anything you like that you can build on our Network. 

Use code (and your brains) to put an end to internet censorship, data breaches and the abuse of our privacy rights.

International Women's Hackathon 2020

Organised by: HackerEarth

Dates: March 8th – April 30th

Prize: Up tp $3000

The annual International Women’s Hackathon has returned for 2020! This is its 6th edition, an all-women event and platform to showcase talents and build ideas for the Financial Technology, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Blockchain industries.

The IWH 2020 supports the UN’s theme for International Women’s Day – “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change,” and promote women developers around the globe. 

It invites women innovators, developers, creators, designers, and hackathon enthusiasts to showcase their projects to the world and take them to the next level.

GitLab Hackathon

Organised by: GitLab

Dates: May 13th – 14th

Prize: $100 to spend at the GitLab store

If you’re a dev, then you definitely have a GitHub or GitLab account. Easily join the GitLab community for this 2 day virtual event.

The Hackathon is open to anyone who is interested in contributing code, documentation, translations, UX designs and more to GitLab. Prizes are given to participants for having Merge Requests (MRs) merged and there may also be special award categories at each Hackathon.

You can choose an existing issue to work on, or file a new one. If it’s your first time contributing, a good way to join the Hackathon is to pick and fix a bite size issue. There are also issues for more experienced contributors.

Hack Quarantine

Organised by: Hackathons UK

Dates: March 23rd to April 12th

Prize: Cure the world and get to go outside again… (i.e Non-monetary)

Fight the flu! With your brain?

This fully-online, people-focused hackathon brings people together to use their skills to help combat the issues the world is facing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Work with medical professionals who will provide the knowledge and tools to empower all hackers to work on improving health, remote working and helping vulnerable populations.

Instead of having different challenges, the hackathon has separate “tracks”. Your project doesn’t have to fit perfectly into one track, it could be a mix and match of several (or all of them). Tracks were chosen based on areas where tech could be used to help solve some of the problems that the world is currently facing with the ongoing pandemic.

And for Data Scientists with a little more time on their hands…

Microsoft’s AI for Earth awards grants to support projects that use AI to change the way people and organizations monitor, model, and manage Earth’s natural systems. They’ve  already awarded 508 grants to projects with impact in 81 countries, and the list of grantees continues to grow. The four categories cover climate, agriculture, biodiversity and water.

Microsoft also offers awards to support environmental technology projects. They work with partner organizations to distribute special grants, including cash awards. You can check out these opportunities and learn how to apply. 

 

Opensource VPN partnership alert 🚨🎉 Portals builds on Mysterium Network

open source vpn

Portals VPN builds on top of Mysterium Network

We’re excited to announce the first project building on Mysterium Network! Mysterium Network is building a decentralised VPN, but we are also fundamentally an open source VPN. 

Portals has built on top of our open-source infrastructure to bring consumer VPN users into Mysterium ecosystem.

To celebrate this new milestone, Portals is offering a discount to all Mysterium users who’d like to sign up and give their Android application a go.

Related: What is a VPN connection? And why is it needed as our internet splinters apart?

What is Portals?

Portals is a dVPN application that plugs directly into Mysterium Network’s pool of nodes. Yes, you heard correct – a business, building on our infrastructure and sending traffic to our node network. And it doesn’t stop there.

Portals are focused on consumer adoption. They offer a subscription service, with monthly or annual payments. This means that Portals users can pay not just with cryptocurrencies, but with cold hard credit cards. Under the hood, this will drive traffic into Mysterium Network and tokens into Mysterium node runners’ pockets. Once a user signs up for Portals, all they need to do is pick the country they’d like to connect to. Portals’ built-in algorithm selects the best nodes for them to connect to based on quality, and the service the user is looking to access. 

Portals also offer live chat, which means anyone with issues getting their dVPN application up and running will have a helping hand.

A small step for dApps, a giant step towards mass adoption.

With Portals, users will be able to access the benefits of Mysterium Network’s pool of residential IPs without having to even know what ETH or MYST is! More users and traffic will flow into Mysterium Network, without all that crypto mumbo jumbo needing to be explained to people who just want an app that’s easy to use.

Portals app is available on Android, Mac and Windows. Check them out here.

open source vpn

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Why are decentralized VPNs important?

Centralized VPNs today have full access to the history and metadata of what we consume online.

“The websites we browse, torrents we download, movies we watch on Netflix, the time we spend playing games, watching Youtube, idling on social networks – we can only imagine (and know from certain instances) how this data is used to track us and eventually influence our behaviour,” says the team behind Portals VPN.  

“This influence is so strong yet so concealed, that we have the right to replace the term “influence” to the term “control” in this context.”

Portals VPN is built on the belief that the more Internet users become aware of this control that centralized VPN providers have, the more they will turn to decentralized solutions. 

Why is this step important to Mysterium Network?

Mysterium Network is building a distributed VPN node network. 

While we have a reference implementation of our technology available, as an open-source VPN one of our goals is to help create tooling that allows for easy integration into our node network.

This means that we can continue to focus on building our node software, nurturing our community of nodes and helping developers build apps that drive traffic through the network.

Portals building on top of Mysterium is an important step for us as it will help us with the following:

  • Getting feedback on our developer documentation to ease future open source adoption of our technology;
  • Building processes to help onboard open-source talent more seamlessly into first learning about Mysterium technology, and then building on top of it;
  • Gaining a new channel through which traffic will enter our network and gets distributed across our node runners.

An open Internet for all

Portals and Mysterium are just two of the many projects pioneering decentralization. The ecosystem is made up of a range of companies, initiatives and projects all working together to create a better Internet for all. 

The magic of decentralized technology means that different platforms complement each other, merging to form a new Internet that is as accessible, interoperable and open – as if it were one. 

Related: Read our behind-the-scenes look into how networks like these are built.

Stay tuned for our developer bounties

Portals is the first of many projects that we hope will join us in building Mysterium’s wider ecosystem.

We will be announcing developer bounties on the 1st of March through our blog and community channels, so stay tuned to find out how you can contribute to a more free, more open Internet – and earn while you do it.

March 2020 updates – How to sell internet bandwidth

Mysterium Network is building a decentralised VPN. If you’re wondering how to sell internet bandwidth and earn crypto, check out our definitive guide to becoming a Mysterium Node.

Before we provide you with our latest update, we’d like to thank our growing community of nodes for their ongoing support, contributions and feedback. We value your time and effort in working with us to launch the next generation of the internet.

What’s changing in our March proposal:

A recurring piece of feedback we had from Mysterium Node Runners was to remove caps on Residential IP nodes which would be paid out monthly.

At this stage real traffic is not paid, and completely subsidised by Mysterium Network.

We are currently on test net. MYSTT is not a scarce resource as we need an abundance for testing purposes. This means that we will have a lot of users testing our mobile application (and desktop apps in the near future) with free MYSTT. This is necessary for our current stage of testing. This also means a lot of unpaid traffic within Mysterium Network, completely subsidised by us.

Before presenting our proposal one of the options we were considering was having a bounty pot that would be split by all node runners. But we came to the conclusion that this would have incited a lot of frustration as there would be no way to guarantee the exact value of earnings until the very end of the month.

We are happy to take any suggestions on board that takes us closest to a free market system. This is why we are making an amendment to our March proposal of bounty rules. 

Instead of having an individual cap of nodes per target region, we will have a total cap of 250 nodes paid out for the following regions: the UK, US, Italy, Germany, Australia, Netherlands.

The rest of “Residential IP bounties with payout caps and rolling payments + New countries  🇦🇺🇳🇱” remains the same.

To reiterate again – we reserve the right to not pay. We will be cross-checking traffic and identifying bad actors and disqualifying them from our bounty program. 

For some consumers of Mysterium Network, different types of IPs are both useful and important. This is why we are looking to grow the number of data center, residential IPs, and mobile IPs we have in our network across the globe. Nothing changes with our second bounty. 

how to sell internet bandwidth

Overarching themes from feedback gathered from you:

Fix discrepancies as to how data is calculated between my.mysterium.network and our leaderboard on test net.

We will ensure that there will be a single source of truth by the beginning of March. This will be my.mysterium.network

Ensure fair distribution of traffic across all nodes within Mysterium Network

  • Filters and randomness
  • Removal of the list of nodes with the ability to favourite nodes within our MysteriumVPN on Android.

Our bounty proposal takes us much closer to real-world environments. We are considering several means of data balancing for nodes but this goes against the ideology of a permissionless network.

A consumer will choose nodes that provide stable service at an acceptable price for them.

This quarter, we will be focused on growing consumers within the network which will directly impact the volume of traffic flowing through Mysterium Network.

Create more whitelisting tools for node runners

Longer-term (not this quarter), we are working on advanced whitelisting solutions that will be an additional tool that allows providers to grow the volume of traffic they allow through their node. This will also make it much easier for consumers to find nodes providing the type of service they are looking for.

This is a huge technical challenge as users do not only browse one service at a given time. This will mean we need multi-hops between data center nodes which provide access to the wider internet. We will also need to ensure that only specific types of traffic are sent to Residential IPs.

Another consideration is to have multiple connections to providers so that they are able to browse freely without having to reconnect to nodes based on the specific service they are looking to unblock. This is a huger technical challenge – opening several VPN tunnels to different providers and balancing between them

Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post on how we aim to achieve this and the challenges we expect to face.

Provide stable and working Linux software and repositories. Or just remove this platform.

Our Linux node installed via Debian packages or compiled binary on your machine has proven to be the most stable platform for the Mysterium Node.

It seems our community is seeking docker support. There are technical limitations of supporting docker due to the complexity of it’s networking set up. It is possible to run Mysterium Nodes within docker containers. This will work if it is a node with a direct external IP – most likely a data center IP. If it’s a local network set up, our docker support is at beta stage and needs advanced configuration.

Some of you are using install scripts and running it on unsupported platforms. We are only supporting LTS of Ubuntu and Debian at this stage.

We are going to work on our documentation to help our community, but cannot guarantee that this will work with each unique configuration.

Changes of the bounty system need to stabilise as no one is currently able to cost-benefit.

We are currently running the Mysterium Node Pilot as a research and development initiative to understand network dynamics before we move to main net. This means expecting rapid changes.

We will be moving to main net in 2020, and once this happens Mysterium Network will become a peer to peer system. This will mean no more bounty rules and limitations of the number of nodes which are eligible for payouts. This is because in a peer to peer system, you will be paid directly by a consumer of your service. You will also be able to set pricing as you see fit.

We understand that the changes to bounty rules of the Mysterium Node Pilot can be frustrating. If this is the case, we urge you to stay tuned and join us when we’re on main net where you will be able to provide VPN service directly to a free market.

The above is not exhaustive, and all feedback has been shared with our internal teams to help us with prioritising feature updates. 

Addressing some repeating questions:

1. What is the MYSTT / gigabyte conversion?One gigabyte will earn you 0.07 MYSTT.
You will earn 0.0005 MYSTT / minute of each session your node accepts.
This is a default setting. In the future, Mysterium node runners will be able to fine-tune and set their own pricing.

2. Will you no longer be paying for any node runner availability?No. Calculation of availability is both difficult and not a real-life scenario. It was temporarily required as our payments system was not ready for testing yet. To reiterate, Mysterium Node Pilot is a Research and Development initiative. This means we are shaping bounty rules based on quickly evolving technology and hope you will stick around for the journey.

Thank you for your contribution to an open internet for all

You can find a detailed break down of both February and March Node Pilot bounty rules on my.mysterium.network. Wondering how to sell internet bandwidth? Start running a node today, and join us as we gear up towards our main net release.

A strategic look into how networks are built

Mysterium Network was started with a purpose. That purpose was and continues to be: create a network that ensures surveillance-free communication and access to the internet for all. How to sell bandwidth on our marketplace? Check out our definitive guide to becoming a Mysterium Node, or simply get started here.

The internet is becoming an increasingly fragmented place. This was not intended by the founders of the internet. Those in power know that when you control information flow, you control people. 

This is neither fair nor ethical. And this problem begs a solution. Mysterium Network is building a technological solution to a social problem – with your help. 

Mysterium Network is equally a research and development project. 

  1. Research – because we are building new technologies from scratch, even if separate components have existed for a while
  2. Development – because technology alone will not solve this problem. Instead, a distributed node network in place, and in action can solve a big part of the problem. 

Related: What is the splinternet, and how can decentralisation fix it?

What is Mysterium Network comprised of?

To truly understand what we’re working on at Mysterium Network we must divide our network into different components for clarity.

1. Base Layer

Our base layer is comprised of our core technology. This is our node software, payment hub and discovery service. This is the layer that addresses how to sell bandwidth within a bandwidth marketplace. All these components are currently being built and tested through the Mysterium Network Node Pilot. 

Related: Introduction to micropayments on Mysterium Network

2. Infrastructure Layer

The infrastructure layer makes it easier for other application developers to plug into Mysterium Network and access our pool of residential IPs. As we create tooling that makes it easier for developers to build on Mysterium Network, this will help to drive more traffic through our network

Our infrastructure layer comprises of different components such as a quality oracle, identity pool payments management, automatic exchange tool and much more. Some of these components are being built as we speak, with much more coming up as we continue to work with partners who help us identify needs with feature requests.

We are also working on enterprise client software for VPN businesses which will allow them to become consumers in our network. Our goal is to progress this client software to potentially allow these VPN businesses to also become providers within Mysterium Network.

We will dive deeper into each of these components, and what they will mean for corporate partners and app developers in a later blog post. Sign up to our newsletter to hear it first.

3. Apps Layer

With our application layer, the goal is to drive incoming traffic into Mysterium Network so nodes can earn from real users. Our application layer comprises of our own reference implementation, Mysterium VPN on android. It’s free – so give it a whirl.

It could also stretch to include anything from mobile and television applications through to web scraping tools which utilise our network of nodes. Interested in building on Mysterium Network? Jump into discord, let us know how you’d like to contribute to building an open internet for all and let us know how we can help. 

Stay tuned for some exciting announcements on developer bounties to encourage building on Mysterium Network! Want to hear about it first? Join us on discord and telegram to connect with both core team members and the wider Mysterium community.

Join us in bootstrapping this research project

To build towards a successful permissionless and decentralised virtual private network, we have a three-pronged strategy: 

  1. Build an initial network of nodes and embed them with an open Mysterium protocol (an evolving one). The aim is that each node is able to provide any user of the network with access to the open internet and/or a line of secure communication.
  2. Provide this network with an incentivisation mechanism. This is where payments come into play. Once peer to peer payments are live, network users will be able to pay a node directly for its service. To test our network, we needed to get some real-world data and input. Hence the Mysterium Network Node Pilot was born.
  3. Build and encourage an ecosystem of apps. Without this, Mysterium Network loses its diversity of use and robustness. This is where our infrastructure and apps layer comes into play. We are building all kinds of tools – amongst them our own reference implementation of apps using the network. Check out Mysterium VPN on Android – which both showcases Mysterium Network’s potential while providing real-world value to its users. 

Related: Tor vs VPN vs dVPN

Mysterium Network Node Pilot.

Through the Mysterium Network Node Pilot, you join us in the research phase of our project, which means you should expect rapid changes. 

We have just released our proposed Mysterium Node Pilot bounty updates for the month of March. We are doing so with a 30-day lead up so that we can gather feedback from our community and shape these rules with them. 

You can find our proposal for March’s bounty rules here. As we build a network for the people, by the people – we need your feedback to understand how best to shape incentive mechanisms that create a robust network that is resilient against bad actors.

Mysterium Network - The Network will always come first

Our Node Pilot and evolving bounty rules are designed to bootstrap the evolution of Mysterium Network.

We will continue with bounties to strengthen key areas of Mysterium Network, reshaping areas which are underdeveloped and exploring new geographies or communications protocols which can bypass censorship. Eventually (with the implementation of peer to peer payments) the network will become self-sufficient – meaning that users will pay nodes directly. 

With March’s iteration of bounty rules, we are hoping to move closer to market conditions. We have a limited budget for bounties, and this is one of the reasons we are proposing a cap on the number of nodes we will pay monthly. In real market conditions, all nodes who collect tokens will be paid. This is why we have proposed rolling payouts – which means you can combine your tokens from several months to allow you to rank amongst the top nodes within your region and get a payout. 

In saying all this, we urge you to be prepared for changes within bounty rules, as the focus will shift depending on the data uncovered during our ongoing research phase.

Help us create a sustainable robust network which places privacy and openness at the forefront. Give us feedback on our proposal, join the community and run a Mysterium Node.

Mysterium Network 2019 round up

What is Mysterium Network?

Mysterium Network is building a dVPN, a crypto VPN in essence where a distributed network of nodes all over the world are paid for providing a VPN service in a bandwidth marketplace.

Related: The splinternet is here, and decentralisation can stitch it together. We must act now.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year at Mysterium Network

We wrapped up 2018 releasing our Android app (which has recently undergone some quality updates! So check it out and let us know what you think).

Nostalgia mixes with excitement as we compare where we’re at today with how much further we can take Mysterium Network.

As always, we are ever grateful for our growing community of nodes. You guys are the network, and we’re here to serve you.

Related: The definitive guide to becoming a Mysterium Node

By the numbers

In 2018 at any given time we had an average of 40 – 50 nodes, all powering away to help kickstart this network and push the movement forward. These were initially data center nodes, with residential nodes slowly filtering in. At the time we were struggling to enable stable and robust connections due to the inconsistent nature of the hardware they ran on.

In 2019 we grew that number to 400! That’s 10 x growth, but with a very important differentiating factor – a much stronger focus on Raspberry Pis to help us create a stable permissionless VPN network. 

As a young company pioneering a niche technology that’s a huge achievement. It also means we have a few hundred people who already believe in our vision and want to make the internet a better, fairer and more inclusive domain.

Over the past year, we also...

These little guys can change the world (wide web)

1. Introduced Raspberry Pi as a staple of our node network.

Pis have proven to be our most stable node to date, providing the most consistent bandwidth. These little devices have catalysed our network growth and through them we’ve found a way to make being a node far easier and rewarding. Once up and running, our users can just forget all about them. 

We are exploring more node platforms to release in 2020. Have suggestions? Tell us which platform, device or mechanism and we might just have a bounty for you to help us create it…

2. Launched our node pilot.

We incentivised people to join our network, run a node and provide a service. This has been put in place as a Research and Development initiative and has seen multiple iterations. From this pilot, we’ve been able to understand network dynamics and test the speed, strength and integrity of our network. As a crypto VPN, building a P2P network beginning to test incentive mechanics was extremely important for us. A huge thanks to our wonderful community of nodes for sticking with us and for providing invaluable feedback, helping us we refine and grow Mysterium Network.

3. Began testing payments. 

You asked, and you shall receive! 

We announced that we’re close to launching payments on Mysterium. Crypto VPN payments are a crucial element of our network. As such, we needed to design a solution which was capable of meeting real world requirements of scalability and affordability. This system also had to comply with the ethos of decentralised ecosystems. These are two opposing forces, with no current solutions suitable for our use case.

But we believe we’ve developed a unique solution that fits our requirements.

This is more than just an exciting milestone for Mysterium Network We have worked extensively towards this moment for the better part of the year and are almost ready to deploy it. 

Find out more about our P2P payments system in our blog and technical deep dive from our in house payments genius Jaro Satkevic.

4. Partnered with Avado 

AVADO enables you to be a part of your favourite decentralised projects, like Mysterium. The team created an amazingly simple plug and play hardware device that connects you to many different kinds of blockchains. Using the AVADO Box, anyone can become a node to help power decentralised networks and earn cryptocurrency in the process. 

This is the first of many partnerships to come. Learn what they mean for you and for the Web3 in our blog post.

Building an app and want to provide your users with privacy? Learn how you can build on top of our network by checking out our GitHub.

5. Created a new platform for node runners. 


We built a new platform for our node community, called My.Mysterium.Network (MMN).

This dashboard-style interface is designed to improve the entire node running experience.  It’s a crucial part of our updated node infrastructure. All it takes is some quick setting up and login details to get you started

Now all our nodes can easily link their nodes and watch their earnings grow. We also built a strong support system with help.mysterium.network and the implementation of intercom (live chat). 

6. Enabled live streaming traffic from three businesses.

Real world traffic is flowing from B2B integrations into our network.

Building a B2B business while disrupting a market is no mean feat. In the last quarter of 2019 we’ve taken business partners through testing and integration, tested assumptions on how IPs will be treated by different services and gotten a more nuanced understanding of real world requirements of a permissionless VPN network.

We are working on streamlining partnerships, cleaning up documentation and offering a rock solid service to our business integration partners. Need Residential IPs? Talk to us. 

7. Kicked off our ambassador program, Mysterium Army. 

We consider our community to be our strongest asset. We’ve been a grassroots dVPN project since Day One. And we need your help in educating others on privacy, anti-censorship and the need for VPNs.

Enlist in our Army and discover how you can help us in this battle for the internet we all deserve. 

8. Attended the following events and conferences:

9. And sponsored these:

We cooled it somewhat on events this year to really focus on making our tech the best it can be.

But stay tuned for 2020, where we will be teaming up with other projects to host hackathons so you can not only learn about, but help us build and improve our network!

To all our nodes, community members, partners and supporters, we want to say the BIGGEST thank you from the bottom of our ethernet cables (and hearts).

We hope 2020 will be the year which launches our network into the stratosphere. 

✌️💜& 🥧

Team Myst 

Mysterium Network 2018 Q3 Round Up

What is VPN used for? And why is it so important to decentralise the internet?

Mysterium Network is building a decentralised VPN. What is VPN used for? There are many practical applications, protecting your browsing from prying eyes when on a public WiFi, accessing content blocked in your region, and much more.

Traditional VPNs are expensive, and inaccessible to many different markets with heavily censored internet. See how what we’re building is different.

Related: Tor vs VPN vs dVPN – see the difference

Before we give you the latest update, we’d like to take a quick moment to thank our growing community of nodes for their ongoing support and contributions. Your time and effort is endlessly appreciated as you help us launch the next generation of the internet!

The larger our network grows, and the more we spec our requirements from B2B partners, the more we understand just how vital a highly reliable, stable network of residential IPs is to Web 3 infrastructure. 

Related: The ultimate guide to becoming a Mysterium Node. Decentralise the internet, and earn cryptocurrency.

The past few months here at Mysterium have been an ongoing process of testing, learning and implementation. 

In the last quarter, we:

  1. Grew our network to 176 active nodes
  2. Onboarded 75 node runners to the bounty pilot, who earned an average of 28 each
  3. Began integrating with 3 businesses, who will start sending test traffic through these nodes

At the end of Q3, the entire Mysterium team came together (including our remote team mates) for quarterly think-tank workshops. Our goal was to reflect, collaborate and outline new objectives for Q4 that aligns with our long term vision and elevates our business sustainably. 

Following these workshops, the team reached consensus by voting for their favourite ideas. 

This quarter, our goals are to:

Launch payments on testnet

We have been actively researching and developing our own unique P2P payments solution to be integrated with the network. This Layer 2 solution will accommodate frequent micropayments by utilising state channels and function similarly to the Lightning Network (but with a more user-friendly approach).

We hope this P2P system will also realise the utility of  the MYST token and this milestone takes us one step closer to this.

Related: Introduction to Micropayments on Mysterium Network

Triple our node base

As the heart of our network, our core focal point has been to grow our node network. What is a VPN used for? It is used to reroute traffic through nodes. Our node pilot is essentially a Research & Development initiative, allowing us to test Raspberry Pi nodes in a home environment and measure the strength, quality and speed of the resulting network. 

At the moment, the only traffic which nodes receive in our whitelisted mode is local streaming content coming directly from the Mysterium team.

We are strongly focusing on the UK market, with local boots on the ground to help build up our base there. It is our goal to have at least 200 stable UK nodes up and running by the end of Q4. If you’re located in GB and want a discounted Raspberry Pi, please reach out to savannah@mysterium.network

To maximise our node efforts, we will also:

Launch the my.mysterium.network (MMN) platform; we want to improve node engagement and retention, creating a seamless user experience. We will soon launch my.mysterium.network to automate onboarding and provide direct channels for feedback.

Self-help support functions and reporting processes mean we are always listening to our node runners and refining product to make it as strong as possible. The MMN dashboard will also track your nodes earnings, bounty payouts and referrals.

Ramp up our referral program; we are seeking out more ambassadors to help us onboard nodes, including influencers who can educate and inspire their communities to help us build the Web 3.

Turbocharge the team

As our network grows, we require more special talent:

– Developers – we’re always on the lookout for Golang developers. If you’re into network security, blockchain, and privacy – you’ll be a fit. Find out how you can shape the internet of the future. 

– 1 UK-based cryptocurrency and network security legal specialist – to help us navigate all the compliance and legal requirements or issues we may encounter as a blockchain project. 

– 1 node support specialist – to be the first point of contact and ongoing support system for our fast-growing node community. 

– 1 business development representative – to help us find new B2B partners and create new revenue streams for Mysterium.

Why join Mysterium and decentralise the internet? 

We believe that an internet powered by people is the next stage of its technological and social evolution. That’s why we are building open source, decentralised applications and tools which will empower a global community to self-govern and sustain the web.

Decentralisation is still a work in progress, and producing a truly P2P network is our long term goal. We know that a strong node network can solve the failings of our centralised internet, but first we need a team with strong-will to help us create that network. That’s why we’re looking for more brilliant minds to make this a reality. 

Join our team to help us rewire the internet, safeguarding freedom of speech and anonymous expression online.

Test B2B models

As we increase the supply in our bandwidth marketplace, we are also balancing demand through self sustaining models for our SuperProxy. This quarter, our goal is to have three businesses send their test traffic through our nodes. 

From this we will understand both the detailed technical requirements of our network and profitability of the different use cases we are considering.

Now over to you - take a more active role in Mysterium Network!

Our commitment to our community is to grow Mysterium Network responsibly, ensuring its positive effect on Web 3 as it evolves. We value your support and understanding as we expand the number of people working to take Mysterium Network to the next level. 

If you’d like to join us in creating the next iteration of the WWW – get in touch with orinta@mysterium.network. 

Make money selling bandwidth – Mysterium & Avado Partnership

make money selling bandwidth

As Mysterium grows, we want to find the many new and exciting ways you can both make money selling bandwidth, and take advantage of the wider token economy. Check out our article on 14 ways to earn crypto online.

There are countless projects out there building the foundation of the decentralised world, and AVADO is one pioneer helping to drive the evolution of the Web3. 

Who is AVADO?

sell your internet

AVADO enables you to be a part of your favourite decentralised projects, like Mysterium. The team created an amazingly simple plug and play hardware device that connects you to many different kinds of blockchains. 

Using the AVADO Box, anyone can make money selling bandwidth and earn cryptocurrency in the process. 

[For those who need to know – How does a node work?

In a distributed peer-to-peer network, a node represents a single device, such as a computer or hardware device, which helps power and maintain that network. Through these transparent, secure and community-run systems, value can easily be digitised and shared. People are incentivised to contribute their resources, such as bandwidth or processing power, sharing it directly with the entire network without any kind of official host or authority needed. Nodes are paid for contributing their resources.]

Running your own node is usually very resource-intensive, requiring complex software as well as a lot of computer storage and bandwidth. AVADO makes it easy to be a node as it is designed to handle the CPU and disk-intensive aspects of running one. It provides a huge amount of RAM, ample Disk space, Internet access, and more.

There’s a lot of information floating around that running a node is very expensive. With AVADO, it only costs roughly $50 dollars per year to run. These low operational costs invite everyone to join. 

The Box has its own operating system, so you can choose between various blockchains, like Bitcoin, Ethereum or Monero. The best part is you can run these multiple blockchain nodes at once, so Mysterium is just one of the many networks you can be a part of. 

AVADO now offers smart mining, which is where we come in. Mysterium is the first smart mining application, so the AVADO community can install our node software, start sharing their bandwidth to help power our decentralised VPN and earn up $600 worth of ETH in a year! Find out how you can earn in our network. 

You can use the AVADO Wizard which helps you get started. The Wizard walks you through the entire process. 

Howdy, partner

sell my wifi

Mysterium and AVADO met last year, and the synergy between the two teams was obvious. 

AVADO is decentralisation in a box. It’s agnostic, open-source and wants to put blockchains in the hands of everyday people. We’re both working towards a greater vision where users reclaim the internet. Our teams believe in the potential of residential nodes to power the Web3, independently of Web2 ISP and servers. 

On a technical level, our projects also complement each other. Mysterium’s software can easily be installed onto their hardware, so AVADO users have more blockchain magic to play with. So we sat down to think about how we could work together to help you make money selling bandwidth.

Collaboration is one of our industry’s biggest strengths and secret weapons. Other technology sectors and companies want to keep their research, insights and code private to remain competitive. They want to outperform, rather than lift up, other projects to maximise their profit. 

This has been the opposite for decentralised communities. By partnering, collaborating and learning together, the development of our ecosystem accelerates. We are open-source and transparent so we can learn from each other’s mistakes or innovations. When other developers and teams know where we got it right, they can build on top of our own work and research. 

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Now it’s over to you

Blockchains need people power. 

While teams like Mysterium and AVADO provide the infrastructure and tools, our communities  are the fuel which ignites decentralization. The more people running a node at home, the stronger, faster and more stable these global networks become, and the faster we can achieve true decentralization.

An open internet also offers both digital and economic freedom. Running a personal node means that you are in control of your own data and your privacy. Your personal information and online activity cannot be logged or stored in private servers, so your data cannot be commoditized or sold to businesses.

How to set up Mysterium on your AVADO

Check out this step by step instructional video by the amazing team at Avado. We’re super excited about this partnership and hope you are too!

Like the progress you’re seeing? Show us some love by sharing this article with your friends. Or join the Mysterium node pilot program today.