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Savannah

Say Hello to The New Mysterium Node Windows Installer

windows installer

We’re on a mission to make running a Mysterium Node as effortless and enjoyable as possible. 

For every Windows user out there, we’ve just released a new installer which sets up your node in a matter of minutes. You can check out these steps below. 

What does the installer actually do?

  1. It checks that your computer meets the requirements for running a node.
  2. If it does, it will install and launch the software, including Docker for Desktop and the Mysterium Node image.
  3. It will configure the autorun of Docker Desktop and container (required for Docker Desktop to start).
  4. It checks for new Node upgrades, and enables the software to upgrade automatically.
  5. It allows you to enable or disable the Mysterium Node container.

What new features & functionalities does this introduce? 

  • You no longer need to install or start Docker Desktop manually.
  • You don’t need to configure or upgrade your Node container manually.
  • You can enable/disable Node service in-app.
  • You can open Node UI in-app.

There are only 3 steps to get you started:

 

1. Enable Virtualization Extensions in the BIOS and in Virtual Machine (if one is used): VT-x / EPT / IOMMU or SVM for AMD-based systems.

2. Download and open myst-launcher-amd64.exe (or myst-launcher-testnet3-amd64.exe for the Pre-Mainnet version). *Please note that a system restart might be required by the Windows Node Installer.

3. Finish the installation process and complete your onboarding by opening Node UI page and claiming your node. *Please note that still you need to log into your desktop session (required for Docker Desktop to start).

Time to Earn Bounties

Once your node is successfully set up, you’ll start powering Mysterium’s decentralised VPN, available for AndroidMac and Windows. 

To qualify for Mysterium bounties, you need to meet some minimum requirements and rank on our leaderboard.

Earnings are based on your region, how stable your node is, and the amount of bandwidth and time you can contribute to the network. The more users who connect to your node, the higher your earning potential. You can learn more about our bounty program здесь.

You’ll also be able to track your earnings in your personal dashboard, MyMysteriumNetwork.

If you are interested in joining the network, or have any questions, jump into our discord channel или Telegram and speak directly with our core team.

 

Why Mysterium Champions Open-Source Software

open source web

In the past, great ideas were hoarded.

People spent an incredible amount of time and resources protecting their intellectual property from “thought thieves”. An idea was born, and kept safely hidden from the world until slapped with a patent.

But ideas are not a finite resource that should be locked away. When ideas are left to grow in the dark, they cannot flourish.

While profits may be available in the short term, inhibiting widespread access to unique insights and original code can kill our potential for future growth – not just for inidividual projects but for industries at large.

Luckily, the internet has changed things for the better.

In the show “Devs”, employees of a tech giant were contracted to take proprietary secrets to the grave.

What is Open-Source Technology?

Open-source means that the source code is available for the world to see. Anyone is free to use, modify, fork and redistribute the project’s code as they like.

The original protocols, software and languages which make up the internet have always been openly shared and freely distributed. This is what enabled the web to scale and innovate very quickly.

Today, 99% of commerical codebases contain at least some open-source components, with open-source comprising 70% of code overall.

Today, open-source represents a philosophy. The core principle is collaboration, which has become an ingrained behaviour in the technology community.

The movement encourages programmers and teams to find new ways to solve problems in their communities and industries. In this way, developers build on each other’s strengths to deliver the best product or find the most elegant solution possible.

Before the internet, most companies believed that they had to keep their work secret to be competitive. Many of the most successful technology companies today wouldn’t exist without others building on their ideas.

Those less familar with technology may wonder how a company can make money if their source code is available for anyone to download. There is certainly a time and place for proprietary code, but many companies find that allowing access makes their product better.

Having access to the Google source code doesn’t mean you have the means or capability to build a rival search engine. But it’s nice to know how it’s done, so you can feed off others’ thinking and approach.

It’s also better for the ecosystem as a whole. Overall, innovation is driven forward at a quicker pace and with limitless creativity.

Tim Berners-Lee, founding father of the internet, sadly believes that powerful corporations today have become gatekeepers of such innovation.

Berners-Lee has spent much of his career challenging this concentration of control, instead “championing information sharing, openness and personal empowerment online.” He notes that the web really took off after Red Hat brought Linux, the open-source operating system, into corporate data centers.

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

The Benefits of Open-Source Technology

There are some key reasons why projects may open-source their code, or have in-house programs dedicated to open-soure initiatives;

🔍 Peer-reviewed security & transparency

Giving skilled developers across the world access to source code helps exploit weaknesses and security vulnerabilities autonomously. Bitwarden is one example. It’s considered one of the most secure password managers online. Allowing public access to Bitwarden’s source code exposes any security flaws. The application is much more secure because thousands of people all over the world are able to scrutanize and detect issues. If Bitwarden was only being tested by a small group of programmers, it would be much less secure.

🤝 Community support & reliability

The community-building component of open-source software is one of its biggest advantages. Good ideas attract the best talent on earth. Many companies that prescribe to the open-source methodology are backed by thriving communities who are passionate or incentivized to contribute. Bringing people together under a common purpose creates the best possible outcomes and allows the platform to reach its full potential.

🚀 Lower operating costs, more profit

Most technology companies built on open-source frameworks have much lower operating fees. Patents, licensing fees and restricting access are costly for businesses who own proprietary code. It also means that companies must rely on individual authors to keep things running and regularly updated.

Side note: open-source software is often copyrighted and can be patented.

Research by the TODO group has shown that the benefits of open-source program offices (OSPO) or foundations continue to be appreciated. Of those companies surveyed, 56% still say it is very or extremely critical for success. And the longer that OSPO exists, the more value it brings to their engineering success.

Their 2020 survey shows that there are high returns on invesment just by being members of an open-source foundation.

An earlier TODO survey has also shown that companies who offer OSPOs experienced benefits such as higher quality code, increased development agility and speed, faster time to market, and culture and interaction improvement.

But open-source is not the be-all-end-all philosophy of programming. Many companies can benefit more from a hybrid approach, where they may offer SaaS (software as a service) or monetize features of their open-source platforms.

Examples of Companies that Use Open-Source Software

Linux

One of the original proponents of open-source technology is the Linux operating system. Linux has made its source code available since its launch in 1991. Developers can even modify and sell their version of the operating system as long as they license it under the Linux name. Many developers prefer Linux over IOS and Windows because it is more customizable. Its applications, word processors, photo editors and web browsers can be switched out and altered.

The Linux Foundation provides a neutral, trusted home for developers to collaborate on open technology projects. Developers are encoruaged to contribute to hundreds (if not thousands) of different projects.

WordPress

The success of the world’s largest CMS, WordPress, is also built on open-source technology. Any developer can upload a plugin to the WordPress platform. Complete transparency and user input make WordPress the most functional CMS available online. In fact, over 40% of all websites are hosted on the WP platform.

The WordPress “Bill of Rights”. WordPress contributors work around the globe, and have dedicated countless hours to build a tool that democratizes publishing.

How Mysterium Uses Open-Source Technology to Build a Censorship-Free Internet

Our team operates in the blockchain space, where collaboration is one of our industry’s biggest strengths and (not-so) secret weapons. Other technology sectors and companies may want to keep their code private to remain competitive. They want to outperform, rather than lift up, other projects to maximize their profit.

This has been the opposite for decentralized communities. By partnering, collaborating and learning together, the development of our ecosystem has accelerated beyond our wildest expectations.

Mysterium is building a decentralized VPN and other tools that allow you to browse the internet freely. We’ve had over 100K downloads though we’re still in BETA. Our distributed network has grown to 1600+ nodes, with 200Tb of traffic flowing throughout it. And our software has always been 100% open.

Our users also don’t pay us a cent (it’s purely peer-to-peer, so they pay each other). We are proudly a grassroots project, powered by our users and contributors.

It may seem counter-intuitive to open-source software that by design is meant to secure and anonymize our users. But we believe in total freedom of information. We are creating a censorship-resistant layer of the internet that cannot be switched off or taken away. If we want a transparent, completely accessible internet for all, we can start with our own code.

We also need our community to trust us. They’re depending on us to encrypt their data and protect them from online surveillance. In countries where people are routinely jailed just for accessing certain websites or even “liking” something on social media, our responsibility is huge.

Many regular VPNs can keep logs of their users’ activity, even though they say they don’t. You have to take their word for it. Nobody can be really sure that they’re not storing your information in their centralized servers, cooperating with governments or selling your browsing data to 3rd parties. NordVPN, one of the more popular centralized VPNs, was also hacked a couple years back.

In a trustless ecosystem like ours, you can verify what we say is true. Our distributed architecture removes any technical possibility for collecting or storing logs centrally. And remember what we said earlier about Bitwarden? Our technology can only become more secure through its own transparency.

We also take the open-source ideology to the next level by not only giving access to our source code, but finanically incentivizing our community to openly build on – or plug into – the network. The Mysterium community can sell VPN services with their spare bandwidth and earn cryptocurrency in the process. So we don’t just collaborate with programmers, we collaborate with our every day users.

Open-source technology is the future. The only way forward is to be open. By learning from each other’s mistakes and building on our accomplishments, anything is possible.

Mysterium VPN launches on Linux

Linux VPN

Mysterium has welcomed Linux to the family. The Linux package supports Debian systems (such as Ubuntu) via our VPN desktop app.

This is a plug-and-play native app. It requires very little configuration, with more features than most open-source VPN clients that often require some technical knowledge.

Click here for immediate download of the Linux package. Or, explore the latest releases in our GitHub.

What is Linux?

Linux is an operating system, just like Windows or Mac OS. The Android mobile operating system is actually based on a modified version of the Linux kernel.

This open-source project launched in 1991 and their technology is used for a huge range of applications and systems including desktops, servers, internet infrastructure, supercomputers and even stock exchanges. Linux is also generally far less vulnerable to everyday attacks and malware, making it a favourite among programmers and businesses. 

Linux as an open-source pioneer

One of the original proponents of open-source technology is the Linux OS, making it a perfect fit for our community of users and developers. Linux has made its source code available since its launch. Developers can even modify and sell their version of the operating system so long as they license it under the Linux name. Many developers prefer Linux over iOS and Windows because it is more customisable. Its applications, word processors, photo editors and web browsers can be switched out and altered.

The Linux Foundation provides a neutral, trusted home for developers to collaborate on open technology projects. Developers are encouraged to contribute to hundreds (if not thousands) of different projects.

You can read more on why we chose to open source our own encryption software on Hackernoon.

Mysterium VPN  is also available for AndroidMac and Windows. 

If you are interested in participating, running a node, or generally have any questions, jump into our discord channel and speak directly with our core team.

Mysterium and Storj Labs Link the Decentralised Web Together

Mysterium Storj

Mysterium and Storj collaborate to free the cloud through decentralized protocols

Decentralisation of the web is a global movement.

Much of our success relies on a shared vision and collaboration between the many different teams all building decentralised solutions and piecing together the world wide Web 3.0

We’re excited to collaborate with one project in particular — Storj Labs. Storj is decentralised Cloud Storage. Just as Mysterium offers a way to earn by sharing your connection with a global node network, Storj pays their Node Operators for their unused storage. The Storj network is made up of thousands of operators and developers, providing the foundation for a faster, safer, more affordable object storage alternative.

At Mysterium, we’ve chosen the Storj decentralized object storage to replicate our S3 object data, including container images, static content, and more.

Docker containers are a foundational building block of many companies’ software infrastructure.  Mysterium’s own Container Images have been downloaded over 1M times from Docker Hub.  The registry holds our named Docker images, available in different tagged versions, and users can easily interact with a registry by using Docker push and pull commands. 

It’s here that Mysterium will leverage the unique benefits of decentralized cloud storage. These benefits include unmatched security and privacy through a know-nothing architecture, globally distributed files across statistically uncorrelated endpoints and ISPs, default encryption, and user-assigned access grants. These give developers the freedom, flexibility, and confidence they demand when building their apps/services.

To learn more about how you can host your container images on the decentralized cloud, like Mysterium, check out our overview about building a Docker container registry backed by Storj.

Why use Storj for container registry?

Storj offers highly secure, private and economical cloud object storage through global decentralisation. Data is encrypted, divided into pieces, and spread across tens of thousands of uncorrelated endpoints and ISPs to create an edge-based security model with no single point of failure.

By storing files on Storj, developers can protect their data against ransomware and tampering by bad actors, providing a much more resilient backend for Docker Registry container image storage and distribution.

Running a Container Registry on Storj is a great solution to integrate with and complement your CI/CD system. In a typical workflow, a commit to your source revision control system would trigger a build on your CI system, which would then push a new image to your Registry if the build is successful. 

For developers, Storj is easy to configure (it’s backward-compatible with Amazon S3). Registries that utilize Storj have client-side access to the most distributed object storage protocol on the planet. Upgrade to Storj, and your users can pull container data globally, from a single logical instance, at a fraction of the cost.

How can node operators benefit?

Mysterium uses the Ethereum Blockchain and Matic Network (now Polygon) as the backbone for payments between network participants. Our global pool of residential IPs opens the internet up for everyone, no matter where they are.

Node Operators who currently earn STORJ tokens for supplying excess storage capacity can also earn MYST by contributing excess bandwidth in Mysterium’s P2P marketplace. Use your computer or device, such as a Raspberry Pi, to help power and maintain the network. Users pay to connect to your node, providing them with a VPN service, access to the open internet and a secure line of communication. 

We will continue exploring new earning opportunities for our node communities.

Through this collaboration, we hope the decentralized ecosystem will continue to evolve and expand into all corners of the internet.

Learn more about running a Mysterium Node and being a part of creating an internet blind to borders.

Mysterium VPN  available for AndroidMac and Windows.

If you are interested in participating, running a node, or generally have any questions, jump into our discord channel and speak directly with our core team.

Mysterium Network Product Updates – February 2021

Mysterium Network is building a decentralised VPN.

Our global network is open, permissionless and distributed. Last year we focused on finetuning our node software, and understanding the dynamics of incentivised networks. This year, we’re focusing on building censorship-proof applications. If you haven’t already, please make sure to download Mysterium VPN for Windows, Mac and Android. Let us know what you think on Discord или Twitter. It’s only been a couple of months but 2021 has already seen the team busier than ever.

Check out our latest product updates;

Our network achieved new milestones

We officially switched off Testnet 1.0 and released Testnet 2.0, having migrated most users and nodes across. Our network is now powered by 1100+ exit nodes (and growing), with 100+ Tb of traffic coursing throughout Mysterium.

We also extended our node bounty rules, so now 400 residential nodes are receiving payouts each month.

These are key milestones for Mysterium Network as we gear towards Ethereum Mainnet. It reflects the growing interest in – and product-market fit – for our use case (when it comes to nodes and users) across several regions in the world.

Mysterium VPN suite of apps are being revamped

We have finalised the new designs for our Android app and started working on designs for our desktop apps. 

We also started working on our iOS app prototype so we can reach this new community of users. This prototyping will help understand the challenges of ensuring that Mysterium dVPN is compliant with Apple store requirements, and the work required to make Mysterium dVPN available on the Apple store. One of the key challenges unearthed during this process was the size of 15 MB RAM maximum background processing allowed for apps on the AppStore. Our head of product, Jaro Satkevic dives deeper into this topic in this video.  

We’re fast approaching the launch of our Linux dVPN app, which is 90% complete.

Our Affiliate program is in the works, so soon our network participants will be rewarded when they introduce peers to the Mysterium universe. 

On the backend side, we’ve dedicated a significant chunk of time to the stability of our apps and nodes and fixed a lot of bugs.

We’ve worked on better quality parameters and measurements, such as the connection between the app and nodes in various regions. Distance between the user and node is one of the keys to quality of service that the user receives. For example, a particular node could provide a very stable service for someone in Brazil but may be lower performance for users from Russia. We’re working to stabilise this and ensure consistent quality for all connections across Mysterium Network. 

“Quality bars” will be introduced in our apps in the following week, enhancing and progressing our Smart Connect feature.

We’ve included a new auto-update feature in our desktop app, which checks for the latest app version and will upgrade upon launch. This will provide a better UX for our users and contribute to a more stable network overall.

We have removed Google Analytics from our desktop apps.

 

Payments

Thanks to our integration with Coingate, Mysterium users have started topping up their accounts using all kinds of crypto. We’re seeing a growing number of people using their BTC, LTC, ETH and MYST to use Mysterium dVPN app. We’ve also updated the Top Up and wallet screens for our desktop apps, making it a more streamlined and frictionless experience.

Our integration with Matic Network (recently rebranded to Polygon) is currently in progress. Ethereum deposits and withdrawals are halfway there. This is the last step before we switch to the Matic testnet in the production stage. This will also lead to our full BetaNet release when Matic will become our main blockchain platform. 

We’re also looking at the listing of MYST on additional DEXes. CEXes are also being considered.

 

Protocol

We’ve been deep in the research phase for new MYST tokenomics models. This involves a staking mechanism for Hermes hubs and introduces some new DeFi elements. More details on this will be published soon. 

We’ve also been reconsidering our pricing model. By the end of March, we should propose a much better solution than our current one. While nodes are currently free to set their own price, many node runners don’t know which pricing is reasonable. This is because users have to filter by not only quality and location, but also look at pricing. For the auto-reconnect feature, where the app looks at a similar node during a session break, this also complicates things. We’re going to introduce “surge” pricing based on supply and demand for nodes in any given region. This will also allow Mysterium to spread traffic more equally among nodes. More details on this to come.

 

Company

We’re fast expanding our team. Please look at our open positions or pass on the details. 

There were some great interviews with various team members from Mysterium. You can see the playlist here.

Want to get involved in Mysterium Network today?

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

Stay tuned for more updates. If you are interested in participating, running a node, or generally have any questions, jump into our discord channel and speak directly with our core team.

Testnet 1.0 ends as Testnet 2.0 unlocks new milestone

Following a successful migration to Testnet 2.0, we’re excited to announce that Mysterium’s Testnet 1.0 is being “switched off” forever.

Our migration began earlier this year, but you can already see the latest network statistics showing the amazing growth of both our node runner and user communities.

We’ve seen healthy organic growth of our node network in particular, reaching 1000 exit nodes and 100+ Tb of monthly traffic coursing throughout.

This continues from our impressive network growth in 2020. In fact, it’s already 2x our 2020 high in just the first quarter of 2021.

 

We’ve also seen 25% increase in our monthly active user base since the end of 2020.

This graph shows the transition of Mysterium dVPN users from Testnet 1.0 across to Testnet 2.0 over the last three months.

This new milestone keeps us right on track for our product roadmap, easing us into Stage 3.

If you’re running a node, you can read more about our latest node bounty updates, including changes to payouts and our plans to extend the opportunity of earning to more regions around the world. 

For the month of March we are excited to announce the addition of Canada and India to our residential IP bounty program. These have been long requested in our community and we hope to see consistent growth of node runners throughout both regions.

Here are some other TL;DR announcements coming to you soon: 

  1. New Mobile App Design – if you haven’t seen it yet, check out the sneak peek of our slick new UI 
  2. Launch of Affiliate Program – introducing your friends to Web 3.0 will give you more than just kudos

Mysterium Network – a resilient anti-censorship layer for web 3.0

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

Stay tuned for more updates. If you are interested in participating, running a node, or generally have any questions, jump into our discord channel and speak directly with our core team.

$MYST now listed on Bittrex Global

Bittrex Mysterium MYST

Major exchange Bittrex has launched Mysterium on their platform, introducing MYST token to the global cryptocurrency market.

This listing is an exciting gateway to MYST and unlocks new liquidity for the entire Mysterium ecosystem. 

Anyone holding MYST will now be able to receive and store their tokens in their Bittrex wallets.

From 28th January, any Bittrex Global user holding Bitcoin (BTC) or USDT can easily get their hands on some MYST tokens.

The trading pairs available:

  • BTC <> MYST
  • USDT <> MYST

Note that users who send their old legacy MYST tokens (unmigrated) to the exchange will LOSE them permanently. Learn how to migrate manually here.

What this means for the community

Uganda protests social media tax

Internet censorship and surveillance is expected to worsen in 2021. In the second week of January alone, a total internet shutdown was ordered in Uganda, coordinated by the country’s dictatorial leadership, in an attempt to disrupt the nation’s democratic general election. 

Mysterium’s peer-to-peer network powers censorship-resistant applications which can give users secure and private access to the internet. We are reinventing the $30 billion VPN industry with this next-generation internet technology. 

It helps bypass debilitating blackouts which infringe on our basic human rights, such as freedom of speech and access to information. We’re rewiring the internet from the inside out, creating a new, more secure layer of the internet that cannot be switched off by governments or corporations.

And the MYST token ties it all together.

As we grow and make Mysterium Network an increasingly global platform, we need this native token to also be available and tradeable on a global level. 

Though built on Ethereum, we’re a blockchain agnostic project. We want to ensure our community is made up of a diverse range of cryptocurrency users, not just those familiar with Ethereum-based utility tokens. 

Making MYST available on a global exchange means we can lower the barrier to entry so our dVPN can be discovered and easily accessible by crypto holders everywhere.

What is MYST?

MYST is the network’s reserve currency. Instead of paying a regular VPN service a monthly subscription to unblock websites and apps, users pay peers (nodes) within the distributed network to connect to their residential IP address. Users can pay with MYST and other major cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC), while nodes easily earn MYST by the minute or hour.

The MYST token does more than transfer value in the network. It acts like digital fuel, powering Mysterium’s various functions and applications, while keeping the network safe from things like DDoS attacks. 

Like most other cryptocurrencies, MYST has helped forge new online communities, where global networks like ours can easily share internet resources with each other, such as storage, computing power, and now privacy.

web 3 mysterium

MYST token helps power new decentralised apps and platforms which make up the Web 3.0

What is Bittrex Global?

Bittrex Global is a secure, reliable and advanced digital asset trading platform developed for international (non-USA) customers and built on Bittrex’s cutting-edge technology. This international trading platform provides innovative tokens, while also providing instant trade execution, dependable digital wallets, and industry-leading security practices.

Some main benefits of trading via Bittrex:

  • Secure platform 

Bittrex Global employs the most reliable, effective security technologies available. Security is always their first priority. 

  • Custom-built trading engine

Their custom trading engine was designed to be scalable and to ensure that orders are executed in real-time. 

  • Fast deposits and withdrawals

A highly efficient and automated monitoring platform allows Bittrex to provide users the fastest transactions available today. This includes updates on balance, trade, and holding information. 

  • Driving Innovation 

To help drive innovation in the blockchain industry, Bittrex seeks to provide its users with an ever-growing selection of blockchain technologies and digital tokens, including tokenised stocks of Tesla, Apple and Amazon shares.

Bittrex trading competition

MYST trading competition on Bittrex Global

To kick off our launch on Bittrex Global, we’re giving away $15,000 in MYST tokens to our new community of Bittrex users.

The competition will kick off on the 1st of February and run for seven days. It includes three types of promotions, which reward Bittrex users when they trade with MYST. You can read about the trading competition on the Bittrex website.

Note that to participate in this competition you will need a Bittrex Global account.

 

Promotion #1: Trade MYST to win $7,500 in MYST Tokens

Promotion #2: Buy MYST to Win $5,000 in MYST Tokens

Promotion #3: Sign up for a Bittrex Global account, trade MYST, and get free tokens 

 

(Terms and conditions apply, so be sure to read these first on the Bittrex website.)

Uniswap Liquidity Campaign

For those seeking a decentralized trading alternative, we launched the MYST Liquidity Engagement Campaign earlier this month. It rewards liquidity providers for providing liquidity to the MYST/ETH pair on UniSwap.

We have already completed our latest airdrop for participants, with our liquidity pool doubling in size since the beginning of the campaign. So far, participants have received their share of more than 7700 $MYST.

Join the campaign here.

Uniswap Liquidity

Dive into the dVPN with MYST

Last month we shared details of Mysterium’s testnet upgrade, which came with some exciting new features and functionalities. This includes changes to our node registration flow, updates to My Mysterium Network, a different UI, the ability to earn in 2 networks during the migration, top up VPN apps with your crypto of choice (not just MYST), and the freedom to use our dApp in China!

We have been in stealth mode upgrading a small percentage of our user base and node runners onto Testnet 2.0, to test and learn. Now we’re rolling out Testnet 2.0 to everyone on Mysterium Network. 

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

crypto vpn

Download Mysterium dVPN today and experience some MYST magic for yourself.

With Mysterium dVPN, you’ll get some free test tokens. After you run out of these tokens, you will be prompted to top up with MYST, BTC, LTC or other cryptocurrencies. Download the Mysterium VPN now and try before you buy.

Mysterium Network Product Updates – November 2020

Mysterium Network is building a decentralised VPN. Our global network is open, permissionless and distributed. Last year we focused on finetuning our node software, and understanding the dynamics of incentivised networks. This year, we’re focusing on building censorship-proof applications. If you haven’t already, please make sure to download Mysterium VPN for Windows, Mac and Android. Let us know what you think on Discord или Twitter.

The past month has seen us charge full steam ahead with our Testnet 2.0 upgrade. With this upgrade comes some exciting new features and functionalities for both users and node runners within the network.

Check out these latest product updates;

 

Testnet 2.0 launched (beta)

We deployed the newest version of our smart contracts onto the Goerli testnet.

This updated Testnet 2.0 (version v0.41 of the Mysterium app) is being tried out by a small group of beta testers. Based on their feedback and experiences, 2.0 should be released for everyone else very soon.

With this upgrade, node registration flow has changed. Providers will get free registration with zero stake (while still on testnet) and should keep their same Testnet 1.0 identity. For providers, any earned settlement is two times cheaper than before.

These new smart contracts are also using a new version of MYSTT token. It’s essentially the same as our real MYST token, but on Goerli testnet. It has 18 zeros after comma (instead of 8 ), which required us to refactor all payments-related code to account for micropayments correctly.

 

Top up with your crypto of choice

All Android beta testers can now top up their Mysterium VPN balance using various cryptocurrencies (other than MYST), such as BTC, LTC, ETH, Dai and more! This will soon be available to our entire community of Android users. Note you’ll need to download or update to the latest version of the app (v0.40+) when available.

This functionality is supported by an upgraded Hermes protocol, with our micropayment hub now supporting multiple chains.

 

Unblocked in China

We’ve been working hard to reverse the ban of Mysterium VPN in China. The first iteration of our unblocking is done. Those who start using Testnet 2.0 apps (node v0.40+) will be able to access Mysterium from China!

 

Cleaner UI

We updated the Web UI so it is far more stable, with fewer glitches.

We found and fixed lots of bugs found during ALPHA testing in preparation of our upcoming node release.

We also created user-friendly consumer CLI commands. Now it’s much easier to use Mysterium VPN for advanced Linux users and on servers.

 

Matic x Mysterium 

We started working on our integration with Matic Network. Most of our infrastructure components are ready for Matic, so now we’re working on building the Matic<>Ethereum bridges needed before its public release.

 

My.Mysterium.Network updates

We updated and deployed multiple versions of MMN, so users of Testnet 1.0, Testnet 2.0 and the upcoming betanet could get access to an aggregated node dashboard. The Testnet 2.0 version of MMN will look a little different than yje current version, and we hope it will solve a couple of usability problems we had before.

Nodes can also store beneficiary (payout) wallet address on the Ethereum blockchain, instead of a database. The new MMN has been adapted so it can be used for bounty payments.

We also discovered some node runners who were cheating the system. We therefore started a blacklist so they could not participate in any future bounty program.

Want to get involved in Mysterium Network today?

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

Stay tuned for more updates. If you are interested in participating, running a node, or generally have any questions, jump into our discord channel and speak directly with our core team.

How To Bypass Internet Shutdown

internet blackout toolkit

How does an internet shutdown work? And how do you bypass internet shutdowns? Learn about the different tools, platforms and software that will keep you online.

Discover and download the Internet Blackout Toolkit so you can be prepared and keep connected.

What is an Internet Shutdown?

In simple words, an internet shutdown involves intentionally disrupting or blocking internet access. They are also referred to as kill switches and blackouts. They can be done through throttling, when connectivity speeds are reduced to such a slow pace it’s almost impossible for pages to load. It’s also done by working with Internet Service Providers to cut off web access altogether.

Internet blackouts can occur at a localised or even national level, where an entire country has its telecommunications cut off. They are divided into two categories;

Partial Shutdown: The government limits access to specific websites or apps. A partial shutdown is done to prevent people from sharing information with others, typically via social media. 

Total Shutdown: In a total shutdown, all internet services are entirely stopped, including mobile data services and broadband carriers. The internet is no longer functional, and people cannot get online via any device. In developing nations, where internet access is unreliable, people take some time to understand that an intentional intervention is taking place.

Shutdowns are becoming more common every year. In 2015, only 15 shutdowns were documented. This number rose to 56 in 2016. In India alone, Human Rights Watch reported 20 shutdowns in 2017. However, www.internetshutdowns.in documented 41 shutdowns for the same period.

Why are Internet Shutdowns Used?

Most governments around the world apply censorship in some way or another. But a total Internet shutdown has a more immediate and widespread effect.

Concerns for national security are the leading cause of internet shutdowns globally. But governments also claim that shutdowns are necessary to prevent the spread of misinformation and ensure public safety

Some common reasons given for blackouts: 

More often than not, internet shutdowns are a means to control the views and actions of people. They limit a citizen’s ability to access information and express themselves freely. It means businesses are put on hold, students can’t study, and critical health services cannot be reached. Overall, the economy suffers and social life is disrupted. 

Internet shutdowns and your human rights

In more extreme cases, shutdowns disrupt democracy and journalists cannot report on government corruption or abuse. Social media blackouts are also commonly used during elections to minimise public discourse, stifle dissent and weaken minority groups. These platforms for open expression and communication, such as Twitter, are a threat to many dictatorial regimes and are therefore blocked. It’s far easier to control and promote the official government narrative if the general population is silenced. 

Unsurprisingly though, internet blackouts tend to attract global attention and put pressure on countries that use them. This produces the Streisand effect, in which trying to hide information or silence voices can cause the unintended effect of bringing these events even more attention. By incorporating transparency into governmental procedures, civil unrest is less likely to occur. 

The world leader in internet shutdowns is India, who frequently shutdown the internet in certain regions for reasons such as avoiding loss of life during periods of crisis. Yet an outdated law from 1885 is used to justify these frequent internet shutdowns. In 2019, authorities shut down the internet in Kashmir for months, revoking their autonomy and statehood. This was deemed necessary to avoid “to maintain security in the restive territory claimed by both India and Pakistan.”. 

However, a study by Stanford Global Digital Policy Incubator states that shutdowns are counterproductive to discouraging violent events. The study found there was an increase of violence by four times when networks were disrupted. 

Other experts believe that as the frequency of internet shutdowns increase, they will become normalised. So while national security is the initial justification, citizens may become complacent over time, even as the use of shutdowns are used for more sinister purposes.

Impacts of Internet Shutdown

Aside from the threat to people’s human rights, internet shutdowns have a major impact on national economies, jobs and growth. Businesses are cut off from their customers, suppliers and distributors, incurring huge losses that governments won’t simply pay back. 

According to Brookings, in 2015-16, internet shutdowns cost the entire world $2.4 billion, with India alone suffering a loss of $1bn in economic production. During the Arab Spring in Egypt, the cost of an internet blackout resulted in a $90 million loss. If the shutdown continued for the whole year, it would have cost 3-4% of Egypt’s GDP

In Cameroon, many entrepreneurs suffer during an internet shutdown. Businesses that rely on the internet, especially e-commerce websites, were adversely impacted. As a residual effect, shutdowns prevent investment opportunities; if businesses operate in a country with frequent shutdowns, investors are not likely to back them, as they can’t continuously run their business operations. 

If a website is hosted in a particular country that experiences a blackout, this means the rest of the world also loses access to that service. This could disrupt or cut off supply chains, financial transactions, interpersonal communication, and enterprise workflows. It may also have a localisation effect, as the internet no longer becomes a reliable platform for business, forcing companies to turn inward, rather than outward and join the global economy. 

Aside from the economy, most people depend on the internet in some way in their daily lives. Without a functioning internet, fundamental services like healthcare, education, banks, and other public services are slowed down or come to a standstill. Quality of life is greatly diminished and the risk to livelihoods and health increases, especially when people can’t contact emergency services.

A local internet shutdown can also have a significant technical impact on the rest of the internet. The web is an interconnected network where everyone contributes to the system as a whole. Internet shutdowns can undermine the network and generate systemic risks.

How to Bypass Internet Shutdowns?

The United Nations Human Rights Council condemned internet blackouts for breaching your human rights. And while internet shutdowns are still becoming more commonplace, there are ways to arm yourself now in case you experience one. 

Here are some ways to bypass internet shutdowns; 

Use a VPN

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) creates a secure portal between devices, providing an encrypted connection to the internet no matter where you are. When you use a VPN, your computer or phone is connected to a VPN’s server, located overseas. This hides your IP address and enables you to visit websites that were restricted before, as you’re “tricking” your ISP into thinking you’re somewhere else. VPNs are regarded as the easiest and safest way to bypass internet shutdowns. 

Laws around the use of VPNs vary by region. It’s important to understand the security aspects of each network before you use them. You can read through That One Privacy Site to learn about these different virtual networks.

Mysterium Network offers a decentralized VPN, which is built on the world’s largest P2P network. You can easily select from a list of locations around the world to connect to, unblocking content. It’s open-source and available for Mac, Windows, and Android. 

Also ensure that websites you visit are running over HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), even when using a VPN. This means you will always access the original website and not any modified version of it. You can install HTTPS Everywhere extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, to guarantee you’re browsing the encrypted version of the website. 

Circumvention Tools and Proxies

Circumvention tools help you bypass censored websites and anonymously browse the internet. They can help you become undetectable to ISPs and governments. Users channel their traffic via a different computer – called a proxy. 

Psiphon is an award-winning circumvention system that leverages open-source web proxies, helping you skirt around content-filtering systems. 

Lantern is another open-source proxy software application for desktop and mobile. It provides users access to the open internet. Lantern is different from other tools as it leverages peer-to-peer connections for internet connectivity when servers are not available. 

Tails is an operating system that allows you to browse the internet on any computer. It uses cryptographic tools to encrypt email messages and files.

Tor Browser is a tool for accessing blocked websites without being tracked. It routes your traffic through a global node network run by volunteers, much like a decentralized VPN. This prevents surveillance of your browsing habits or tracing your location. It is very popular among journalists and privacy advocates. It’s available for Linux, Mac, Windows, and Android. 

Whonix is a free and open-source desktop operating system (OS) that is specifically designed for advanced security and privacy. The software helps you run your apps anonymously, anonymising everything you do online. The project suggests it’s the best way to use Tor, as it provides the strongest protection of your IP address. Whonix is available for Windows, macOS and Linux.

The Guardian Project also offers apps such as Orbot that help you access the internet anonymously by encrypting your internet traffic.

Use censorship-resistant websites and networks

Unstoppable Domains is a platform to launch uncensorable websites. The domain runs on the blockchain (decentralized and permanent) and is stored in your cryptocurrency wallet, so no one can take it down but you. You can also use their chat and email functions, so you can communicate directly peer-to-peer. 

I2P is an anonymous network built on top of the internet. It allows users to create and access content and build online communities. It is intended to protect communication and resist monitoring by third parties such as ISPs. All data is wrapped with several layers of encryption, and the network is both distributed and dynamic, with no trusted parties. 

Freenet is a peer-to-peer platform for censorship-resistant communication and publishing.

The software lets you anonymously share files, browse and publish “freesites” (web sites accessible only through Freenet) and chat on forums. Freenet is decentralised to make it less vulnerable to attack, and if used in “darknet” mode, users only connect to their friends, making it very difficult to detect. Communications by Freenet nodes are encrypted and are routed through other nodes to make it extremely difficult to determine who is requesting the information and what its content is.

Communication Tools - encrypted and offline

There are messaging tools that are designed for private and censorship-proof communications. Popular apps like Telegram encrypt your messaging, including client-client encryption with Secret Chats. Signal is also well-known for its encryption and security.

Vuvuzela is a private chat application that hides metadata, including who you chat with and when you are chatting. Vuvuzela supports millions of users and is secure even if the network and a majority of the servers are compromised.

There are also offline communication tools that don’t require any internet access, but you’ll have to download and set them up when online.

Tools like Briar and Firechat are encrypted messaging platforms and rely on peer-to-peer networks. Moreover, they’re free and open-source.

Another project is Bridgefy.me that works on a mesh network (more on these below). This helps you use applications without an internet connection. Available on both iOS and Android, it covers thousands of users at the same time. 

While you’ll be unable to browse Facebook and Google, you can create a chat room and voice your message there during an internet shutdown.

Mesh networks

In certain scenarios, governments can also shut down central telecom systems. This can cut off all connection, or reduce its quality so much that it’s barely useable. This creates a need for an entirely new network altogether. 

Instead of connecting to the internet through your ISP, mesh networks enable direct connection between devices, without any middlemen. Mesh networks automatically reconfigure connections, depending upon the availability and proximity of bandwidth and storage.

As they are decentralized networks, it isn’t easy to shut them down. One possible way to do it is by shutting down each node, which is near impossible. Hence, mesh networks are robust and resistant to internet shutdowns.

Mesh networks are a relatively new concept and haven’t been implemented on a wide scale use yet. However, projects like Commotion are accelerating the adoption of mesh networks. You can easily set up your own network using their technology.

More Resources

There are lots of great resources that can link you to even more tools. Check out these guides and lists, but note some of these apps and software are a bit more advanced to set up and require more technical knowledge;

Internet Blackout Toolkit – Mysterium Labs

GitHub – Danoctavian – Awesome Anti-Censorship

GitHub – Kevin Coleman Inc – Awesome Privacy 

GitHub – Lissy93 – Personal Security Checklist

Along with all this knowledge, also be sure to install antivirus software. This guarantees that there is no malicious software on your laptop. Ephraim Muchemi, who conducts training in digital security with the US-based non-profit International Research and Exchange Board, states that antivirus is the key to everything. Some suggested options are MalwareBytes and HitmanPro.

Organisations

There are also many organisations out there fighting for your digital freedom and human rights. You can learn about the work they’re doing, and often collaborate or get involved in advocacy work; 

Access Now is a group that defends citizen’s digital rights across the globe, with an objective to abolish the practice of internet shutdown. They are a great resource for learning about internet shutdowns. 

Article19 – works for a world where all people everywhere can freely express themselves and actively engage in public life without fear of discrimination.

We do this by working on two interlocking freedoms: the Freedom to Speak, and the Freedom to Know

Human Rights Watch – We advocate for laws and policies that promote privacy, digital inclusion, and respect for human rights by social media platforms.

Electronic Frontier Foundation – leading nonprofit defending digital privacy, free speech, and innovation

Internet Society  – a global nonprofit organization empowering people to keep the Internet a force for good: open, globally connected, secure, and trustworthy.

Unblock the future

Recently, students from London’s Imperial College and Royal College of Art have developed a system, called Fallback, which offers access to news coverage through a portable satellite modem during internet shutdown. 

The tool is a subscription-based model that enables users to pre-select the news websites they usually read. During a shutdown, news articles can be encrypted and delivered to them via satellite. 

A portable server helps decrypt the data, and viewers can read on any Wifi-enabled device using a simplified user interface. Fallback works on a forecasting algorithm that can anticipate which nations are most at risk of an internet shutdown. Right now the team are trying to get the system up and running in countries where it’s needed most. 

An internet shutdown can be very daunting. But you rejoin the digital world by using the above tools and platforms. 

If you have a project or application that should be added to this list, please get in touch! We will be constantly updating it. 

Roadmap Update: no more free VPN, nodes get paid in $MYST

mysterium VPN

Has that gotten your attention?

 

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

As we have written previously, transaction fees on Ethereum have proven to be a problem. But we have found the workaround.

To dive deeper, read these blogs:  

1. Layer 1, 2, 3 – and beyond: The search for the cheapest and fastest microtransactions. [2020]

2. Mysterium Network’s Head of Product, Jaro Šatkevič breaks down a lightweight solution for Mysterium Network payments

3. Mysterium Network micropayments whitepaper [2019]

 

Mysterium Network Updated Roadmap Q4 2020

What does this mean?

 

Step one: Network Fork 1

 

All users and node runners within Mysterium Network will have to upgrade into testnet version two (Testnet 2.0).


What is Testnet 2.0?


a) New smart contracts on Goerli testnet – Mysterium Testnet 2.0 will be using new test MYSTT token, same code as new MYST token, with `permit` function and 18 zeros (instead of 8) after the comma. We will also be using a new set of payments smart contracts which will halve settlement of collected funds and add support for being used in multiple chains.

Read more in our deep dive on Layer 2 solutions so as to avoid ETH transaction fees.

b) Payment processor integration into apps  – this will provide the possibility for dVPN consumers to top-up via their Mysterium account with a set of different cryptocurrencies (such as BTC, LTC, ETH, BCH, DAI or USDT). Paid funds will be converted into MYST (or to MYSTT while in testnetv2) token and be sent into the user’s payment channels (top-up address) on the blockchain.

c) 1 MYSTT will be equal to 1 MYST. Also, bounty payouts will be done in MYST tokens. Previously we have pegged 1 collected MYSTT to 1 USD and did node runner bounty payouts in ETH. To take us closer to MainNet environment conditions, the time has come to implement pay-outs in MYST tokens. We will be still using our ETH bounty fund reserves, but we will be buying MYST token on the market to do payouts for node runners.

Users will have to update their applications. You will be given a starter kit of MYSTT. Following this users will need to top up using BTC, LTC, ETH and other cryptocurrencies.

Existing Node Runners will need to upgrade their node into the newest version, network upgrade will be done under the hood. For further updates specific to Node Runners check out our regularly updated network fork guide. 


Please note: 

  • Node runner bounty will be paid only for Mysterium Node Runners running on Testnet 2.0 
  • Node runners will begin to receive payouts in $MYST. 


A month after the transition begins, testnet 1.0 will be completely destroyed. Network fork ends.

Step two: 

 

We will be releasing BetaNet (silent launch for a limited set of test users) and upgrading Testnet 2.0 to use some of Ethereum’s sidechain and cross-chain payments (consumers will be on a sidechain testnet, and node runners will have their accounts on Ethereum Goerli testnet).

This upgrade will happen under the hood and users may even not recognise that such change happened.

This will mean cheaper on-chain transactions for users and node runners as account registration and top-ups will happen on the sidechain instead of Ethereum Blockchain, once on MainNet.

Stay tuned for exciting integration partnerships coming very soon. Subscribe to our newsletter to hear it first. 

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

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

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

Step three:
Testnet as we know it is going to be destroyed.

Step four:  

 

All users and node runners within Mysterium Network will be upgraded onto Mysterium MainNet in 2021.

 

What is MainNet?


MainNet is Mysterium Network on Ethereum Blockchain. All internal payments will be done using real MYST tokens.

Users will pay as they go for VPN service on Mysterium Network. Mysterium Network will run a few free nodes so that new users can test the service before topping up their account. This is also when we will look to roll out our much-awaited referral program, and other user-focused bounties. 

Node Runners will continue to be paid in MYST. This marks the end of the Mysterium Node Pilot No provider bounty is needed at this point and node runners can settle collected funds any time you like.

What happened to our Mysterium Pro plans?


As we had previously written, we were considering Mysterium Pro as our solution to high Ethereum transaction fees

Thanks, to Multichain support and the ability to use sidechains for consumer payment channels (top-up wallet management), we can avoid releasing a custodial MysteriumPro solution and instead merge its best features (such as pay in different cryptos, or one-click connect) into the default Mysterium VPN application itself. 

Onward to MainNet

 

Mysterium has been hard at work getting peer to peer payments implemented within the network. This has meant the navigation of a quickly shifting technological landscape. We wouldn’t be here without our community of node runners, users and token holders. 

We thank you for your ongoing support and are excited about the new changes to come as Mysterium Network grows to meet the new and very real challenges of our times. 

If you haven’t already, download Mysterium VPN or start to run a node.