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Introducing payments on Mysterium Network

We are excited to announce we’re drawing closer to launching payments on Mysterium Network. 

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 payments 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 payments 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.

My.Mysterium.Network – How to get started with your new node dashboard!

Discover our new human-friendly platform for node runners.

Humans are at the core of everything we do. 

As we help create the fabric of the new Web 3.0, we understand that this decentralised web is, and always will be, powered by people. Without the contributions and support of everyday web users, we cannot bring to life an internet which everyone is entitled to – censorship and surveillance-free, open and secure. 

But in order to break the business and government-powered paradigm of the Web 2.0, we also need to make it as easy as possible for anyone – not just blockchain-literate users – to be part of this new online era. We believe that by empowering people with simple tools, we can spread decentralised infrastructure around the world and create the strong foundation the Web 3.0 needs. 

That’s why we have 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! 

Through this platform, you can link your node to your unique ServerID, provide your wallet details to start earning crypto, and even track your node’s performance.

Here’s how to get started with MMN.

After you’ve set up and plugged in your Raspberry Pi, open up My.Mysterium.Network in your browser. 

(If you haven’t set up your Raspberry Pi yet, head to our help.mysterium.network and follow these instructions)

 

Click on the ‘Create account’ button. 

Register your account with your name, email and password which was provided in your Welcome email.

Welcome to your home dashboard. MMN will automatically detect your node, so it should appear under ‘Nodes on your network’. Click on ‘Claim node’.

You will be prompted to agree to our Terms & Conditions. Click ‘Save this node to my account’.

Note – you can rename your node if you like 🙂

Next, go to your personal profile page by clicking on your name in the top right corner. You can update your details anytime here. To add your Ethereum wallet address, click on payments.

Enter your wallet address and click ‘Update’.

That’s it! Head back to your ‘Home’ page and select a node to view its latest sessions and track its performance, earnings and status. 

We’re always trying to make being a node as easy as possible. If you have any feedback for us on how to make MMN even better, get in touch. 

Be sure to join our Telegram or Discord channels if you’d like to chat with others in the node community, including our team!

Mysterium Network – Q3 Roundup & Plan for Q4

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. 

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. 

Triple our node base. 

As the heart of our network, our core focal point has been to grow our node network. 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 free 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 unblock 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. 

The Splinternet is coming, and why decentralization can stitch it back together again

Where did the World Wide dream go?

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.”

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. 

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…

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. An internet powered by and for the people is the next step of its evolution. 

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.

With regular VPNs, 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

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 Partners with AVADO

As Mysterium grows, we want to find the many new and exciting ways you can both be a part of our network, and take advantage of the 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?

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. 

[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

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 compliment each other. Mysterium’s software can easily be installed onto their hardware, so AVADO users have more blockchain magic to play with. 

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.

How does Mysterium’s whitelisting policy protect you?

At Mysterium Network, some of our core values are freedom and privacy. We want to make sure that people all over the world can use the internet freely and safely, unburdened by censorship or surveillance. 

However, in a decentralised P2P system like ours, we need to make sure that everyone who contributes to and takes part in our ecosystem have only good intentions. 

That’s why we have a whitelist which ensures that no malicious traffic can pass through your personal node. 

We do this to protect you, ourselves and the entire network from bad actors. We want Mysterium Network to always be a space that is supportive, collaborative and free from shady business. 

 

This is our balance between privacy and safety. While we’d like to afford everyone some level of freedom through anonymity, the reality is that we can’t guarantee the behaviour of every user. 

Currently all whitelisted traffic is test traffic that comes directly from the Mysterium team. 

Have you heard about our node pilot program? Find out how you can earn in our network.

What is whitelisting and how does Mysterium Network use it?

A whitelist is a list of items which is given permission to access certain systems or protocols. Programs, computers and companies use these lists to know who their trusted users or sources are. When a whitelist is used, every other participant is denied access until the network approves them.

Whitelisting has been around for decades and plays a big role in your everyday internet practices, such as email. 

Some examples of different whitelisting applications:

  • Email: your email will likely scan messages to detect phishing scams, virus threats and spam, filtering these before they enter your inbox. These email systems are configured to accept messages only from known addresses on their programmed whitelist, which is why sometimes your mail ends up in the junk folder.
  • Firewalls: a network administrator can create a firewall which only allows specific IP addresses from their whitelist to access that network. This is often used by businesses and organisations to prevent outsiders from entering their internal systems, such as their intranet.
  • A website can be configured to only allow traffic from certain (or entire ranges of) whitelisted IP addresses. This is commonly used in geoblocking. If the website doesn’t approve your IP location, it can instantly deny you access. 

 

In the case of Mysterium Network, we have a whitelist that we use to protect our nodes from malicious incoming traffic. It’s an in-built security feature that allows us to protect node runners like you so that you  only receive “clean” traffic. This is the default setting of our node runner software. In the future, this whitelist will include partners who have met our KYC rules. Right now, the only traffic that passes through your node is the test traffic sent from Mysterium Team.

How does running a node work in Mysterium Network?

Our decentralised VPN was the first of its kind. It is an application which allows you to become a node and share both your IP address and unused bandwidth with anyone in the world who needs it. 

For example, when using the app, you can provide a VPN service so that people can select your IP address to start routing their traffic through. You are paid for providing this service. Users with more popular IP address locations, such as the United States, are in higher demand and typically provide their service to people in countries with severe web censorship cultures.

To test our node software in home environments, we are sending whitelisted (test) traffic as a starting point. Our decentralised architecture distributes all traffic across the network using an advanced sharding technique. It scrambles and encrypts all data, so that no single node will ever have the full picture of what you’re doing. Our layered protection protocols are designed to preserve your privacy – both as a user and a node.

Mysterium IDs

We will identify and block bad actors from our network through the use of registered identities (Mysterium ID) and a network-wide reputation system. This will be an automated system where new users can register their Mysterium ID using a smart contract, generating a new Ethereum address. Users sign messages with their ID, which proves their ownership. 

Users provide some MYST tokens to validate that contract, so that that every registered identity will have a stake. This makes registering an identity unappealing to fake or abandon. Because it would be expensive to forge or make identities in large quantities, this is designed to limit exploitation of the network. 

These registered identities can also be used when making payments in the network. Your payment history and balances are public, so your proven track record makes you more trustworthy to other network participants and service providers.

Any person with a Mysterium ID can offer their unique VPN service (compatible with our network’s VPN service protocols) along with their costs and payment terms. 

Other registered network users can find your service which matches their specific needs (such as location and price) and connect to your individual IP addresses. 

Join the Mysterium Node Pilot Program

By running a Mysterium node in the US, UK, Germany and Italy you can earn up to $50 worth of ETH per month and $600 per year!

Find out more about how you can earn through Mysterium Network.

Q3 Updates + Mysterium Network AMA

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.

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. 

Node Engagements

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 unblocking streaming content, with a specialisation in 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.

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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.

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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.

______________________________

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.

______________________________

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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

Windows and Mac Node installation instructions

Install Windows or Macbook VPN to run your Mysterium node

  1. Begin by downloading the file – MysteriumVPN MAC / MysteriumVPN WIN
  2. Install MysteriumVPN.
  3. Start Mysterium VPN.
  4. Accept our terms and conditions in the app.
  5. Choose on the top a button “Run Service”. There you can choose whitelisted or All Traffic and press a button “Start service”. You can always check your active connections on our testnet.
  6. To look up your Mysterium ID and Add your ETH wallet, on the top right corner you will find a button “ID“.

Bellow Start/Stop service button you can press “View dashboard” and find your node in testnet.
Or, you can do this by copying your ID and pinging the URL: https://testnet.mysterium.network/ [your ID here] /Openvpn


If you are able, to check your node and you will notice “Connecting…” and no changes happening, please report this to our Mysterium Node Testing channel. We will help you as this issue comes from the router.

Earn up to $600 per year in ETH for selling your unused internet

Mysterium Node Pilot

UPDATE 24/10/2019:
We have updated terms to our node pilot and you can find these, and a whole lot more node support, at: help.mysterium.network.

***

 

Sell your spare bandwidth whenever it suits you and earn ETH! (And in case you haven’t yet, learn all there is to know about being a node here.)

How much can you make? 

Most of the internet you pay for goes to waste, sitting idle or completely unused.

Join our network by running a node and earn up to $50 worth of ETH per month. That’s $600 per year!

We calculate your bandwidth contributions using the following hourly rate: 0 – 30 days: (0 – 720 hours): $0.07 /h

Please note that to receive your bounty payout you must run your node for at least 24 hours per month, with a minimum reserved upload speed of 5 Mbps.

You can see your stats on our Testnet.

Get started by downloading our node software or ordering our Raspberry Pi node starter kit.

Who can participate?

These bounty payouts are currently available for nodes based in the US, UK, Germany, and Italy. We’re working hard to include other countries over the following months. 

Mysterium Referral Program

We’ve also just rolled out a node referral program for the UK, where you can earn even more ETH by introducing 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.

 

✌️& 💜

Team Mysterium

Raspberry Pi Node installation instructions

Install the prebuilt Raspberry image to run your Mysterium node

  1. Download the image directly form “mystberry.zip” (look for latest release and expand “Assets)
  2. Write an image to the SD card (macOS):

●  Download balenaEtcher tool for SD hard flashing

●  Connect your SD card to your computer

●  Open balanaEtcher, select your image (mystberry.img) and install. This should take 2­-3min.

      3. Setup Raspberry Pi in the following order:

  1. Insert the microSD card into your Raspberry Pi
  2. Connect Ethernet cable
  3. Connect power source

To find out your Raspberry Pi local IP address (you have to be in the same network):

  1. Download free LanScan app for macOS. For windows, you can use any other lanscan app.
  2. Start LanScan and search for Vendor “Raspberry Pi Foundation”
  3. Copy/paste the IP address
  4. Open Google Chrome and paste “yourIPadress:4449”
  5. You will be asked to type in name and password:

Name: myst
Password: mystberry

Get started -> Provide VPN -> Start service

  1. You can view and add all needed information in this Client System program, such as your Myst ID, ETH wallet address and referral code (if you have been referred by someone).

That’s it! You should be up and running. For help on setting up your node, please join our Telegram group.

For more support and help, check out help.mysterium.network