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decentralised vpn

Ecoin and the rise of corporate cryptocurrency: Did Mr Robot get it right?

Is Mr Robot a glimpse into our tech-onomic future?

The internet’s favourite fictional Robin Hood (Elliot Alderson) – the guy who showed us why to use a VPN, has finally hung up his hoodie, forcing us to return to our own parallel reality. 

For those who have not yet plugged into Mr Robot (using a dVPN?), the series follows hacktivist group “fsociety” who are on a mission to take down conglomerate E Corp and consequently erase the world’s debt. 

The narrative picks apart some of society’s deepest flaws – including the growing divide between the top 1% and 99% at the hands of modern capitalism – with philosophical intensity.

It tells us the world’s financial and corporate structures as made of glass. The hammer that can shatter them to pieces is made of code, clever social engineering and anarchism. 

And with most systems already migrated to the digital realm, just one man and his keyboard can bring a global powerhouse to its knees. 

Back in the real world, hackers launched a ransomware attack against Travelex, the foreign currency company. The hack has crippled their worldwide systems, forcing their stores, airport counters and exchange services offline and leaving customers stranded.

Life imitating art? 

Mr Robot predicts a haunting future for our tech-dependant society based on these very real events; the modern-day revolution is digital, technology is the weapon, and everyday people are still the casualties. One of the many reasons why to use a VPN.

Related: What is happening to our internet? And can we even stop it?

Cash is dead

The world economy falls apart following fsociety’s 5/9 hack against E Corp’s global banking network. The CEO swiftly launches a new digital currency for its clients and millions of customers, a substitute for fiat cash.

There are blunt negotiations with the US Treasury Secretary, who is asked to endorse Ecoin as a government-sanctioned currency before the population turns to the alternative – Bitcoin. 

“The problem here is hard cash is fading, rapidly. That’s just the way of the world right now and Bitcoin is spreading, and if Bitcoin takes over we are all in a world of hell…

With “Ecoin” we control the ledger, and the mining servers, We are the Authority. I will make sure you have visibility into every single wallet that is open, every loan, every transaction. You want to regulate it, be my guest… I’ll give you backdoors, side doors, tracers, whatever you want.”

Is this propagandist, American corporate dream already filtering into our financial system? 

The battle against Bitcoin

For anyone familiar with the origins of Bitcoin, they’ll understand that Ecoin is a violation of everything it stands for. 

As the original and most popularised cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is a virtual currency that is issued, managed and used by everyday people. 

Emerging out of the wreckage of the global 2008 financial crisis, it promised a new monetary system that could help people stay afloat as our economies are sunk by corporate greed and government corruption. 

Termed as “the internet of money”, cryptocurrencies shift the value we assign to cash to a digital form that is as fast and borderless, yet more secure than encrypted messaging. It moves throughout a trustless, decentralized network and is secured by a technology known as blockchain. Anyone can take part and help maintain a public blockchain. 

Yet cryptocurrency – and its underlying technology – is already being hijacked by governments and businesses the world over. 

Stranger than fiction? Ecoin already exists.

While extreme libertarians designed the blockchain to decentralize government and corporate power, some fear it could consolidate it instead, undermining cryptocurrency’s anti-capitalist aspirations.

“The same hype driving cryptocurrency speculation has also attracted banks, governments, and corporations—exactly the authorities it was designed to circumvent.” – Ian Bogost, The Atlantic 

Years after Mr Robot premiered its “cash is fading” monologue and postulated Ecoin, JP Morgan announced the creation of JPM Coin, its own digital currency.

As a global lender, JP Morgan moves more than $6 trillion around the world every single day, and they want to move their infrastructure to a company-managed blockchain to instantly settle payments between their clients.  Once launched, JPM Coin will be the first blockchain-based currency issued by a major U.S. bank. 

Facebook too has joined the cryptocurrency party with their infamous Libra Coin, “potentially shaping the already vast powers of the Silicon Valley giants into a borderless, unaccountable techno-oligarchy.” 

With over 2.4 billion monthly active users, Facebook could become the largest (pseudo) bank in the world. 

There are countless other crypto-inspired initiatives being researched or launched by governments – RSCoin in the UK, Venezuela’s Petro, Iran’s Central Bank, The Public Bank of China, Senegal

But cryptocurrency that lives on a permissioned ledger – a privately-run or corporately managed blockchain – centralizes control, removing its democratic, privacy-preserving nature, and therefore any hopes of social and financial empowerment for the individual. 

Money is already seized by governments and banks habitually. Pair this with an ability to continuously monitor, track and block your entire life savings, and your control is complete. This would complement China’s political and economic strategies, which are centred around state-control and anti-privacy measures – such as their social credit system

Sovereign and corporate cryptocurrencies cannot really be considered cryptocurrencies at all. They abandon the integrity of blockchain technology’s breakthrough design; its in-built trustlessness, transparency and immutability. 

With banks, governments and businesses, nothing changes – they control the chain and the currency, from its supply and distribution to its inflation rate and pegged value.

For the hacktivist that lives in all of us...

So Mr Robot got it right. 

In a world where we are being sold the illusion of economic progress, how can we claim back cryptocurrency for ourselves? 

We can start by supporting open-source projects who are building on public blockchain architecture. We can educate ourselves about the non-speculative value of cryptocurrency (and how to use and store it safely). And we can start experimenting with a range of decentralized applications that give its users control while honouring their privacy and autonomy. 

Related: Why use a VPN? And how is a dVPN different?

Our dVPN is a blend of all these things – and more. 

For many of us, the internet is a place to freely roam. But many online citizens are trapped behind digital walls, stopping the free flow of ideas, voices and truths. 

We are building a new online era, democratising the web itself so that it’s free and open for all. Our peer to peer network powers its own VPN while laying the foundations for the new Web 3.0. Everyday web users become nodes to protect you against censorship, surveillance and cybercrime and get paid in cryptocurrency for it. Anyone can become a node to help us fight the good fight. 

There are many exciting other projects out there also trying to make this new online world a reality. 

Related: dVPN Comparison 2020. See emerging privacy-centric technologies and how they differ.

But the revolution starts with you. Will you claim back the internet? 

Join the Mysterium Army and download our free dVPN for Android.

Decentralised VPN (dVPN) Comparison 2020

dvpn comparison

Decentralised VPN (dVPN) Comparison

The following is a continually dVPN comparison is a resource tracking the differences between emerging decentralised virtual privacy networks in the market.

Last updated: 19 May 2020

If you would like to see an additional dVPN compared here, please do get them to reach out to us, we’d love to continue to develop this as an educational resource for end-users to make educated decisions on their digital lives.

Related: Tor vs VPN vs dVPN – what are the differences?

Network Design

Mysterium Network

A global collection of nodes power a VPN network by sharing bandwidth P2P in exchange for cryptocurrency.

Users can easily become a node and also download the free VPN app to select from a global menu of IP addresses/bandwidth providers.

Orchid

VPN users connect to bandwidth sellers (nodes) using a directory. Node providers stake tokens to advertise these services.

Users install the Orchid VPN, add OXT to their wallet, and can then access the internet through their preferred path (single or multi-hop).

Sentinel

P2P VPN network also functioning as an SDK. Allows anybody to become a “resource node” by selling their unutilized computing resources in the marketplace.

Users mask their Internet traffic through a series of nodes.

VPN

A global VPN service which can provide Dedicated IP address, Double VPN, Onion Over VPN and connection to the Tor anonymity network. 

As well as dedicated data centre servers around the world, centralized VPNs also allow P2P traffic on certain servers  – there are hundreds of them in different locations around the world, optimized for file sharing.

How are nodes incentivised or rewarded?

Mysterium Network

Pilot program
Monthly bounties for UK, US, Italian and German participants, earning up to $600 in ETH per year. Only an email and IP address is required.

P2P payment network
(coming soon)
Nodes set their own price based on supply and demand. This unique micropayments system utilises cryptocurrency payments, so nodes can sell their bandwidth in small intervals, ensuring security and convenience.

Orchid

Stake-weighting
Anyone can operate an Orchid Node, but must first stake (lock up as collateral) the native OXT cryptocurrency. The more OXT that is staked, the more traffic they can receive, and the greater the chances of reward in the Network.

Orchid uses an advanced payments architecture known as probabilistic nanopayments for per-packet network payments.

Sentinel

Resource Nodes can earn the native $SENT token in return for contributing network bandwidth and other resources by hosting a Service Node for the dVPN Service.

VPN

Nodes are not incentivized in centralized VPNs as these businesses own the infrastructure and charge end users for the service.

Node Onboarding

Mysterium Network

Anyone can run a node using their computer, mining equipment or compatible hardware such as a Raspberry Pi. Link your node to your Ethereum wallet address via an easy to use dashboard, My.Mysterium.Network to track your earnings.

No staking is required to be a node – sign up is free.

Orchid

Anyone can run a node by signing up to the stake registry and provider directory on the blockchain.

However, all new nodes must purchase and stake OXT to start receiving traffic.

Sentinel

Running a node requires technical knowledge of how to install a docker and configure a node. At present there is no user-friendly dashboard or application for download.

VPN

No need to onboard. By paying for the service, users get access to the VPN service, but do not help power it.

Costs & fees

Mysterium Network

While on testnet, the VPN is currently free to use.

Once live, users will pay in cryptocurrency for only the bandwidth they consume on a pay-per-use model.

Nodes pay no fees and earn cryptocurrency directly from users of this VPN service.

Orchid

Users pay for the bandwidth in OXT.

Nodes pay OXT to advertise their services.

Sentinel

Using their on-chain, inbuilt ‘Token Swap’ feature, users can privately purchase $SENT tokens to access any service on the Sentinel network.

Running a node is free.

VPN

Monthly subscription model, rather than a pay-as-you-go structure. Users get access to a VPN service where they can select from IP addresses based all over the world to suit their browsing needs.

VPN Security

Mysterium Network

Layered protection protocols built to protect any individual or organization. Mysterium is a fast and scalable transport security layer to reinvent privacy via VPN. Traffic is encrypted and sharded into separate pieces, filtered in an unrecognisable form through the distributed node network — without the possibility of being traced or censored.

Orchid

Users can select single- or multi-hop onion routed circuits by selecting nodes randomly weighted on stake and filtered by price, location, etc. A single hop route has the benefits of a normal VPN connection, creating a tunnel to route your traffic over a public network or your ISP, while a multi-hop connection provides additional privacy benefits by securing your network data from any one provider.

Sentinel

Swixer is Sentinel’s first utility that allows anybody to simply convert their cryptocurrency tokens online while keeping their data away from prying eyes.

User’s privacy is enhanced by Swixer’s cross-chain swaps between the Ethereum chain and other blockchains which possess a working zero-knowledge protocol or privacy layer within the protocol.

VPN

Traditional VPN services route all users’ internet traffic through a remote server, hiding IP addresses and encrypting all incoming and outgoing data. For encryption, they use the OpenVPN and Internet Key Exchange v2/IPsec technologies in their applications.

One company admits their servers were hacked due to an expired internal private key being exposed, potentially allowing anyone to spin out their own servers imitating their own.

Logging policy

Mysterium Network

no logs! Mysterium protocol removes any technical possibility for collecting or storing logs centrally.

Orchid

No logs.

Sentinel

No logs.

VPN

In theory, a centralized VPN *could* keep logs, but most state they are committed to a zero-logs policy.

Node Security

Mysterium Network

Mysterium allows users to select whitelisted traffic only, designed to protect nodes. However nodes can choose to accept any kind of traffic and increase their earning potential. They’ll soon identify and block bad actors from the network through the use of registered identities and reputation system.

Orchid

Users can prevent certain kinds of attacks from malicious exit nodes by using a default exit node whitelist consisting of trusted VPN partners. Users can use their own whitelists, and eventually well known third parties will emerge as whitelist curators.

Sentinel

Sentinel is developing a relay network, where participants in the network can choose to be a relay or an exit node on which encrypted tunnels traffic between the VPN paid user and an exit node.

It will also involve the use of governance nodes which will dictate path of packet transmission between user and exit node.

VPN

Nodes are protected as the centralized VPN assumes all security and legal risks.

Ease of Use

Mysterium Network

VPN is a simple to use and free desktop or mobile application.

New nodes can get set up in just 5 minutes and 5 steps via a simple, user-friendly dashboard. There is a knowledgebase and support team on hand to help.

Users will need to have some basic understanding of cryptocurrency and must have an Ethereum wallet set up to receive payments.

Learn more about upcoming features.

Orchid

VPN app designed for mobile and desktop. People wishing to be nodes must register and have some prior knowledge of cryptocurrency and staking.

Sentinel

Sentinel is not user-friendly and is better suited to more technically proficient users or those intuitive with Ethereum DApps and blockchain platforms.

VPN

Smart algorithms automatically select the best VPN server for you based on location, loads, or your special requirements.

They also have a dedicated support team.

Scalability

Mysterium Network

As with most P2P infrastructure, the more participants which join the network, the stronger and more robust it becomes.

Mysterium’s micropayments system is a homegrown Layer 2 solution. It was built to handle large volumes of users and transactions, making the network faster and more scalable.

Orchid

Orchid uses a probabilistic payment system which scales to millions of transactions per second, enabling a highly liquid bandwidth market without a trusted central party.

Sentinel

Sentinel’s “multi-chain architecture” secures data exchange between people and both centralized and decentralized applications meaning. This is meant to solve problems with infrastructure and scaling.

VPN

Depends on high bandwidth throughput and fast connection speeds to provide an optimal service for their users. Often use multiple tunneling protocols to ensure their network can scale and can adapt to various needs.

Social following

Mysterium Network

11.3K Twitter Followers

2000 Medium Followers

2088 Telegram Members

Orchid

27.1 K Twitter Followers

235 Medium Followers

4381 Telegram Members

Sentinel

3,392 Twitter Followers

336 Medium Followers

2946 Telegram Members

VPN

Not applicable.

Compatible with

Mysterium Network

Android, Mac, Windows, Linux.

Orchid

iOS, Android, Mac, Linux, and (soon) Windows.

Sentinel

Mac, Windows, Linux, Android.

VPN

Android, Windows, Mac, iOS, Chrome/Firefox extension, Linux.

Decentralised?

Mysterium Network

You bet.

Orchid

Of course.

Sentinel

Of course.

VPN

Nope. Decentra-what?

Network status

Mysterium Network

Testnet live – 900 residential nodes, with more than 300 live at any given point.

Orchid

Between five and 10 node providers at launch, including players from both the traditional VPN world and “new entrants from the crypto space.”

Sentinel

83 nodes in the network, with an average of 28 at any time

VPN

Choose from over 5200 servers in 59 countries.

Also – several cases of being hAcKEd

Open Source?

Mysterium Network

Transparent and collaborative from Ground Zero – check out Myst codebase.

Orchid

Duh. Everything to see here.

Sentinel

Yep. Peek under the hood here.

VPN

No – centralized VPNs are proprietary and closed source.

What is Mysterium Network?

Mysterium Network is one of several emerging networks enabling decentralisation of the internet. Find out how you can contribute by running a node. Or download our dVPN and give it a whirl.

Related: Tor vs VPN vs dVPN – what are the differences?

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 

What is geoblocking? How does it impact free speech (movies) online?

what is geoblocking

We’ve all been there; “this content is unavailable in your country.” 

What is geoblocking? For many, geoblocking is an everyday inconvenience. For others, it’s a disguised form of censorship. This widely accepted practice allows companies to restrict access to their service based purely on your location. 

While this is generally for the sake of copyright and basic economics, in some extreme cases, it’s a violation of our human rights – such as the right to access information freely.

Related: How does anonymity work in a surveillance era?

What is geofencing

When the internet turns against you

Just imagine if the next time you went out to see a movie, you and your fellow viewers were each charged different ticket prices depending on your nationality. This is essentially what’s at play with geoblocking – location-based discrimination. And it’s happening to you every time you shop, stream or browse online. 

From Apple to small ecommerce stores, businesses the world over are varying their prices based on what they expect you to afford. Prices may even change depending on what time of day it is or the temperature outside. The digital economy has made it easy for companies to collect this data, later used to exploit your spending habits or socio-economic status. Even if you’re just a few suburbs apart, what price you pay may be vastly different to someone else in your own city. 

Last year, laws were introduced by the Council of the European Union to protect consumers from this kind of discrimination “based on customers’ nationality, place of residence or place of establishment.”

And while these anti-geoblocking regulations may be one initiative for tearing down these digital walls, there’s little to get excited about. These regulations only apply to businesses selling goods and services, but not online content more broadly. And ultimately, it’s up to the governments of its member states to enforce – so it might as well be optional. 

Yes, much of geoblocking comes down to basic economics. But the web was not designed to be segmented this way. It was designed to create a global village, where a user in Tibet had precisely the rights and opportunities as someone in Toronto. In an age where we’re supposedly more equal and connected than ever before, it’s a shame we can’t do better.

We’re still a long way from the equalized cyber utopia the internet promised us in the nineties.

Related: What happened to the internet? A deep dive into internet censorship and how it works.

can you geoblock facebook

Copyright, or wrong?

Some films and TV shows costs hundreds of millions to make. To their producers, these pieces of content are considered investments, which we help pay off everytime we pay to watch them. 

But digital piracy has become a huge problem worldwide, taking a huge cut out of their studio’s profits. Tens of billions of visits were made to media piracy sites worldwide in 2018 alone. If you can watch movies online for free, then why would you pay to see it in the cinema, or subscribe to a streaming service?

This unfortunate trend means the lifecycle of these films become shorter once they leave the cinema. In response, studios have begun selling their movies through on-demand streaming services like Apple’s iTunes store and Amazon Prime. These platforms can also sell ad space, milking more money out of their advertising space. 

But every market demands different content. What is a hit in some parts of the world is a flop in others. And with so much money at stake each time a film is created, studios enforce strict copyright laws to ensure they maximise the return on their investment. Each content-deal is carefully negotiated by territory. Studios charge outlets like Netflix far more to offer certain titles in some countries than others. This is why geoblocking has become such an effective method for honouring these copyright laws and agreements. 

Yet in today’s attention economy, the ultimate goal is to get as many eyes on a piece of content as possible. The more eyes, the more content can claim to be worth in ad revenue. If you geoblock something that a customer is willing to pay for with their potentially undivided attention, you may be sabotaging a potential revenue stream. This kind of thinking is surprisingly alien to those stuck in the ages of traditional television.

In fact, reports suggest that removing “unjustified geoblocking…could foster growth and increase consumer choice throughout the internal market.”

what is geoblocking

Free streaming - or freedom of speech?

Geoblocking is an inconvenience for those of us fortunate enough to access most content online. In some parts of the world, its use is far more sinister. Governments are even forcibly removing content from streaming services to aid their political agendas. 

In Turkey, for example, streaming services were previously allowed to operate outside the country’s censorship rules. But since September, every streaming service will now have to apply for a license which complies with government enforced internet regulation. The aim is to inhibit dissent, in all its digital forms. 

Content providers must now “navigate different political and moral landscapes” as calls for censorship expand worldwide. With a flick of a switch, businesses can willingly convene with oppressive regimes to prevent free access to information. Geoblocking has no longer become a method for business, but a veiled form of censorship. 

Our constant battle for free speech has become more obvious in the digital world. The open sharing of ideas built the privileged world we live in. Companies should be encouraging, not hindering, the flow of cultural and artistic exports around the world. In fact, this 2018 annual SEC report lists both censorship and “the need to adapt content… for specific cultural and language differences” as a commercial risk for these entertainment businesses. 

But more importantly, if we shelter society from alternative or diverse ways of thinking, we risk a cultural vacuum where nothing is challenged or changed. If censorship had its way, the civil rights movement would never have happened and we may still be convinced that the Sun orbits the Earth

freedom of speech online

The bird is the not the word

Geoblocking can also serve as a tool of government oppression, putting a chokehold on democracy. A prominent example is Turkey, where the government demanded that Twitter withhold hundreds of accounts affiliated with voices opposing the current regime. 

Similar injustices included blocking Twitter entirely just two weeks before the 2014 general election, and later again in the wake of a coup attempt against the Turkish president.

In his words;

Related: What is the splinternet, and how can decentralisation stitch it back together?

We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.

Situations like these, in many ways, say more about the alarming power of the big media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter than anything else. They’ve become as influential as a utility company. When paired with an unscrupulous government, the internet’s potential for fostering free, diverse discourse is starting to dwindle.  

When it comes to protecting free speech and human rights, the internet has the ability to be the world’s superhero. 

But this kind of geoblocking, and censorship more generally, is very much now the kryptonite slowly killing this hope.

what is geoblocking

Help us sink the Censorship - the power of the free VPN

It’s unlikely that governments and media platforms will support an open internet. If we’re to figure out this mess, our only hope is to find our own ways of circumventing unethical geoblocking and creating an internet that we all deserve. 

The world is well aware of this too. In fact, one quarter of the world has used a VPN in the last month. Looking at the leading markets of VPN usage, Asia Pacific leads the demand. This is closely followed by countries such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia (no surprises there). Wherever there is high tech and low freedom, demand for VPNs blossom. 

In today’s world VPNs are essential for online security and privacy. But the risks that occur with your typical VPN are more apparent than ever.

Related: VPN vs Tor. What is the difference? And can you use them both? 

Enter the decentralized VPN. While your typical centralized VPN will merely morph your current IP address into a new one, a decentralized VPN uses layered protection protocols to hide both your identity and location from any geoblockers or prying eyes. Doing this adds an extra layer of security and privacy; previously one’s only option was for our identities to pass through a centralized VPN, having them store our information in the process. This process meant that our identities were, all too often, protected by unreliable security measures

When you use a decentralized VPN, the service is powered entirely by other web users like you. Each person can rent out their IP address and bandwidth to others in this P2P network and earn 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.

Related: dVPN comparison – an online resource comparing emerging decentralised virtual private networks. 

The more nodes that join help increase the network’s speed and efficiency. So by simply offering up your spare bandwidth, you enable fellow Mysterium users to browse freely, avoiding geoblockers and every other force that quashes a free and open internet.

 The more nodes we run, the freer and more private our online lives become. It’s that simple.

We already have 812 nodes in our network and we’re growing fast. Check out our network dashboard to see all our nodes around the world

Find out if you’re eligible to become a node get paid for your excess internet.

Introducing micropayments on Mysterium Network

micropayments

We are excited to announce we’re drawing closer to launching payments on Mysterium Network. How will micropayments work within a decentralised VPN?

Payments are a crucial element of Mysterium 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 solution fit for Mysterium Network readily available in the market.

There was no easy way around it for us. But we believe we found a solution that fits these 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. 

Core challenges in designing payments for Mysterium Network:

Payments in Mysterium Network need to be lightweight and fast while honouring the core fundamentals of blockchain-systems: transparency, fairness, openness, protection from double-spending and fraud. It has to do all of this without relying on any centralised entity – making it trustless.

This trustless element has been the hardest goal to achieve by far, yet the most crucial.

Once deployed, payments will ensure that users can transact with one another autonomously, without a need for an intermediary (including us). If our attempt is successful – users won’t have to trust each other either. Instead they will trust in the network’s built-in economic game which is designed to incentivise everyone to cooperate. (Learn more about the distributed trustless ethos here)

Very soon we will start to introduce various components of Mysterium payments onto the testnet, so you can experiment and become familiar with how it’s all going to work (more on this later in this blogpost). Eventually the goal is to launch on the Mainnet with MYST tokens.

We work relentlessly towards such high standards because we believe it will help achieve our mission – to provide a secure and open internet for all. We understand the potential power of decentralized technologies to bring value and opportunity to people everywhere, but making them actually usable in real-world conditions is a challenge not solved by many so far. 

Our quest to find the best P2P payment system

The architecture of our micropayments system is a fusion of research and experimentation with existing Layer 2 solutions. This eventually led to us building a home grown one, based on all our findings.

It first began as a research and development project as we strived to find the best design for fast, secure and trustless P2P payments. While blockchain payments are (generally) secure, censorship resistant, and have an open and permissionless APIs, they’re still relatively expensive and slow. And that just didn’t work in our case. 

This lack of scalability – a network’s ability to grow and handle a growing number of users – means at a certain size the network will get clogged up by all the transactions being processed. Due to this, an Ethereum transaction could cost up to one dollar and take a couple of hours to be ‘settled’ in a block. These transactions get even more expensive when the network’s processing capacity becomes saturated. These limitations are unsuitable for the VPN service provided by Mysterium Network, which require fast, frequent and very small transactions – known as micropayments – executed on a global scale. 

We analysed various Layer 2 solutions – independent networks or chains running ‘on top’ of the original blockchain to avoid it becoming too crowded. But none of these fit our particular use case. They were either still in their very early stage of development, too insecure or overly complex, or built for general use cases, making them non-optimal for Mysterium Network’s use case. These barriers led us to start working on a completely new payment system from scratch. 

Developing a unique P2P payment system is not an easy task. Our goal was to create infrastructure which best serves the needs of both consumers of Mysterium Network, and nodes in the network. 

Here are the main requirements of our proposed system:

  1. High throughput – the network’s ability to handle frequent and small payments (eventually thousands per second)
  2. Support for our native utility token, MYST
  3. Anonymity while also being secure, such as through the use of identity registration and reputation system
  4. Great user experience, removing as much complexity as possible for the end user. 

Going back to the trust conundrum, we also had to consider that consumers won’t pay a large amount up-front and the service providers (nodes) are unlikely to offer their services without prepayment.

This is why we use a micropayment system, which lets nodes offer their service in short intervals, such as 20 seconds or 5 minutes. This pay-as-you-go model means that participants can start transacting straight away. A user can pay for a VPN service a couple of times per minute, sending (and therefore risking) only tiny amounts of tokens in exchange for the bandwidth they are renting.

The “Mysterium Accountant” concept and an introduction to payment promises (digital IOUs)

Our proposed solution fuses together the technologies and methodologies used by other payment solutions, such as State Channels. However, we are introducing a new party to the network called “Mysterium Accountant”. The Accountant will verify ‘payment promises’ made by consumers to nodes. 

Instead of users constantly paying nodes in high volumes, consumers can make ‘promises’ to providers, similar to IOUs. These promises are “verified” by Accountant. The Accountant has a record of each consumer’s actual balance and funds, as well as a record of all of the promises made. When node runners decide they want to settle the account, the final tallied record is executed on the blockchain and sent as a single transaction. 

Mysterium Accountant plays a similar role to a ‘hub’ between consumers and nodes. In saying that, it cannot use or freeze user funds. It’s only function is to verify the payment promises. This introduction of the “Mysterium Accountant” also takes our network one step closer towards becoming a trustless service. 

As these micropayments are ‘promises’, rather than on-chain payments, we reduce the amount of transactions sent to the blockchain. This allows the network to handle much larger volumes of users and transactions, making our network faster and more scalable. This is our lightweight solution for micropayments. With it, we aim to provide hundreds of thousands of transactions per second! 

To make sure we still honour decentralization, we designed the system in a way so there can be multiple Accountants existing in the network at the same time. It’s a very broad concept to explain within one post, so more will follow with much deeper explanations.

You can also dive deeper into specific concepts in our micropayments whitepaper.

What happens next?

We’re currently working to implement this payment solution on our tesnet. You will gradually see payment options in our various interfaces and applications. At first, as we migrate to this new payment model, nodes and users won’t have to do anything. Eventually you might see various engagement elements, such as a ‘top up’ button in a Mysterium app, new functionality in SDKs and so on.

Upon launch, we will assign newly minted tokens to each user on the testnet so heyou can experiment and play with this system. As with all new technologies, there will be an ongoing process of revising and iterating. We hope to learn a great deal about possible use cases, edge cases, abuse angles and on and on. We welcome your play and feedback, as it will be vital for us in getting ready to release usable and secure payments on the mainnet with actual tokens.

With the introduction of micropayments on mainnet we aim to create an incentive for both consumers and nodes to meet on the Network on fair terms. 

Eventually Node runners will begin to receive tokens as they rent their bandwidth, applying pay-per-use model, moving away from monthly bounties. Future payment and charging models may be adapted as our network starts to operate in real-world market conditions. Nodes will be able to withdraw funds to their personal wallets.

As the whole network will be open in nature, it will open up the possibility for anyone to create better user-oriented apps, incorporate privacy into all sorts of services, create a better user experience for withdrawing earnings, add more use-cases for nodes, and more.

A big thank you to our current node runners, who are the backbone of our network and are helping us to build the foundations for an open and uncensored internet. 

If you’re not yet part of our network, learn more about becoming a node runner, or download our software here.

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. 

What is a VPN connection? And why is decentralisation important?

Where did the World Wide dream go?

What is a VPN connection? And why is it so important that you need one in this strange new world?

The Internet was meant to be a great equaliser. An entangled mesh of online cultures, content and information, it promised to dissolve our physical and social boundaries, creating a digital democracy of which we are all citizens.

Now the World Wide Web is breaking apart. A free and open internet is slowly disintegrating in the hands of governments and corporations. More and more countries are fencing off their own closed, national internets, for reasons that seem purely political at best and authoritarian at worst. 

As business starts to migrate online, governments are naturally trying to extend their powers into the digital realm. ISPs and web infrastructure companies are subject to the local laws where they are based, meaning there is no way for the internet to exist outside the control of self-serving lawmakers.

This ‘cyberbalkanization’ of cyberspace goes against its founding philosophy and original vision of “openness, co-operation and creativity.”

Related: What happened to the internet, and is there a way back?

Weapons of mass control?

The power of a shared and open internet to affect real-world politics became most obvious during the Arab Spring. Twitter and Facebook played a pivotal role in restoring democratic processes and accountability. These social media platforms transformed into tools for coordinated activism and freedom of expression, pushing their uprisings into the global spotlight. In turn, governments are ripping these kinds of tools from their citizens hands. 

In May this year, Russia passed a law which gives its own government broad powers to control their citizens access to the internet. ISPs are now required to route all web traffic through nationally censored nodes under full state control. This “sovereign internet” could then be disconnected from the global web.

China has one of the most sophisticated censorship cultures in the world and have spent decades perfecting their Great Firewall. Citizens are blocked from foreign news websites and social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Automated, real-time censoring has been built into the domestic web infrastructure, so that even local websites are monitored 24/7 using specifically designed programs. VPNs are banned, cutting off the only digital portal to the outside world. 

China is proactively exporting this technology to other Asian countries to create a ‘top-down’ effect and spread these arbitrary practices throughout the region. There are dozens of countries which have become unfortunate social experiments for how censorship affects society, with most of them are regressing into an Orwellian dystopia of 1984. 

In these kinds of places – where democractic practices such as protest, free speech and a free press are forbidden – the internet is the only glimpse into any alternative political and social reality. The web is home to freedom of expression, self-education and a variety of opinions which help us strengthen our autonomy and critical thinking. 

Controlling access to the internet, or carefully defining its parameters, is a strategic and incredibly effective form of oppression. 

Censorship is a tool for keeping people in the dark, until nobody remembers how to turn on the lights again. 

Related: What does anonymity mean in a surveillance era?

What is a VPN connection

The dreaded 404 - Keep Out

Authoritarian regimes aside, there are a number of ‘liberal’ countries and businesses based in the west which are also territorializing the internet, rather than creating a unified, open online world. It’s just as easy to keep people out as it is to confine them within digital walls – a catalyst for division, rather than unity.

Cutting off access to users based in other countries is known as geoblocking. Web hosts can revoke or prevent access for IPs based in one country, keeping out entire populations.

Reasons for geoblocking vary, but often it boils down to laziness or money – it may be easier to flip this switch than it is to consider any legal requirements when opening up your website’s borders.

Granted, it requires a lot of effort to accommodate a global userbase; every country has different rules for the use and movement of data online. Over 30 global regions and nations already impose their own ‘data sovereignty’ regulations. Some might live in jurisdictions that have strong privacy laws. This includes the EU, who last year introduced their GDPR laws designed to protect all users based in the European region. Now, any business which has customers or users based in the EU must either comply, or put up a digital fence.

But geoblocking is ‘ineffective’. The use of VPN services has risen dramatically – almost 25 per cent of the world’s entire internet population uses one. But traditional VPNs are expensive and slow. And while you might be wondering what VPN works with Netflix, you should be more concerned with their tracking of your online activity and behaviour. (More on this below.) 

To make the internet truly IP agnostic and censorship free, we just need to do a little rewiring…

Related: What is Geoblocking? And how does it affect your access to information?

If you want something done right, do it yourself

It’s unlikely that government involvement will lead to the kind of internet that we deserve. As with any movement rooted in social, political or economical progress, people are the answer. So what does all this have to do with a VPN connection? An internet powered by and for the people is the next step of the evolution of the internet. 

Everyday internet users – just like you – can fight unethical censorship and surveillance. Decentralised technologies  are designed specifically for this purpose. Through them, we can restore the internet to its former glory, where no one owns or controls it, and users can roam freely.

A decentralised VPN (dVPN) is one of these tools helping to rebuild an internet that is safe, accessible and borderless.

What is a VPN connection? In essence, a VPN connection offers a safer browsing experience. VPNs can also be used to access region-restricted content, shield your browsing activity from hackers on public Wi-Fi and much more.

Related: Want to understand what is a VPN connection? Compare Tor, traditional VPNs and dVPNs

With regular VPN connection, you have to pay for a subscription to use the service. These services are also often slow, limited and most worryingly, they keep logs of all their users’ online activity in centralised servers. A study of 62 commercial providers showed that many VPNs leak user traffic “through a variety of means.” Many also misrepresented the physical location of their vantage points, and appear to be hosted on servers “located in countries other than those advertised to users.”

With a decentralised VPN, everyday web users power the service, turning their computers or devices into ‘nodes’. It’s impossible to store data or keep logs, as traffic is routed through these residential nodes in a heavily encrypted, unrecognisable form. 

Mysterium’s own dVPN was the world’s first. We use layered protection protocols so anyone can browse the web anonymously. Your identity and IP are always hidden so anyone can bypass unethical censorship and surveillance. We also whitelist everyone who wants to become a node or access our VPN, protecting you and the entire network from bad players. 

But what is most unique about this dVPN is that it’s powered by a global network of everyday web users. Anyone can become a ‘node’ and share their unused bandwidth whenever it suits them. Nodes can earn up to $600 worth of ETH in a year through simple plug and play devices, like the RaspberryPi and AvadoBox

Related: The definitive guide to becoming a Mysterium Node.

Uniting the WWDW

But Mysterium is just one of the many projects pioneering decentralization. The ecosystem is made up of amazing companies, initiatives and projects all working to fix our broken, vulnerable online world. 

There are numerous dVPNs and bandwidth marketplaces now entering the fold. While we’re all somewhat different, we’re all building upon the same vision. 

All these different, decentralised platforms compliment each other, coming together to form a new internet that is as accessible and open as if it were one. Everyone will have the freedom to choose between these different ecosystems, jumping from one to another easily. 

And while we may provide the infrastructure and tools, it’s our communities which will make the decentralised web a reality. The more people running a node at home, the faster, more stable and censorship resistant the internet becomes.

So what are you waiting for – help us stitch the web back together.

Mysterium Network 2018 Q3 updates

What is a VPN app for web 3?

Mysterium Network is building a decentralised VPN network. This means that our network is made up of distributed nodes across the globe.

What is a VPN app? And how are dVPNs different? Find out in our deep dive into what’s happening to the internet, and how we can work together to realise a censorship-free world for all.

Product updates - MYSTberry, now available on Raspberry Pi

  • We have plugged in new ways to scale our network and onboard stable nodes. Raspberry Pis can be preloaded with our node software and are fast becoming an important part of our node network infrastructure. They are incredibly stable, fast and most importantly they’re simple to use. Once set up and plugged in, there is no proactive maintenance or monitoring. 
  • Our referral program was also launched, incentivising our node community to spread the word and earn ETH for helping us get this grassroots movement off the ground. Want to earn while launching? Get in touch with sharmini@mysterium.network
  • Our UI has been updated so that nodes can check their up-to-date stats, such as connections, transfer rate and history. This will help Mysterium Node runners optimise towards higher earnings within the network.

Related: The ultimate guide to becoming a Mysterium Node Runner.

Payments

  • We have been deep in our research and development processes, creating the technological framework for our payments system and ensuring our methodology is sound. We have a white paper comparing our approach to other existing level 2 scaling solutions in the Ethereum ecosystem coming out soon. Sign up for our newsletter to see it first.
  • On top of this, we have started developing the payment systems UI. This means that you are now able to gain greater insight into your earnings as a node runner.
  • MYST faucet button on UI/providers
  • ETH-MYST DEX implemented
  • Payments on Mainnet – we understand that this is something largely anticipated by the community and are working hard to reach this milestone. While this is part of our roadmap for Q3, our main priority is onboarding stable nodes into the network to ensure a quality service for our users and upcoming B2B partners.
  • We are also reintroducing the MYST utility token to exchanges in order to provide liquidity for our users. 

 

Related: Micropayments in a distributed virtual private network. An introduction into payments on Mysterium Network

Node Engagements

sell my wifi

1.  We have established our range of email flows, including:

Basic onboarding & KYC payouts
Bounty and referral performance 
Advanced payouts

2. A monitoring tool and dashboard for nodes has been created, for a friendly UI experience to encourage higher user engagement and help with reducing friction in node onboarding. 

3. We are also consistently working to automate our feedback loop for nodes, providing reporting processes and a self-help support system. 

We have also updated our node bounty payout formula. Nodes can now earn up to $50 worth of ETH per month and $600 per year. We are calculating your bandwidth contributions by an hourly rate of $0.07 p/h, with a minimum payout from $5 per month. Read more about this update here.

Ask Me Anything with Mysterium Network CEO & Founder

Robertas recently sat down with our community for an AMA on Reddit. Below is the list of these questions and answers, including some of the most common FAQs. In full transparency, nothing was held-back. 

Learn what we’re working on and see what the future holds for Mysterium!

1. Question on the Bittrex exchange. Are you going to go back there? Because the coins that remained on it will be sold in large quantities.

We are planning a wider reach, where we will introduce the MYST token to various exchanges by the middle of this quarter. Bitterex will be just one of the exchanges that we approach for listings.

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2. When are the next exchange listings? 

We need to align our relisting of MYST tokens on exchanges with the launch of our payments infrastructure. We expect this development to approach its final stages in this quarter, however it’s impossible to estimate this exactly as it involves R&D, which has an undefined ending.

As such, our exchange listing strategy will be led by our payment system going live on the mainnet. You can follow the development of the payment system on the Mysterium Github.

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3. Is there a token liquidity plan? If so, when will it step into force?

Security token VS. Utility token – MYST is a utility token. Liquidity will be provided once we are listed on various exchanges.

______________________________

4. What will you do now to provide MYST availability since there are many exchanges restricted in the US?

As mentioned before, we will be talking to a number of exchanges to distribute our token. Our token is a utility token, and its utility will be fully realised in our custom payment system. We hope that people in the US will be able to use MYST on our platform, as long as US exchanges accept us.

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5. Why does the MYST token get no attention from the team?

The main goal of Mysterium is to develop a product and economic system which allows nodes and users to use MYST to access, or get paid for offering, VPN services. Right now we are focused on growing our global node network and developing a robust payment system to provide the best possible service.

______________________________

6. What are you going to do to help improve the price of MYST?

We don’t encourage speculation. MYST is a utility token – its function is to reward participants in our network and help promote the widespread use a circular economy that fights internet censorship.

______________________________

7. Why are the team members no longer shown and information about staff not shared? How about getting the whole team back to the site?

You can find our core team here: https://mysterium.network/team/, however, we work with developers and contractors from all around the world who help keep the Mysterium vision alive.

______________________________

8. Do you have a marketing plan and how do you spend money on it?

As a company, we are constantly searching for the best way to scale our node program, including investing in the most cost-effective experiments which lead to the onboarding of many new nodes to our MESH. Once we have proof of concept of a stable and sustainable network we will begin investing in wider marketing efforts for the project.

______________________________

9. When will you be transparent with finances?

We have over 29 thousand of ETH which is being used to fund our project until we can become sustainable and start generating profitable returns, for both our company and for our users. This is one of the main reasons for our key focus on node acquisition and onboarding. A sustainable network of nodes open up several B2B monetisation models for the project and will help us with bridging the gap between the current web infrastructure and web 3 decentralization fundamentals.

______________________________

10. How much money do you have left? How will the project continue to survive?

As above – our project is building toward a sustainable network which solves daily user and B2B problems while also bringing in continuous sales.

______________________________

11.Why the lack of communication about the direction of the project?

This question is being asked frequently, but the answer always remains the same: we are shifting our business and product strategies to adapt to market needs. When we first ran the ICO our goal was to go after a consumer market. The market spectrum has changed with multiple decentralized VPN projects emerging and going after different pieces of the VPN market pie. In saying that, the VPN market is huge and there is opportunity for many different solutions for different use cases. Our main focus in on fat data transfer. To get more frequent updates on our project, run a Mysterium Node, join our node tester telegram group and let us know how we can improve the node experience and strength of our network.

______________________________

12. Why is the Google Store rating for the mobile app going down?

We have paused our Android app development as we have pivoted to focus on creating the most stable node network possible. This is important as we are building a marketplace and need a strong and stable supply of nodes to ensure network stickiness for users and B2B partners.

______________________________

13. Why is the mobile app source code not available yet as promised a long time ago?

Our mobile app source code is available on Github.You can check it out any time.

______________________________

14. Does Mysterium outsource-workers?

Yes. As we shift and move with the newest trends, we hire TOP external team members to move fast and deliver the best results.

______________________________

15. Who are the current team members?

We can’t provide information about every team member due to GDPR. This compounded with the fringe nature of our project means that we are extremely cognizant of our team and contributors’ privacy.

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16. What are their roles in a team? Share team photo and office photo to us! So there could have more confidence!

We have various teams and staff working across operations, legal, development, business development, marketing and product. Check out our Instagram channel which was created not so long ago, you will be able to see us there.

______________________________

17. Do you have hidden/private git-repositories?

Due to quality control, we do have hidden git-repositories. We always share our newest builds but we don’t want people downloading a product which is not yet fully built or still in development stage.

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18. Why did you add a raspberry REFERRAL link on-site? The ICO fund is out?

The Raspberry Pi referral link is part of our new node pilot and offers the Mysterium community a chance to earn extra money! This is a new program where you can give out your own unique referral code to your friends, and with every stable node in our network with your code. We have taken the link off the site to make the program smaller and test and learn. To get involved, reach out to sharmini@mysterium.network

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19. Understandably product is a priority for Mysterium, but the importance of marketing and community can’t be ignored. If there is no price appreciation – How does mysterium expect initial investors to keep hanging on? I mean even in traditional startups VC expect an appreciation after 2 years of their equity .. Nothing like that is happening with Myst.

Our goal has always to ensure MYST is a fully functional utility token. These tokens simply provide users with a product and/or service. Think of them like gateway tokens. The Mysterium Network is the only place where our token will be used. It’s price is always secondary.

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20. Why the lack of news and updates?

The blockchain market moves quickly and its technological development even more so. We are constantly adapting and readjusting our roadmap to make sure we deliver an exceptional product that is market-ready. We’ve been working hard, but at times we must refocus and start from scratch quickly. This is why we’ve been more quiet than usual lately, as we don’t want to brag about what *could* be done or what is in progress, rather let our product releases speak for themselves . We haven’t forgotten our community – we will spread the news of every milestone that we reach.

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21. Why are you not doing interviews and podcasts?
We are creating educational content [link to YouTube, link to blog] to help our community and node runners better understand our product. We will be more focused on being on podcasts and interviews once we have established clear and sustainable acquisition channels for Mysterium Nodes and can offer a stable service to users who join the network through these efforts.

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22. Why has the activity on social media gone down?

The activity is going to be up soon. Be ready for a boom 🙂

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23. Why did you promise a roadmap months ago and deliver nothing?

We are constantly working to deliver our roadmap goals. We’ve recently dedicated ourselves to R&D as this brings the most value to our development. Building technology from scratch is challenging and requires a lot of learning, trial and error.

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24. Why did you promise a series of partnerships for 2019 and deliver nothing?

2019 isn’t over! We are still focused on these developing these partnerships. This product is huge and every partnership comes with unique requirements where we have to customise our technology to ensure a quality experience for each community. We have an exciting partnership announcement coming up. Sign up for our newsletter to hear it first.

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25. Why doesn’t WireGuard™ work properly?
The WireGuardimplementation was proof of concept, for us to test that we can use other protocols within our dVPN application. As mentioned, we are focused on node acquisition and frictionless onboarding in the short to medium term.

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26. Why no iOS version yet? When?

While there is no Node network to share, there is no need for an IOS mobile app. It was promised before, and we are not shelving this idea, but at the moment an IOS app isn’t part of our immediate strategy, nor does it solve the problems we are facing at the moment.

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27. Why no Linux client yet? When?

There is a Linux client that can be run on docker. At the same time, the Raspberry Pi set up is based on the Linux system, and with its development we will connect the current client to Linux.

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28. Why wasn’t the payment system delivered in Q1 as promised?

Due to our R&D process, we have faced a lot of barriers that led us to start a new payment system from scratch. This is the main reason why are late with our system build. Developing a unique P2P payment system is not an easy job. One of our most experienced payment developers is working every day to create the best payment system which suit our needs. We will not release a half-working payment system, due to hacker breaches and other security measurements (as well as our integrity and reputation).

______________________________

29. Why have you not announced how many MYST will be required to run a node yet? When will the token be used for anything?

______________________________

Our payment system is already being built, but it is a huge process where we encounter many challenges. Running a node does not require MYST. In the future, prices will be set by individual nodes, and you can choose to buy bandwidth from whichever node you like and accept their offered rate.

______________________________

30. When multi-hops?

Much later – first we focus on the network. Multi-hops is an improvement of VPN product, so we want to release the final product first and then work on improvements later.

______________________________

31. Why do you ignore your investors and token holders?

No one is ignoring token holders and investors. Please always contact our Community Manager through telegram @germantasjus to ask him for anything.

______________________________

32. Robert or team members hold the MYST token?

All team members are given MYST tokens in bonuses, and the founding team still have all of their tokens.

______________________________

33. Tell us about the progress that has occurred over the past six months, give us a retro perspective?

Please refer to our product road map (Medium).

______________________________

34. Interested in when the product will be launched into mass use? At least in what quarter?

Once we have built the payment network, it requires testing and then ongoing revisions to improve it, I don’t have an answer for when it is going to be used in en masse, but we are launching it soon.

______________________________

35. When will be known the cost of connecting to the node for the day?

The price for connecting to a node will be decided by that particular node runner, compared to its bandwidth quality. We will provide an example for calculating appropriate prices for certain nodes, but this will just be a suggested price for Node runners. Prices will be determined by the free market within our network.

Sell extra bandwidth for crypto – A step by step guide to sell your wifi

sell extra bandwidth

If you’re new to Mysterium Network, welcome! You’ve stumbled upon a new era of the internet where you can sell extra bandwidth and do some good.

Mysterium is one of the many projects pioneering decentralization. We’re building the world’s largest peer to peer bandwidth marketplace to power the Web 3. Together we are rewiring the internet so it’s faster, safer and more accessible for all. 

We’re here to show you how easy it is to do three things: 

  1. Earn cryptocurrency 
  2. Protect your online privacy & security 
  3. Decentralize the internet 

First up - rent your unused bandwidth and earn cryptocurrency.

sell my wifi

If you’re reading this article, then you have an internet connection. But did you know that most of the internet you pay for goes to waste, sitting idle or completely unused? By becoming a Mysterium node you can sell extra bandwidth with a global community of other nodes, spreading your connection even further. 

What is a node? 

In a peer-to-peer network like Mysterium’s, a node represents a single device, such as your computer, which helps power and maintain that network. Through your node, you can voluntarily contribute your internet or computing resources, such as bandwidth or processing power. You share it directly with the entire network without any kind of official host or authority needed. That’s the beauty of blockchain.

Anyone can easily become a node by doing either of these things:

  1. Buy a Raspberry Pi device, plug it into your router and simply switch it on. Then head to My.Mysterium.Network to register your node.
  2. Download our easy to use node app designed for Mac or Windows.

More detail:

A Raspberry Pi is a small hardware device that functions as your Mysterium node. Your Ethererum wallet address is tied to it, so it’s as simple as plug, play and earn. Read all about them here.

You can join our Raspberry Pi node pilot if you’re in the US, UK, Germany and Italy and earn up to $600 worth of ETH in a year.

And the cherry (or raspberry :p) on top? We’ve just rolled out a node referral program for the UK, so you will be rewarded when you introduce new nodes to our network.

Create your referral code and reach out directly to sharmini@mysterium.network to find out how you can start onboarding nodes and educating your local community about decentralization.

We make it easy to become part of the new token economy. If you want to learn more ways to earn crypto easily, check out our post listing 14 ways to earn cryptocurrency.

sell extra bandwidth

Then - enjoy (and power) the world’s first decentralised, free VPN.

As we’ve already discussed, when you become a node, you join sell extra bandwidth and power our network. Our node network is completely run by and for the people. You share your internet resources with a global community and are rewarded with ETH. 

But our node network can do lots of other cool things, like power its own global, free VPN! 

You can either be in node-mode to power the VPN and earn tokens, or be in VPN-mode to use it. With most VPNs, you have to pay for a subscription to use their service. With Mysterium, you get paid for being the service.

Because it’s decentralised, our VPN is far more secure, with no single point of attack or failure. We encrypt your data and use layered protection protocols built to defend both people and organizations. You can browse anonymously, with your identity and IP always hidden, avoiding unethical surveillance and cyberattacks. 

We also whitelist everyone who wants to become nodes or access our VPN network. Whitelisting is where we create a list of IP addresses that we trust to use our domains or service. It’s a security feature that allows us to limit and control access to Mysterium, protecting you and the entire network from bad players. 

And while other VPNs offer online security, in many cases they still can – and do – maintain logs. Because of our decentralized architecture, it’s impossible for us to store your data or log your traffic. Instead, all your traffic is distributed across the entire network, with no single node having the full picture of who you are or what you’re up to.

Now relax - you’re already decentralizing internet.

The best part about being a node is that technically it is YOU fighting online censorship, surveillance and cybercrime. 

For many of us, the internet is a place to freely roam. But many online citizens are trapped behind digital walls, stopping the free flow of ideas, voices and truths. 

Our founder wrote a great piece about the internet before it was hijacked by governments and selfish corporations, and what we can do to reclaim and protect it now. 

As a node, you lend others your digital freedom. You help a global community rewire the internet, safeguarding freedom of speech and anonymous expression online. 

Join the fastest growing community decentralizing and democratising the web, one node at a time. 

Sign up here or download the Web3 revolution. 

Crypto earning apps decentralising the world economy

Crypto earning apps - Earn money online with your unused bandwidth, and more

The internet redefined business forever, replacing brick and mortar with computer screens. But what’s more important is that it formed entirely new economic systems, such as the sharing and gig economies. Enter crypto earning apps that let you earn money online. 

Made up of freelancers and temporary workers, the gig economy affords people the freedoms and independence to work in their own way. We can now customise our jobs to fit into our lives, and not the other way around.

The success of sharing economy startups-turned-conglomerates signalled that these community-driven businesses had a much-needed model – one which empowered consumers for the first time.

These sub-economies show us what our global community is capable of when given an internet connection and a platform to share, collaborate and connect with one another. They break apart the traditional professional landscape and opens up new, fluid streams of income.  So let’s dive into crypto earning apps that let you earn online. If we’ve missed any, let us know and we’ll update this resource.

Tokens - money of the fourth industrial revolution?

Token economies are the next iteration of finance. Their decentralized systems are designed by and for people, rather than purely commercial profit. For example, with traditional sharing economies, host platforms like Airbnb and Uber take their ‘share’ and turn into conglomerates.

In a decentralized sharing economy, these companies become obsolete; you are the user, the host and the network itself. Token economies can create financial opportunities for everyone, regardless of geography or level of education.

In a token economy and with crypto earning apps, value can easily be digitised and shared. People are incentivised to contribute their time, resources or services through token reward systems. These transparent, secure and community-run systems are built on decentralised networks called blockchains, most commonly the Ethereum blockchain. They enable all kinds of decentralized applications (dApps) to be developed and plugged into them.

Traditional Economy

People pay businesses for goods and services. Revenue and profit flows one way – customer to business.

Sharing & Gig Economy

Businesses or individuals pay people to provide goods and services, but host companies take a cut and you play by their rules.

Token Economy

People rent, share and sell goods and services directly with each other or businesses on their own terms – no fees, no contracts, middlemen.

Here are some token economies which you can be a part of today.

Rent, don’t share

Golem Network

Golem allows the entire internet community to share their computing power through its decentralized network. It combines the power of users’ individual machines, creating one giant supercomputer. Anyone can tap into and utilise it for all sorts of power-intensive needs, such as rendering high-quality film. You receive tokens in exchange for contributing your own computing power.

Mysterium Network

Just like Golem, Mysterium has created an entire network which enables anyone to contribute their resources and receive tokens in exchange. In this case, users can buy a Rasberry Pi preloaded with a node and power the network. It’s as simple as plug, play and earn. Switch it on to start sharing your unused bandwidth (internet connection) while you work or sleep. Even better, users will be rewarded for each successful node they introduce to the network through their referral program.

Origin Protocol

Origin is crypto earning app allows anyone to build their own decentralized marketplace. You can create and manage listings for all kinds of assets and services. Buyers and sellers use the platform to discover each other, browse listings, make bookings and even leave ratings and reviews.

Predict the future

Augur

Augur is a prediction markets platform which harnesses the power of the crowds. It allows anyone, anywhere, to create or participate in markets and bet on real-world events, such as elections or the weather forecast. For example, you can “turn your political knowledge into predictive power” by waging on the outcome of upcoming elections and other political events. You can bet on any event worldwide for no sign-up, no deposits or limits and near-zero fees. Prediction markets are not just for gambling – they create more accurate prediction tools.

Work for tokens

Earn

Earn bitcoin by replying to emails and completing tasks. You can set up a free professional profile and then join curated lists based on your skills and interests. You can receive paid messages from recruiters, startups, and researchers.

You can also get paid to learn about new projects within the cryptocurrency space, helping startups to build their communities, get feedback on whitepapers or airdrop tokens.

Bounty0x

Similar to Earn, Bounty0x is a crypto bounty hunting platform. You can earn cryptocurrency and tokens by completing simple marketing, software development and creative tasks. This includes content creation, graphic design, filling out surveys, translating services, programming and video animation. They currently offer six different cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, as well as ERC20 utility tokens. They will soon be adding security tokens.

 

BULVRD

Earn tokens while you drive. With BULVRD, you help build and maintain a global mapping and road reporting network. Use this crypto earning app while you drive and help report road incidents like traffic and hazards. You earn on the drives you’re already making and can use their Augmented Reality experience to earn even more.

 

Bounties Network

The Bounties Network aims to change the way we collaborate, solving the core problems individuals face when working and transacting with each other across the globe.

It lets you create projects, collaborate and get paid for doing work in any domain – from freelancing to grassroots social action, research, content translation, or video production.

Use their Explorer to search through a global market of projects and talent. You can easily create or fulfill tasks, transacting in any Ethereum-based token with automated payments.

 

Open Bazaar

OpenBazaar provides everyone with the ability to buy and sell through their direct peer to peer app. You can create a store and sell whatever you’d like – your music, clothing, art. You get paid in cryptocurrency and as there are no middlemen, there are no fees and no restrictions.

Let your content work for you

Steemit

Steemit rewards its users for making and sharing content on their platform. You can monetise your content, receiving tokens based on the popularity of your posts. Users upvote or downvote what you share, incentivising a higher quality. It aims to redefine social media by building a social or ‘attention’ economy, where users receive tokens for sharing their voice, as opposed to current social media platforms where users get nothing. It has already paid out $59,595,935 worth of native STM tokens.

 

Publish0x

A “crypto powered blogging platform” with a point of difference – readers and sharers, not just writers, can also earn. This publishing platform is crypto agnostic, meaning you can accept whichever cryptocurrency you like, not just a native token. Tips are given to you by the platform. You then read articles and split your tip with authors. Ambassadors can also crypto by sharing great articles with others.

Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

sell my wifi

Amongst the more exciting and promising use cases for blockchain is the opportunity to redefine traditional finance. Loan, borrow, trade, earn interest – all in cryptocurrency and tokens.

Compound Finance

Compound is a transparent, autonomous money market. It enables anyone to earn interest by lending their Ethereum assets to other users. You can also borrow assets, for any length of time – even as short as one blockchain block (roughly ten minutes)! There are no requirements for how long an asset must be supplied or borrowed. Interest accumulates every block, so you’re free to withdraw or repay your loan at any time.

 

MakerDAO

Maker is creating economic opportunity for everyone. It is one of the leading projects in the blockchain community and is known for pioneering transparent and sustainable finance. Its open platform allows equal access to high-quality financial services, including fair credit for everyone. They also provide a decentralized stablecoin, collateral loans, and community governance. They will help you understand everything you need to know.

 

Dharma

Once you’ve made all your tokens, you can easily grow your crypto holdings to make your money go further. Instead of letting your tokens sit in a wallet or on an exchange (you should never let it sit in an exchange, for security reasons), you can lend your crypto and earn up to 11% interest APR. Or if you want to borrow crypto, you can get some in minutes – no credit checks required. Dharma doesn’t actually touch your crypto, it just gives you the platform to loan or borrow it.

———–

Token economies are already creating a global workforce that is as diverse and varied as internet users themselves. You can easily be a part of them yourself.

Learn more about Mysterium’s node pilot where you can earn ETH for sharing your bandwidth.

Please beware of scams. We will never ask you for your private keys.

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