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Introducing $MYST Tokenomics 2.0, powered by the IQ Protocol

Like most decentralised projects, tokenomics has always played a crucial role in Mysterium Network. 

Our utility token MYST is the reserve currency of our peer-to-peer bandwidth marketplace. Designed to fight internet censorship, it powers various applications like the Mysterium VPN, enabling trustless and anonymous payments between nodes and users.

Now we’re working on a new tokenomics model that will help us scale the network, introducing the beneficial components of decentralised finance (DeFi). DeFi has been the reigning champion of blockchain technology, but we believe there’s a valuable opportunity to leverage P2P protocols beyond finance alone. 

Our Tokenomics 2.0 model will create new opportunities for both node runners and token holders, who can put their funds to work through staking to earn rewards.

The engine behind our new tokenomics model was designed by PARSIQ. The team recently revealed their newly developed IQ Protocol, and Mysterium is the first project to integrate it.

What is the IQ Protocol?

The IQ Protocol is a groundbreaking solution that brings Mysterium Tokenomics 2.0 to life.

It was developed by PARSIQ, a next-generation blockchain analytics platform that connects blockchain activity to off-chain applications and devices.

The IQ Protocol is the world’s first “risk-free, collateral-less DeFi protocol to tokenize SaaS subscriptions”.

This innovation brings the power of DeFi to traditional services by facilitating a subscription model for blockchain projects. It also removes the requirement of upfront collateral, mitigating the typical risks associated with DeFi participation.

The IQ Protocol is the brainchild of Anatoly Ressin, PARSIQ’s Chief Architect, with creative backing from PARSIQ’s CTO Alan Durnev along with a dedicated team of developers and additional outside assistance. 

Mysterium also contributed to the development of the Protocol, building its Golang Software Development Kit and by participating in early discussions on math models behind its core functionalities. Launching with the IQ Protocol is a monitoring solution, giving users the right to provide services through MYST ownership or delegation. It also allows the protocol to track the distribution of tokens among node runners using Mysterium’s Hermes payment protocol.

How are we using the IQ Protocol in Tokenomics 2.0?

By integrating the IQ Protocol into our existing tokenomics framework, we can create a circular economy model in which node runners and MYST token holders can reap the benefits of staking.

This will happen via the Mysterium Delegation Pool, where holders can simply deposit their funds to earn rewards.

The IQ Protocol is designed to provide a completely risk-free environment for Mysterium delegators and renters (more on these new roles below).

Our Hermes smart contracts will be updated to work directly with the IQ Protocol pool, guaranteeing a non-custodial fee redistribution. This limits the risk usually associated with a typical lending platform or liquidity pool, such as risk of liquidation or risk of impermanent loss.

Furthermore, the IQ Protocol enables the integration of stablecoin payments within the network, helping to maintain price stability for dVPN services.

Mysterium’s current tokenomics model

 

To realise the impact of the IQ Protocol on our new tokenomics system, it’s important to understand our current limitations as a network;

1. Price stability for dVPN services

In our current iteration of tokenomics, dVPN consumers top up their accounts with a range of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dai and Ether. These are converted into $MYST under the hood, and then paid out to node runners. While this crypto-agnostic option invites a range of blockchain communities to access the dVPN, it also leads to frequent price fluctuations. Users are therefore unable to accurately predict how much crypto they need in their accounts. 

Additionally, node runners who receive their earnings in MYST are also affected by price fluctuations.

2. Skin in the game

Currently, MYST token holders are only able to earn rewards by contributing funds to liquidity pools on certain DEXes, such as Uniswap and QuickSwap. While these incentives both grow and reward our community, liquidity providers must own the risk of impermanent loss. 

The new world of Tokenomics 2.0

What new benefits and opportunities will the IQ Protocol introduce?

1) DAI stablecoin as Payment

To eliminate the negative effect of cryptocurrency fluctuations for both dVPN users and node runners, we are introducing the DAI stablecoin as a means of payment in the peer-to-peer network.

dVPN users can also continue to pay with a range of other cryptocurrencies, while node runners will only receive their earnings in DAI.

 

2) Node runners stake MYST to earn 


All node runners will need to stake MYST in the network in order to provide dVPN services. The amount of DAI that can be earned depends on the amount of MYST at stake, which is proportional to the desired value of their daily rewards. The formula for this is 1 MYST = 0.01 DAI.

The more at stake, the higher a node runner’s earning potential. In this way, the MYST token becomes a life-time subscription to Mysterium Network. 

Here’s an example of how this will work: 

Alice would like to earn 10 DAI per day by running a Mysterium node. To do this, she will need to stake 1,000 MYST in the network. Alice’s earnings will be capped at 10 DAI / day. Once 10 DAI has been earned, Alice’s node will no longer be discoverable for that particular day. However, she can always stake additional MYST tokens to continue providing a service, and consequently increase her earning ability. 

3. MYST yield for token holders

To support token holders, there will be an opportunity to earn rewards by having a stake in the network. These MYST tokens will be taken out of the market and “frozen” in the Mysterium Delegation Pool.

The Delegation Pool is particularly useful for node runners who can’t buy and stake MYST in the network, as they will be able to “rent” tokens from the Pool.

MYST holders can delegate (rent) their tokens for a predefined time to node runners – for a fee. This will function similarly to a daily or monthly subscription, and where the magic of the IQ Protocol really kicks in.

Here’s an example:

Alice does not have 1,000 MYST, but she’d still like to earn 10 DAI / day by running a Mysterium node. Instead of using an exchange like Bittrex or Uniswap, Alice can rent 1,000 MYST from the MYST delegation pool. To do this, Alice simply pays 0.3 DAI / day* to the MYST token holder.

*This number is dynamic and subject to change depending on the size and duration of the delegation alongside the availability of liquidity in the delegation pool and other factors. 

 

The introduction of the Mysterium Delegation Pool creates a new revenue stream for all MYST token holders. By depositing MYST into the pool, token holders will be able to earn passive income similarly to other DeFi protocols, such as Compound or Aave.

The rewards that each participant receives will fluctuate based on the size of the pool and network activity. The more users, the more rewards that can be earned by exit nodes and token delegators.

 

Interested in how the IQ Protocol is going to transform Mysterium Network? Check out our Tokenomics 2.0 explainer video.

What’s next?

We’re still some months away from the launch of Tokenomics 2.0. We’re deep in development mode, collaborating with PARSIQ to ensure a flawless integration and a new system that is as seamless and enjoyable as our latest dVPN app.

First we’ll be bringing mainnet to Mysterium, which also kicks off the expansion of our ecosystem as a breeding ground for Web 3.0 innovation

Until then, our Pre-Mainnet network upgrade is kicking off in the next week, which introduces seven new features including free registrations, easy withdrawals and flexible bounty payouts.

We’ll be releasing more tokenomics news and updates in the coming months, so join your channel of choice to get the latest updates. 

Start running a Mysterium node today. Learn more about the MYST token.

Revealing Mysterium’s new Mobile dVPN App for Android

decentralized VPN

Time to Ghost the Internet Like it’s your EX

 

What’s better than a VPN? 

A decentralised one that can do all of this:

We’re excited to share with you our shiny new interface Android VPN app, packed with industry-first features and an even easier onboarding process.

In the past, decentralised apps (dapps) have been terribly clunky and confusing. We’re introducing a new benchmark for decentralised apps (and VPNs in general 🙂 

We now have over 64,000 Monthly Active Users (MAU). In theory, this would place us in the Top Ten most used Ethereum dapps. However, as we’re still on testnet, we can’t compete in the dapp rankings officially. We’re sure by the time we hit mainnet, we’ll be even higher up that list…

Nothing has changed under the hood. Our users can still rely on our fast-growing network, now over 1,600 nodes strong. That’s double the number of users selling their bandwidth in just a few months. Our community makes over 3 million micropayment transactions every day, completely peer-to-peer. 

    Learn more about  our uniquely developed micropayment system.

We’ve had 200,000 downloads since the beginning of 2021 alone. In an industry dominated by DeFi platforms, Mysterium is proving that P2P protocols can impact our lives beyond finance – starting with the internet itself.

What’s new with Mysterium’s dVPN

As a P2P decentralised network, Mysterium is powered by the very people who use it. Our new interface and user experience is simple and sophisticated, giving you as much freedom and choice as possible.

More choice with Easy Node Management

Don’t waste time searching for good connections. Filter nodes based on speed, connection quality, price, or location. Then you can save your preferred filters to the My Custom Filters tab.

Find specialist nodes

Find nodes that are perfect for your specific needs, such as streaming media, browsing the web, or torrenting. Just click on the tabs in the Manual Connect section to find optimized nodes by category.

Customise and save your favourites

You’re now able to create a personal list of your favourite nodes, so you can come back to them later and reconnect whenever you want. Access them from the Favourites menu.

Check your balance

Easily manage and keep an eye on your account balance. With our estimation tool, you’ll know exactly how much credit you have left in terms of data download volume, number of songs, hours of online video or standard web browsing. 

Plus, check out your session history and other key statistics to understand your VPN habits and needs over time.

Top up with your favourite crypto

All crypto communities are invited to join Mysterium’s mission for total online anonymity. We don’t lock you into one specific crypto token, so you can top up your account with popular cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dai, and Ether. Simply choose your cryptocurrency and top up with a QR code, or use a generated payment link. 

Auto kill switch

If you lose your connection to a node, your browsing data will not be leaked. Your app will automatically try to reconnect to the previous node, and if it’s unavailable, the app will suggest another node for you to choose. During this process, your internet connection is in standby mode, so you can either cancel it or connect again.

Manage Your DNS Settings

Set up a custom DNS. Configure this on the Settings page or let the auto-setting handle that for you.

Import your crypto address

Mysterium enables a private key backup and import feature, which means you can swiftly move your account from one device to another.

Support is On Hand

Find an issue? Help us out by reporting it to our dev team and we’ll sort it out as quickly as possible. Or, if you need a hand figuring out our apps out, we’re here during business hours to help. Drop your message on the Get help page and you’ll get a reply in-app or via your email.

Is our crypto VPN the game changer you’ve been looking for?

As an incredibly niche but exciting type of technology, dapps can be tricky to use at first. That’s why we’ve designed these features and flow with every kind of user in mind, whether they’re crypto newbies or long-time enthusiasts. 

With your help, we’re making ancient VPNs a thing of the past. 

And for the stuff you already know…

Get started in seconds – no email, no bank cards, no contracts

Mysterium dVPN has no subscription model, meaning you don’t ever have to make a monthly (or annual) payment. Instead, we opt for pay-as-you-go: switch it on when you’re ready to use it and off again once your session is done. You’ll only pay for what you actually use, whether it be by the megabyte or by the minute (even less than one cent!)

To keep your costs low, you won’t have to put up any kind of minimum buy-in.

You also don’t need to provide us with your email address or complete an account sign-up. We’ve got your anonymity covered with no contracts or identifying information.

Crypto and VPNs are the perfect pair; censorship-resistant and untraceable, you’ll only ever pay for your privacy the truly anonymous way. You can also choose from all kinds of popular crypto, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dai, and Ether.

Best of the best

You know when VPNs say they have a strict ‘no logs’ policy? They may or may not be telling the truth, but you’ll really never know.

In our case, it’s impossible for us to keep logs of users’ traffic or browsing data. Because we have decentralized infrastructure (no central servers), it is literally impossible for anyone to log your traffic, so you’ll never leave a paper trail. 

Our stack is also loaded with WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols, so your connections will be ultra-fast and ultra-secure.

And because our code has been open-source since day one, we don’t have to make any promises – all our claims can be verified by you. Just stop by our GitHub any time. 

Some other bits and pieces we’re excited to share with you..

 

Tesnet V3 and mainnet

It’s on the way! Testnet 3.0 is coming, where we’ll have completed our integration with Polygon (formerly Matic), making payments faster and cheaper. 

This will be shortly followed by our release on mainnet. 

Fighting The Great Firewall

The Mysterium dVPN is working in China, helping users there get past The Great Firewall. We’ve been getting some great feedback from our people letting us know how we’ve helped them scale that wall and access the open internet.

Take a look at our dApp today

We’re sure you’ll love the changes we’ve made, so find the download links for Android, Mac and Windows here.

If you’re 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.

What is the Web 3.0?

web 3 mysterium

Will all technology eventually become obsolete, replaced or abandoned? Or are some things so deeply rooted in our world that they can only evolve, just as we do? 

It’s hard to imagine the internet as a technology of the industrial revolution. This giant and permanently entangled web of wires, routers, servers, towers, and electric currents passes information at a speed somewhere between that of sound and light.

This internet infrastructure exists everywhere, a cloud that lets us carry “the web” in our pockets and power our homes with smart devices. It’s no longer one technology, but an undefinable mesh of countless technologies, protocols, software and hardware, interoperating and speaking to each other.

We are all now connected by the Internet, like a neurons in a giant brain.

stephen hawking
Hundreds of thousands of kilometers of submarine cables connect us, but will these age well? 

And yet the internet we know today - referred to as the Web 2.0 - is falling apart.

Over-centralization has become a threat to its accessibility and democracy. Officially governed by “no one”, the internetit has flourished into a commercial machine which serves a handful of powerful and self-interested businesses. Corrupt governments can cut off their citizens from the internet altogether. And if your personal data hasn’t been hacked yet, it’s only a matter of time

But rebuilding the internet itself seems an impossible task. Instead, we can decentralise it.

New technology can help change how we build business, how we design our governance systems, and how we operate global organisations.

Juan Benet

The decentralisation of the web is a global movement, led by many different groups all working towards the same objective; to ensure equal, free and uncensored access to the web for all. We do this by taking the same physical pieces that make up the internet today, and repurpose them so they protect and serve users.

Before, we were merely plugged into the internet. Now we can become the internet itself.

Important sidenote – the internet and the web are two different things; when we refer to the internet, we mean the physical infrastructure – the wiring and protocols governing how computers communicate with each other. The “web” is made up of websites, web applications, web browsing. It’s a platform which hosts documents and applications, with clickable hyperlinks.

Weaving the World Wide Web

Before we dive into Web 3.0 and its mechanics, let’s take a brief look at the history of the internet.

In its early stages, the internet was made up of a distributed network of computers. Its original architects, including founding father Tim Berners-Lee, envisioned it as inclusive and open. To access and be part of this network meant to contribute directly to its growth and development, with everyone sharing responsibility equally. Each user could communicate with each other directly, without the need for third parties or businesses, such as ISPs today. 

Towards the end 1990, the first web page became available on the open internet. 

In 1991, this Web 1.0 was launched as a public domain, a digital and shared space like a public library or park. Users anywhere were invited to join this new online community.

In the mind of Berners-Lee, the internet was designed to be “a collaborative medium, a place where we [could] all meet and read and write.” But as more people connected and the network grew in size, Berners-Lee understood that to unlock the power of the internet, it had to be “permissionless”, meaning no one had to seek permission to join. 

Had the technology been proprietary, and in my total control, it would probably not have taken off. You can’t propose that something be a universal space and at the same time keep control of it.

Tim Berners-Lee

However, the web at this time was mostly static, offering read-only content. There were very few content creators, with most users of the internet “acting as consumers”. The internet was soon taken over by the first internet businesses like AOL and Yahoo, who became the gateways to the web.

In 1994, Netscape launched the first commercial-grade web browser, and the dot-com explosion began. 

Web 2.0 - Users at the bottom of the internet foodchain

In the early 2000s, the internet became more interactive. The evolution of the read-only Web 1.0 to the read-write Web 2.0 brought us the “web as a platform”. Users could easily start creating and publishing content themselves, even learning HTML (HyperText Markup Language, the markup language for the web) to build their own websites. 

As an interactive and dynamic system where anyone could participate, this read-write web is what catalysed the birth of many new systems and applications which today have become some of the biggest businesses in the world. Participatory social networks like Facebook and Myspace, online marketplaces like Amazon, AirBnB and Uber, content creation and entertainment – all these plug into Web 2.0, creating new economies and standards for socialising, communication and business. Social media in particular has reinvented the way we shop and consume news.

Unfortunately, the business models propping up the internet today are as exploitative as they are successful. It exists to serve those “who have something to sell”, who even in the 90’s were predicted to become the main beneficiaries of the web. Companies rely on user-generated content to keep their platforms running, yet our personal data is harvested and sold to companies we’ve never even heard of. 

And if it’s not monetized, our personal information is routinely hacked due to the insecure centralized systems that have led to countless data breaches in the past year alone, exposing millions of records. These centralized databases are gold mines, making us targets for cybercriminals who can steal our personal information, banking details or simply sell our identities on the dark web.

So despite the internet being hailed as the greatest technological advancement of all time, it turns out corporations have really made a mess of things (but earned billions in the process). We desperately need to protect users and preserve the future of the internet itself, before it’s too late to turn things around. 

There are many teams working to restore the internet to its former glory. The resurgence of decentralized, P2P technology has meant we can rewire the internet so that it becomes private, safe and accessible by default. It will protect and compensate users, instead of milking them for data and profit. 

A slight digression… what is the “other” Web 3, the “semantic web” ?

It was once thought that the evolution of the Web 2.0 into Web 3.0 would bring us the “semantic web”. 

The semantic web was to improve web technologies so they can “understand the meaning of words, rather than on keywords or numbers… In this version of the Web 3.0, computers can understand information like humans in order to provide faster and more relevant results. They become more intelligent to satisfy the needs of user.”

Tim Berners-Lee described this web as a “Global Brain” which could process content in a human-like way, interpreting the nuances of concepts and information. Though billions of dollars were invested to develop the semantic web, it has not been brought to life (at least for now).

The decentralized web - a digital rebellion

The best way to think of the Web is as a direct-to-customer distribution channel, whether it's for information or commerce. It bypasses all middlemen. And, it turns out, there are a lot of middlepersons in this society. And they generally tend to slow things down, muck things up, and make things more expensive. The elimination of them is going to be profound.

Steve Jobsin a 1996 interview with Wired, about the impact and future of the Web

The “new” Web 3.0 is often referred to as the decentralised web, as this is the main underlying technological and theoretical standard which powers it. As we shift into a new internet era, this adaptation of the Web 3.0 actually draws it closer to its original roots. 

One of the biggest problems with the internet today is that it is heavily centralized, with a small collection of companies storing and powering the web via privately owned servers. Remember Web 1.0? That was a decentralized system, with a network of computers (and their users) storing that same data. There was no long line of middlemen, queuing up to connect us and take their cut. With that version of the web, no one had to pay a company or service to join, there were no centralized nodes, servers or governance systems, no single point of failure, and no “kill switch”. These are all qualities and components that the decentralized web hopes to restore.

But how does the decentralized web “work”?

The Web 3.0… an inclusive set of protocols to provide building blocks for application makers. Present a whole new way of creating applications. These technologies give users strong and verifiable guarantees about information they are receiving, what information they are giving away, what they are paying and what they are receiving in return.

@GAVofyork

With the introduction of new technologies like blockchain and distributed ledger technology, we can decentralize many different systems that were once dependent on centralized methods. (This can also be applied to systems beyond internet protocols, such as law and economics, but that’s a story for another time.)

Blockchain technology has democratic and self-governing architecture. Take the Bitcoin blockchain, for example; as a peer-to-peer system, it is run by its own users, who are rewarded when they help keep it running. Due to its heavy encryption and clever mechanics, it is practically incorruptible. And the best part is, a blockchain is available for anyone to verify and anyone to join. 

Learning all the lessons of what Bitcoin did to money, we’re starting to do this to all other kinds of services. Torrents and other file sharing sites kickstarted the P2P revolution. Bitcoin entered the scene providing the final piece that was missing all those years ago – incentivisation. Blockchain’s economic model has changed the game, and makes it far more scalable.

And with the advent of smart contract technology, we can ensure the benefits of decentralized protocols are easily passed onto the user. (Smart contracts are pieces of code that can automate and self-execute tasks based on an agreement. And since the smart contract acts as the “middle-man”, it doesn’t need to be paid). 

Now we take these unique protocols and plug them into the web itself. Instead of centralised servers, we can create peer to peer systems which allow people, not business, to securely share and store data online. Your computer becomes a node, acting as a miniature server (node). As a node, you help power the entire network by directly sharing your excess resources, such as bandwidth or processing power. And as a decentralized system, it runs without any kind of official host or authority at all, making it stronger from a security and network health standpoint, with no single point of failure. The bigger this distributed network grows, the faster it becomes.

Learn more about P2P networks

Much, much bigger than the cloud.

You can imagine the decentralized web as a new layer, one which still utilises all the existing infrastructure of the internet today, but “rewires” it on a technical level and reimagines it on a social one. This new layer relies on people, not business, to keep it powered, open and free. In this way, the Web 3 alters the very way we access the internet, retrieve information and operate online. One of the best promises of this tech is its ability to return sovereignty over data ownership. Now we can truly own, protect and profit from our own data. 

And perhaps the most important and new property introduced by the decentralized web is verifiability. It enables any user to verify and confirm the claims of the services they are using. 

We can now check that services are being delivered in the way they’re promised, and that our data is being handled securely.

Pieces of the decentralization puzzle. 

Some Web 3.0 companies.

Much of the decentralized community is already committed to open-sourcing their code, but with Web 3 platforms and apps, this transparency is often built into the technology itself. Verifiability is embedded in the infrastructure. Users no longer have to trust the teams and spokespeople behind the platforms, as the technology itself is trustless by design. This is a far cry from the current state of Web 2.0, where online businesses hide behind terms of service and codes of ethics, and we just have to take their word for it.

P2P privacy

The Web 3.0 enables anyone to build all kinds of autonomous applications and networks. The practical use cases of blockchain and DLT have made their impact on industries from health, law, finance, energy, the sharing economy. 

Mysterium Network is one such network that is helping to weave together this second layer of the internet. As a permissionless, decentralized network with a focus on censorship-resistant web applications, it helps us reformat the web, allowing people like you and me to own and manage the internet. The first app to be utilise the network is a world-first decentralized VPN (dVPN). 

As with other decentralized apps and platforms which make up the Web 3.0, a dVPN service is powered entirely by other web users like you. Each person rents out their IP address and bandwidth to others in this P2P network, earning crypto in exchange. Due to its distributed infrastructure, none of your data can be physically stored anywhere, and all traffic being routed through these personal nodes is heavily encrypted.

You can use this Web 3.0 app to bypass unethical censorship and surveillance. Governments everywhere regularly attempt to prevent the use of encryption tools and anonymity in any form. With over a quarter (27%) of the world’s internet users living in places where they can be arrested for posting, sharing or even “liking” something on Facebook, it’s time to fight back. The Web 3.0 can protect its users, keeping them anonymous while they browse the web openly and safely. 

We don’t have to keep making new privacy tools that can be blocked – we change the very nature of being online in the first place. We’re building safer roads, not inventing safer cars. 

It’s invisible and undeletable internet infrastructure. 

The decentralized web is an equitable and open space where everyone can contribute, build and reap the rewards for themselves. 

You can join it for yourself, just by downloading this app we made just for you 🙂 It’s free to use for only a short while longer.

Learn about the upcoming launch of Mysterium Network on mainnet. 

MYST, migration and mainnet – what you need to know

Update: 13/08/2020 – See the following blog post to see how our token migration and launch processes are changing.

 

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We are fast approaching the official launch of Mysterium網絡. This will be the realisation of our founding whitepaper and the crowning of our world-first peer to peer VPN. 

In preparation, the network will undergo some big technical updates and transitions. This includes an upgrade of our native token MYST, which is a core component of Mysterium and which keeps the network sustainable, secure and permissionless.

Read our blog about our unofficial launch timeline and breakdown of how we’re taking Mysterium global. 

What is MYST?

MYST is a utility token (a type of cryptocurrency) at the heart of Mysterium Network. It acts like digital fuel, serving various functions and keeps the network humming along.

Transfer of value – MYST is used as the network’s native currency. If you’re using the VPN (consumer) you will pay using MYST. If you’re a node (provider of the VPN service) you will receive MYST. While additional tokens could be introduced in the future, this is the network’s reserve currency and standard for the time being. 

Identity registration – when you first sign up for the network, you will need a little MYST so you can receive and verify your unique identity. The registration is processed as a transaction, so it’s permanently “on-chain”. Once you receive your unique ID/address, you can start to receive and send payments. By committing a little financially, this proves you have skin in the game. It’s also designed to prevent lots of people signing up for free and creating spam accounts, which will help protect the network against DDoS attacks. 

Staking – nodes (providers) should stake MYST (lock it up as collateral) to prove they are even more committed to the network’s longevity and success (even more skin in the game). Staking is particularly necessary due to how our P2P payment infrastructure works (more on this in below sections). While nodes can start providing their service even with 0 tokens at stake, a stake of at least 12 MYST must eventually be committed. If the user doesn’t stake anything at first, the stake will be accumulated and collected automatically by the network over time as they provide ongoing value and continue to earn. The network will take 10% from each settled payment until the full 12 MYST is received.

Why use cryptocurrency?

Mysterium Network is a decentralised system, meaning its users can be located anywhere around the globe. These systems are also designed so that all users can be anonymous. As a censorship-resistant and anonymous virtual currency, cryptocurrency provides a way for all these participants to interact and trade with one another without trust and without third parties being involved (permissionless). 

While we could have used other (or even more popular) cryptocurrencies for payments within Mysterium, we needed an in-built protection mechanism for the network’s many different actors. MYST is not just used for payments – as a token unique to our system, it’s a representation of your active involvement and intention to participate within Mysterium Network. In this way, MYST enables more than just P2P payments. When network actors have skin in the game, they help increase the overall security of the network, protecting against various types of attacks. It also establishes a community around a purpose, so the network can grow and evolve with its token holders. 

This also gives us the flexibility to use MYST over several blockchains in the future (e.g. similar to Tether).

Hermes protocol, our P2P payments infrastructure

Mysterium Network is a peer-to-peer VPN service, made up of consumers and providers. For us to remain a permissionless network, we need to ensure that all payments must also be peer to peer. This will be facilitated by the Hermes Protocol, our unique infrastructure we designed to enable fast, frequent micropayments on a global scale. 

In brief, it creates payment channels (a special type of smart contracts) between network participants (consumers and providers) and a selected Hermes hub during their registration. Hermes will verify “payment promises” made by consumers to nodes and smart contracts will ensure that tokens are calculated correctly and are safe. Instead of users constantly paying nodes in high volumes (by doing expensive blockchain transactions), consumers can make “promises” to providers, similar to IOUs. When providers (node runners) decide they want to settle (get a payout) their income, the final tallied record is executed on the blockchain and sent as a single transaction. 

Related: Learn more about how micropayments works in Mysterium Network

Additionally, providers (node runners) must stake a certain amount of collateral. While you can stake nothing at the start, as described above, you can stake any amount of MYST to guarantee the size of your payment channel. This will be the amount of tokens you can earn before settling your earned token and confirming this final tally on the blockchain. It will also guarantee faster withdrawal of these payments sent to your personal wallet. 

EXAMPLE: I run a node and want to provide the VPN service. I stake 20 MYST to open up a payment channel with the network’s smart contract. This ensures that consumers in the network can start using my service, and I will keep earning MYST until I reach my staked amount of 20. When I’ve reached my maximum, I have to settle them into my ethereum wallet (ethereum will charge a transaction fee). After that, I can keep earning MYST again until I reach my channel limit and will have to settle again. If I will decide to stop providing services on Mysterium Network, I can get my initial 20 MYST stake back.

Here’s how it works in action:

  1. Use MYST to pay for your identity registration 
  2. If you’d like to use the VPN service, top up your account balance with MYST 

If you’d like to provide the VPN service, stake a certain amount of MYST tokens

  1. Consumers pay providers using “Payment Promises” (off-chain transactions)
  2. Providers can choose to cash-out these promises at any time

Staking is necessary for the function of payment channels. There needs to be an amount of tokens locked in a provider’s payment channel to keep it active and ensure that the smart contract can pay the amount corresponding to their Payment Promises. If your Payment Promise tally is higher than your tokens at stake, for example, then this could lead to a situation where there are not enough funds to pay you out. This protects users against the threat of double-spending. Similar locking tokens mechanisms are also implemented among other payment channel-based networks, such as Lightning Network, Lumino and Raiden. 

In the future, the staking component could change. Staking more MYST, and therefore having more skin in the game, opens up a few possibilities for loyal network participants. It could enable higher traffic (higher position in ranking = more users  = more income)   for providers, or even allocate a percentage cut of network transaction fees. 

What is token migration?

Migrating a token is simply to upgrade the smart contract of that token (its “standard”). In the case of Mysterium, we are migrating from the ERC-20 to the ERC-777 token standard. This is a 1:1 token migration so there will be no new tokens created. 

Why are we upgrading MYST?

Different smart contract token standards offer different functionalities. The ERC-20 standard is the oldest and most common standard, initially developed in 2015. However, this token standard has not aged well. For some time now, its limitations have been exposed as more complex smart contracts have emerged which offer more functionalities, and are therefore better suited for more use-cases.  The ERC-777 token standard was approved last year following collaborative, community-driven discussions that began in 2017. 

ERC777 is an extension of the ERC20 standard. This new standard brings greater benefits to Mysterium Network as it plays host to some important features and multiple quality of life improvements. It adds token receive hooks which are used in our payment system, enabling the auto-conversion of MYST to other tokens during settlement. This opens us up to all kinds of crypto communities, even alternative blockchains such as Bitcoin. It also reduces the number of transactions required for the registration of a Mysterium ID, therefore reducing the cost of fees.

As we create more liquidity for the MYST token through its listing on various exchanges, we also require a full audit of the token. With an ERC777 MYST token, we will perform an audit with aims to also reinforce trust in its security.

How will token migration work?

At the end of July, MYST token holders will be able to start migrating their tokens into the new token standard. This will become the standard MYST token used within Mysterium Network’s payment system.

All exchanges are informed and are preparing for the upgrade on their end. If you are holding MYST on exchanges such as HitBTC, the migration will be done automatically and you will not need to do anything. While the token migration is planned for the end of July, it may take some days for exchanges to complete the upgrade, so please keep this in mind. Trading inside exchanges is unaffected by this migration.

For those who have the technical capacity and knowledge to conduct the migration themselves, our developer tooling will be available. Taking a DIY approach, users will be able to use our custom tooling to migrate their own tokens. We will publish written and video tutorials on our website in advance, so check back for updates. 

While there will be no time limit for migrating tokens, please be aware that only the new token standard will be used in the Mysterium Network payment system and actively traded on exchanges. 

However, you will not lose your original MYST tokens if you do not migrate within a specific deadline. This means you can perform your token migration at a convenient time to you.

Your wallets which are supporting only ERC20 tokens will work fine with MYST token.

Our token will support both ERC20 and ERC777 interfaces. This means that any wallet which supports ERC20 can be used to hold MYST token.

We’ll be publishing more important details in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, join our Discord channel and download the app for Android, Windows or Mac to get a taste of the free version before we move to the pay as you go model.

The coronavirus cover-up: A closer look at internet censorship in China

I am writing this in transit between Helsinki and Vilnius. I’ve got a mask on, and it’s uncomfortable. But I shouldn’t complain – the mask itself was a godsend – given the nationwide shortage of masks, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes in Singapore. 

Corona virus vpn

My flight taking me from Singapore to Helsinki may as well have been a private jet for the number of people on board. One of the perks when travelling while the world is gearing up for a pandemic.

The coronavirus is quickly spreading through Asia, and onward into the US and Europe. 

do I need a VPN

What does this have to do with freedom of speech? And how does this answer the question “Do I need a VPN?”

Just about everything. 

Dr Li Wenling - the coronavirus whistleblower - is now dead.

I landed in Helsinki to the news of Dr Li Wenliang’s death. 

Dr Li was one of the first people who tried to issue the first warning about the coronavirus outbreak. 

On the 30th of December, he sent a message to fellow doctors in a medical-school alumni group. In this message, he warned his fellow medical practitioners that seven patients had been quarantined at Wuhan Central Hospital after coming down with a respiratory illness similar to the SARS coronavirus. 

Four days after this, he was summoned to the Public Security Bureau where he was coerced to sign a letter. This letter claimed that he was “making false comments”. 

According to the BBC, the letter he was told to sign read: 

“We solemnly warn you: if you keep being stubborn, with such impertinence, and continue this illegal activity, you will be brought to justice – is that understood?”. 

Dr Li contracted the coronavirus himself, after treating people who had it.

After contracting the virus, Dr Li continued to post to his Weibo account. “I was wondering why [the government’s] official notices were still saying there was no human to human transmissions, and there were no healthcare workers infected,” Dr Li wrote on January 31 from his hospital bed.

Officials in Wuhan initially played down the threat and censored information on the spread of the disease. “I think it would have been a lot better. There should be more openness and transparency”, Dr Li told the New York Times. Dr Li was one of the eight people arrested for speaking out on social media.

The death of Dr Li Wenliang is a heartbreaking moment for China and a neon sign pointing at the failure of Chinese leadership. 

The following are censorship instructions on how to deal with reporting on Dr Li’s death – issued to the media by the Chinese authorities. If you’re asking yourself the question, “Do I need a VPN?”, this is an indicator you should consider.

Do I need a VPN

The rapid-fire spread of the coronavirus in China, alongside with this sad event, is a clear example of how transparency and openness can save lives, while censorship can lead to global disaster. 

Keeping a deadly disease hidden from the public consciousness only lets it fester and spread silently. Censorship has fed this infection to pandemic proportions. 

The state of the internet in China

The internet first arrived in China as a tool for the emerging “socialist market economy”. In 1998 the Golden Shield project was created. The Golden Shield project was a database project which gave the Chinese government the power to not only access the records of each citizen but to delete any comments online that were considered harmful to the Chinese government. 

https://media.torproject.org/image/community-images/

The image above showcases a simplified topology of the great firewall of China.

In a white paper, released by the government of China, it clearly states that “within Chinese territory, the internet is under the jurisdiction of Chinese sovereignty. The internet sovereignty of China should be respected and protected”. Here’s a direct link to a copy of the whitepaper.

I call bullshit. And so do a growing number of “dissidents” of the Chinese government. 

Looks like the citizens of China are finally getting woke - after decades of attempted brainwashing.

Government agencies have weakened the check-and-balance function that true journalism brings. “The local government’s tolerance level of different online voices is way too low,” wrote Hu Xijin on his social media – editor of the Global Times, a nationalist and party-controlled outlet.

“The current system looks so vibrant, yet it’s shattered completely by a government crisis…We gave up our rights in exchange for protection, but what kind of protection is it? Where will our long-lasting political apathy lead us” – writes a user on Chinese social media. This post was shared over 7000 times and liked 27,000 times. Then it was deleted [censored].

Zhang Ouya, a senior reporter at the state-run Hubei Daily wrote that “For Wuhan, please change the leadership immediately” – on his verified Weibo account. This post was shortly deleted, but not before a screenshot was circulated widely. This was followed by a leaked official document where the newspaper apologised to Wuhan officials with a promise that its staff would only post positive content. Only positive content – with a growing death count in China. 🙄🙄🙄

This outbreak is not only a national crisis – it’s a global health crisis with epic repercussions. On China Central Television, the state broadcaster shows a banquet held by leadership to celebrate the country’s successes. 

“Chinese social media are full of anger, not because there was no censorship on this topic, but despite strong censorship, it is still possible that the censorship will suddenly increase again, as part of an effort to control the narrative,” said Xiao Qiang, a research scientist at the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. Critics are finding new ways to dodge censors, referring to Xi Jingping, China’s top leader as “Trump” and/or comparing the coronavirus outbreak to the Chernobyl catastrophe. 

This week, police in the port city of Tianjin detained a man for 10 days for “maliciously publishing aggressive, insulting speech against medical personnel”. He had been critical of the response to the coronavirus outbreak in a WeChat group he shared with his friends.

China’s online censorship system, unaffectionately known as the Great Firewall, is also censoring any information the Chinese government deems a rumour.

What is classified as a rumour?

  • Posts of families with infected members seeking help
  • Posts by people living in quarantined cities documenting their daily lives
  • Posts criticising the way the Chinese government is handling this outbreak

The Chinese government has even announced that anyone attempting to disrupt social order by posting information with sources that are not from state-run media, will face three to seven years in jail. What the actual …fudge.

This censorship is not just a problem for Chinese citizens. It affects us all.

The World Health Organisation has declared a global health emergency. As the coronavirus spreads it becomes clear that one governments’ actions can have a global impact. 

A choke-hold on transparency, openness and the free flow of information does not just affect the country being censored. This is one of the reasons we must take a global stance against internet censorship as more and more countries draw borders around the flow of information.

China may be one of the worst offenders but it’s not alone. Still asking yourself “Do I need a VPN?” 😭

The internet as a means for openness and transparency

This is a very personal cause for me. I grew up in a country where freedom of speech wasn’t a given. The soft power that countries with authoritarian and totalitarian governments have increasingly global impact at the speed at which globalisation is moving. 

This is one of the many reasons I wake up every day to work on Mysterium Network. You can’t put a price on the work that our community is doing to ensure an open internet for all. It’s not just so you can stream shows you like, it could save lives, prevent pandemics and overthrow totalitarian governments. 

Mysterium網絡 is building a permissionless and distributed virtual private network. Mysterium Network will allow end-users in heavily censored regions access to the open internet.

Our network is for the people, by the people. What do we mean by that? Most nodes in our network [nodes provide IPs that open up the internet for end-users using MysteriumVPN] are residential IPs, meaning they are run in the homes by our community of hacktivists across the globe.

Join us on our mission to open the internet for all. Run a node.

In a region with internet censorship? Give MysteriumVPN a whirl – it’s free while we’re in the testing phase.