Category

$MYST

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.

$MYST now on QuickSwap! Discover the fastest, cheapest way to trade

$MYST token is now listed on QuickSwap. You can trade MYST with a number of coins and cryptocurrencies at a fraction of the cost and speed when compared to other Ethereum-based DEXs.

 

To celebrate our listing on QuickSwap and support our community, we are also covering the costs of transferring your funds from Ethereum to Polygon blockchain. 

What is QuickSwap?

 

QuickSwap is a fork of Uniswap, the original Automated Market Maker. Uniswap is the largest decentralized exchange on Ethereum, significantly contributing to the increase of trading activity on the network. However, extreme network congestion has led to high transaction fees, making this DEX very expensive to use.

QuickSwap solved Ethereum’s congestion problem by deploying Polygon’s Layer 2 technology. (Polygon is formerly known as Matic Network, and we will refer to Matic during certain steps in the trading guide, as their wallet, token and network are still labelled as such.)

To provide users with the best possible speeds and price, QuickSwap plans and executes a sequence of multiple token swaps. For example, to convert my QUICK tokens to XYZ tokens at the best possible price, QuickSwap determines the best route is to convert QUICK into SX, then DAI and then XYZ. Moreover, you don’t have to figure this out for yourself, it’s just chosen and executed automatically.

Why have we chosen QuickSwap?

 

QuickSwap provides its users with several important benefits:

 

1. High-speed transactions at significantly low costs

At the time of writing, the cost of a ‘fast’ transaction (~30 seconds) on the Ethereum network is $11.51, while the price for a single Uniswap trade costs more than $100 in fees!

Ethereum transaction gas costs as of April 2d, 2021.

 

In comparison, transactions via Polygon can be confirmed in as little as several seconds, at a cost of around $0.00002 USD.

Matic transaction gas costs as of March 31st, 2021. 

2. Familiar and easy-to-use interface

You can trade on QuickSwap directly from your wallet. Furthermore, if you have used Uniswap previously, you will have no issues when switching to QuickSwap as their interface is very similar.

3. Ability to earn passive income by providing liquidity + receive QUICK tokens

As with Uniswap, every user is able to earn passive income by providing liquidity to the various liquidity pools. Every trade on QuickSwap costs 0.3% of the total amount, a fee which is then split equally among liquidity providers based on their owned percentage of the pool. Additionally, liquidity miners also receive QUICK governance tokens.

How to trade MYST on QuickSwap

Now that you understand the benefits of trading via QuickSwap, it’s time to get moving. If you’ve already used QuickSwap in the past and have some tokens ready, you can start trading here. 

Otherwise, there’s some initial setup, including transferring your tokens from the Ethereum network so you can finally avoid that traffic jam and high gas costs. 

Step 1: Add a custom RPC for MATIC to your wallet

If you can’t see “Matic Mainnet” listed among your available networks in your wallet, you need to set this up before transferring funds and begin using QuickSwap. 

You can do this by adding “Matic Mainnet RPC” as a custom network in your wallet.

For MetaMask wallet users, press the network selection button on the top of the app. Go to “Custom RPC”:

After pressing “Custom RPC”, you should see a screen allowing you to set up a custom RPC. 

Enter the following Matic Mainnet details shown in the screenshot below:

Network Name: Matic Mainnet

New RPC URL: https://rpc-mainnet.matic.network

Chain ID: 137

Symbol: MATIC

Block Explorer URL: https://explorer.matic.network/

Once entered, press the “Save” button. That’s it! You are now connected to the Matic Mainnet.

 

Step 2: Move tokens from Ethereum to Matic Network

To move your funds from from Ethereum blockchain to the Matic one, you can use the Matic bridge:
https://wallet.matic.network/bridge/

You can then connect your own wallet of choice:

And sign the signature request:

After you have connected your wallet, you will see the Matic Wallet V2 interface. You should press “Move funds to Matic Mainnet”:

If you are transferring MATIC tokens, you will need to use the Plasma bridge. 

If you are transferring ERC20 like MYST or ETH, please use the PoS bridge.

The currency shown by default on this transfer module will be ETH, but you can choose the funds you would like to transfer, as shown in the next screenshot.

Once you select your chosen cryptocurrency, type the amount you’d like to transfer:

After you have chosen the desired cryptocurrency and its amount, press the “Transfer” button:

In the next step you will see a warning message. Press “Continue”:

On the next screen, you will see the transfer overview with the cost of each transaction in the process:

After pressing Continue, you will see the estimated transaction fee. Press “Continue” again:

You will need to finally confirm the transaction in your wallet: 

It can take nearly 8 minutes and two transactions to successfully transfer your funds to Matic. This should cost you approximately $25-20 (at the time of writing), so make sure you have enough ETH in your wallet to cover this fee.

You can also use this guide to transfer your funds back onto the Ethereum blockchain, if you need to one day.

Step 3: Claim you free MATIC tokens when you make a trade

To acquire free MATIC tokens with your next QuickSwap trade, go to the Quickswap.Exchange and on the right upper corner press the “CLAIM MATIC” button. Please be aware that you can only claim free tokens when you currently have no MATIC in your wallet. You will also need to have at least 1 DAI/USDC/USDT in your wallet.

Check your wallet to ensure that you received 0,1 Matic. 

Step 4: Swap for MYST

Choose the desired cryptocurrency for swap by pressing on “MATIC”:

You will see a list of all tokens available for trade. You can find MYST by typing it in the search bar:

You can also check the available liquidity pools by pressing the “Charts” button:

You can provide liquidity by pressing the “Add liquidity” button:

 

You can withdraw your funds at any time using the same Matic dashboard. 

And that’s it – you can now make super quick trades at a fraction of a cent! If you still have any questions, jump into our Telegram, Twitter or Discord and our team can help you out.

Happy swapping.

 

Some other useful links:

How to transfer funds from Ethereum to Matic

How to trade on QuickSwap

How to add tokens to liquidity pools on QuickSwap

$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.

Testnet 2.0 is here – Ready for your all-crypto VPN?

New year, new testnet.

Last month we shared details of Mysterium’s testnet upgrade, which came with some exciting new features and functionalities.

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.

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. Download Mysterium dVPN today.

 

What is Testnet 2.0?

Mysterium has been running on a Testnet 1.0 for some time as we battletest and refine the code before our mainnet release on Ethereum. This constant process of revision will ensure the dVPN is robust and glitch-free upon its full launch. This is imperative, as when this happens, the app will already be serving hundreds of thousands of users, with a supporting and worldwide node network.

We gave access to the latest iteration of the dVPN to a small handful of BETA testers. Now we’ve received and acted upon their feedback, we’re ready to introduce all Mysterium dVPN users and Node Runners to Testnet 2.0

With this network upgrade, called Testnet 2.0, a number of things have changed, such as 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!

Read about all these new updates in more detail, as well as how to upgrade and claim your node in Testnet 2.0, in our guide.

Download Mysterium dVPN – now crypto enabled

In a world where censorship is growing rampant, now it is more important than ever to understand your digital rights. With Mysterium Network, we are working to provide a censorship-free internet to all.

Mysterium dVPN has been upgraded to Testnet 2.0, which means you will get some free test tokens. After you run out of these tokens, you’ll be prompted to top up with MYST, BTC, LTC or other cryptocurrencies. Check out our upgraded apps on Testnet 2.0 and let us know what you think.

Time to migrate your MYST tokens

Mysterium Network has been hard at work building a decentralised VPN. To date, we have maintained an incentivised test network of residential IPs for over a year. Our next step, peer to peer payments – which come with Mysterium Mainnet.

Relevant Reads:

  1. Mysterium Token Migration Guide 
  2. The Road to Mainnet: Mysterium Product Roadmap Update 

Mysterium Network began our token migration as part of our wider move to MainNet. To date, we have migrated about 15 million legacy tokens.

As we approach Mainnet, we would like to encourage our core community to migrate legacy MYST tokens. To help this initiative along, we are launching an airdrop between the 18 & 25 November 2020! 

We are launching an airdrop between the 18 & 25 November 2020!

Why an airdrop?

We plan to compensate MYST token holders for the high Ethereum transaction fees they might incur during the token migration process.

To reiterate terms of our token migration: 

  1. This a 1:1 token migrations
  2. No new tokens will be created

Want to get 10 MYST airdropped into your wallet? 

  • Migrate your tokens from your old addresses to a new one from 00:00 between the 18 & 25 November 2020
  • Regardless of the number of tokens that you own, we will compensate you 10  MYST (One user gets 10 MYST). 
  • Multiple applications from one participant, as well as other actions that can be qualified as fraud, will result in disqualification from this airdrop. Simply put, no MYST if you try to game the system. 
  • MYST tokens will be distributed to new token addresses between 26 November and 2 December 2020

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.

How can I get support migrating my legacy MYST tokens?  

 We have an easy to follow token migration guide to get you started, otherwise jump into our and speak directly with our core community and team.

How can I get support on this airdrop?

If you have any issues with the airdrop after successfully completing all terms of requirements, please, write to us at [email protected]

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.

Layer 1, 2, 3 and beyond: The search for the cheapest and fastest microtransactions

How many layers does it take to get cheap and fast microtransactions?

Building on top of a quickly iterating Layer-2 scaling ecosystem has meant murky navigation of several new technologies. This is especially difficult for builders looking to find workarounds for high transaction fees on the Ethereum blockchain. 

The recent DeFi boom has led to users cramming into Ethereum Network and creating a large backlog of unprocessed transactions. This has meant network congestion, and high transaction fees – both of which are natural killers for decentralized applications and networks. 

Why are cheap and fast microtransactions important for decentralized networks? 

In Mysterium, a decentralized VPN, payments are peer to peer. Consumers of VPN are directly paying exit node runners for VPN service. As such, there is no middleman with the power to freeze payments. This means that payments happen minute by minute, with transaction values as small as 0.0001 USD (in our native token MYST).

The nature of the peer to peer, and second by second service consumption mean that decentralized VPNs, and other incentivized distributed networks depend on microtransactions as a means of reducing risk within their network economy. Learn more about peer to peer technologies.

Earlier this year, we released our own Layer 2 solution (based on payment channels) on Testnet. This enabled users to transact with one another autonomously, without a need for an intermediary (including us) and without touching Layer 1 (Ethereum blockchain). This introduced super cheap and instant transactions, and allowed paying with values as small as $0.0001.

However, one of the challenges with payment channels, our protocol included, is the need to have specific on-chain transactions. In the case of Mysterium Network this is seen in two events, dVPN account creation and top-up. 

Onward - the search for scalability

User story: As a user in Nigeria, I am looking for a VPN solution that lets me pay for what I consume. I am unable to afford the expensive subscription pricing of traditional VPNs. I try Mysterium VPN, which allows me to stream a video for $0.05 USD in MYST on their freemium version. I run out of free MYST and want to add an additional $1 USD (in MYST). I try to top up. It costs me $2.25 in ethereum tx fees to top up my Mysterium Account. I delete the app.

See our how our userbase is growing in Nigeria.

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.

Methodology: An Overview of Existing Solutions

Recently at Mysterium we did more research on various Layer 2 solutions and conducted an overview of the most recognised and trustworthy ones in 2020. In this overview, we looked at different sidechains, taking into consideration the differing motivations and user personas of actors within Mysterium Network – [Consumer/ User; Provider/ Mysterium Node Runner]. 

1. Sidechains or alternative blockchains with bridges to Ethereum blockchain

These types of solutions are characterised by xDAI, MaticRSK (RSK is creating bridges into Ethereum, meaning that you can technically move Ethereum based assets onto this Bitcoin sidechain).

The main value proposition of these solutions is they are scalable, capital efficient and offer fast withdrawal into Layer 1. The main drawback is that validators control the network and are able to freeze and confiscate funds with consensus.

This make sidechains unattractive to DeFi (who lock hundreds of millions) offerings, while they remain relevant for a decentralized VPN use case such as Mysterium Network. This is due to the fact that DeFi carries with it different risks when compared to a dVPN.

Matic Network

The following two examples, Plasma and Rollups are different articulations of sidechains, built more specifically for the Ethereum ecosystem.

2. Plasma

Plasma is a framework proposed for scaling Ethereum using hierarchical sidechains. Plasma type sidechains (also referred to as child chains) allow a majority of transactions to occur outside of the Ethereum blockchain. Only deposits and withdrawals, and points of entry and exit are handled on the main blockchain smart contract.

To make sure that transactions are final, Plasma operators run a “state commitment”. This is a cryptographic method for storing a compressed version of the state of sidechain inside the Ethereum blockchain. This storage of a compressed version of the state impacts the user experience of Plasma as it makes it challenging for users to withdraw their tokens. Users are required to be both online frequently and to download data.

While offering significant speed (up to 1000 transactions per second) and latency improvements over Ethereum, Plasma cannot offer the near-zero latency and near-free transaction fees required for a decentralized VPN micropayments solution.

One of the differentiators, and drawbacks of Plasma as a Layer 2 solution is it allows users to leave the network at any time – an action referred to as “exiting”. This means that users can safely withdraw their funds from Plasma even if it is shut down by validators. But this has to be done in a certain period of time and done by everyone. Read more about the mass exit problem in Plasma.

Another drawback, Plasma is not 100% EVM compatible. This would mean any decentralized application building on Ethereum would have to update their smart contracts or it might even not be possible to build on Plasma

Dive deeper into Plasma and its potential applications within distributed networks in Mysterium Network’s Micropayments Whitepaper.

Plasma network

3. Rollups

Rollups are Layer-2 scaling solutions similar in form to Plasma in that a single mainchain contract holds all funds and a cryptographic commitment to larger sidechain state. This state is maintained by users and operators offchain, providing an independence from Layer 1 storage. This is the biggest scalability benefit of Rollups.

 

    1. Optimistic Rollups


      Optimistic Rollups are constructions which enable autonomous smart contracts on Layer 2 using OVM. Borrowing heavily from both Plasma and ZK Rollup designs, Optimistic Rollups trades of some scalability to enable running fully general smart contracts on Layer 2, secured by Layer 1.

      It promises an easy way to migrate existing decentralized solutions and services with a reasonable degree of security/ scalability trade offs. Karl Floresch goes into more detail on Optimistic Rollups and OVM.

    2. ZK Rollups


      ZK Rollups is a Layer 2 solution where data is placed onchain.

      With ZK Rollups operators generate Zero-Knowledge Proof (SNARK) for every state transition, making it impossible for operators to commit an invalid or manipulated state.

      ZK Rollups should theoretically be able to process up to 2,000 transactions per second. 


ZK Rollups solution differs from Plasma as it solves the mass exit problem, meaning that validators are unable to freeze funds and users have no time limit to move funds out of Layer 2 even in case of emergency This makes ZK Rollups a great fit for both DeFi or cold wallets for Hodlrs. 

Its most known application is Loopring, a next-generation high-performance decentralized exchange and payment protocol also focused on scalability.

The challenge with ZK Rollups is the fundamental limitation in transaction amounts [2000 transactions per second], with current real world implementation, Loopring, achieving 500 transactions per second. 

Also, while transaction costs are lower than Ethereum, they cannot in theory be more than 100 times cheaper than Ethereum’s transaction costs. Most like 20 – 50 times cheaper according to our math.

Also, ZK Rollups are the more sophisticated and long term answer. Which as always, will take a longer time to implement. 

zKRollup

4. Payment channels

We have written extensively about payment channels both within our micropayments whitepaper released in 2019, and in several of our more recent updates:

    1. Introducing micropayments on Mysterium Network
    2. MYST, Migration and Mainnet
    3. Mysterium Network begins token migration

TL;DR

Payment channels fuse together the technologies and methodologies used by other payment solutions such as State Channels.

With payment channels parties exchange digital value without committing transactions to the blockchain. Only channel opening and closing are logged on the blockchain.

To open payment channels both parties have to lock some funds into a multisig smart contract. This allows both parties to update channel balances without the fear that funds will be double spent or stolen.

As these microtransactions are “commitments” rather than on-chain payments, we drastically reduce the total amount of transactions sent to the blockchain.

We dive deeper into what payment channels are, and how we envision them functioning in our micropayments whitepaper. Read more.

How are payment channels different from Plasma, ZK Rollups and Sidechains?

Layer 2 solution

From a technical perspective, Plasma and zkRollups – all fall into a wider umbrella of sidechains. Sidechains are fundamentally different in nature from payment channels. We highly recommend “Evaluating Ethereum Layer 2 Scaling Solutions: A Comparison Framework” for a deeper dive into the distinct differences between sidechains.

In our comparison of Layer-2 solutions, we saw that while Rollups are great in terms of security and give significant scalability over Layer 1, they do not completely solve for the challenge of micropayments needed for Mysterium Network. They have a limit of 2K tx/sec, and they don’t give users instant finality. Also the transaction price is still too expensive for $0.001 transactions.

In the following section we will explain how payment channels, and more specifically unidirectional payment channels are the best fit for the peer to peer decentralized virtual private network use case in Mysterium Network.

Payment channels are different as they are:

  • Flexible – i.e. able to live on layer 3, or 2 
  • Cheapest solution when it comes to transaction fees.
  • Most scalable in terms of peer to peer payments.
  • Could be used for cross-chain payments (e.g. from one side-chain to another, or from Layer 1 to Layer 2).

Sidechains (broadly speaking to include Plasma and ZK Rollups) bring with them limitations on transaction amounts. Payment channels on the other hand, could be foundational to cross-chain interoperability as they allow payments to move from one chain to another without custody – with zero costs, and in seconds. Don’t take my word for it, hear it from Vitalik himself.

Unidirectional vs Bi-directional payment channels

Why unidirectional payment channels?

In the case of Mysterium Network, most network actors are either consumers or providers (nodes) of VPN service. Payments are always going in one direction. There is only a need for providers (Mysterium Nodes) to rebalance the payment channel and settle earned tokens on Layer 1. 

Bi-directional payment channels are more complex and do not give Mysterium Network’s use case much value. Also, thanks to unidirectional payment channels our consumers don’t need to have apps online all the time to ensure that their funds will not be stolen. 

 

Payment Channels as Layer 3, on top of Layer 2 

As we continued to take apart different Layer 2 solutions, we came to the same conclusion. Payment channels – as described in our micropayments whitepaper – should be on Layer 3. 

  • Consumers of VPN service need at least one onchain transaction to top up their funds. With payment channels on Layer 3, we can capitalise on cheaper channel openings (account creation) and top-ups on Layer 2. So adding $1 to your dVPN app account will cost users 2 cents, not 2 dollars. This would greatly reduce friction in onboarding new users.
  • Providers of VPN service need at least one onchain transaction once in a week or so to receive their funds. In payment channels, once the value of the offchain commitment is bigger than the channel size, a settlement onchain is required. By offering flexibility we can let providers choose whether they choose to settle on Layer 2, or Layer 1.

    Why is this important? Some providers may send their funds to DeFis or exchanges often, this will mean moving from Layer 2 to Layer 1 regularly. As such being on Layer 1 makes more sense for providers with this particular profile. 

In a world of zkrollups, payment channels can be used as bridges within networks. – Vitalik Buterin

In conclusion: Multichain, cross-chain and the future of interoperability

We did all that research to find a solution for our own problem. We believe that we found it! 

Just to recap:

  • Ethereum transaction fees are killers for decentralized applications and services which depend on cheap onchain transactions
  • ZK Rollups seem to be a promising Layer 2 solution, but unfortunately, it is new and smart contract support is only on testnet. We will need to wait for at least half a year or longer. 
  • There are good sidechains such as xDAI and Matic network, but no one knows which will gain mass adoption or how they will evolve. Being tightly connected to one blockchain is a risk to Mysterium Network, or any decentralized service. It may mean a hard and complex migration in the future. 
  • Payment channels are able to be used in cross-chain transactions – this means that consumers of VPN services can hold their wallets on Layer 2, while a provider is on a different Layer 2 or even on a Layer 1 blockchain. 

Mysterium Network will be deployed on multiple chains and we already are working on cross-chain payments support. We see this as the future for most payment channel-based solutions. 

Exciting updates to our roadmap and partnership announcements coming soon. If you haven’t already – Get Mysterium VPN: Free on Testnet.

Mysterium – now on uniswap 🦄

Mysterium integrates UniswapV2 and launches MYST liquidity pool!

Mysterium Network is fast approaching its launch on mainnet. This exciting event will allow all users to pay for privacy services using our native MYST token, which has not had its utility potential unleashed – until now. 

MYST is the token at the heart of Mysterium Network. It acts like digital fuel, serving various functions and bringing different network security and stability functions into Mysterium Network.

As stated in our founding whitepaper, MYST is a utility token. Therefore, providing liquidity for MYST prior to our dVPN launch has not been a focal point for the project. However, we anticipate that purchasing MYST may become a friction point for many new users who are keen to explore and use Mysterium VPN. Most of our users are not crypto-savvy, and may be unsure about where to begin or where to find the token.

Read: Did you know we’re upgrading the MYST token? Learn how to migrate your tokens here.

After collecting responses from a community survey, we learned that half of our current node runners prefer to receive their payments in Ether (ETH). Our survey has also shown considerable demand for payment settlements in Ether or stable coins. This is a feature we will look to implement in the future.

Our main focus is on growing traffic within the network, and in making it more resilient. We want to remove friction in our user journey, first for early adopters who hold crypto, and then to a wider audience. The large community of ETH and other ERC-20 token holders are a natural fit for Mysterium VPN. But they need an easy way to swap for MYST, creating a seamless onboarding experience.

To meet these requirements, Mysterium will be integrated with popular DEX platform Uniswap.

What is Uniswap?

Uniswap is a decentralized exchange. A decentralized exchange (DEX) is a peer to peer marketplace for cryptocurrencies that involves smart contracts instead of traditional third parties, such as brokers. It allows users to trustlessly swap Ethereum-based tokens. You can swap your tokens directly with other tokens supplied by their liquidity pools. 

A platform like Uniswap is just the interface for accessing these liquidity pools. Instead of a traditional order book, Uniswap pools all tokens into smart contracts, and users trade against these liquidity pools. Liquidity pools can be funded by projects or by users themselves, which are often rewarded with a percentage of the fees generated from all trades. Anyone is able to swap tokens, add tokens to a pool, or create a new pool (list a new token) on Uniswap. 

With decentralised exchanges, the process of trading is automated by smart contracts. You don’t have to have an account with the individual DEX platform – you just link your preferred wallet which signs and executes the transactions. 

How will the integration improve your experience?

We have created a liquidity pool for MYST on Uniswap. We’ll then integrate this pool with Mysterium’s backend, so it connects to our payments protocol, Hermes. Hermes is Mysterium’s native payments infrastructure which enables P2P transactions between all users (service providers and their customers).

Our service providers (node runners) will also be able to choose whether their payments are settled in MYST, or swapped directly into ETH, with a click of a button. This can also be done automagically, with settlement features that allows nodes to set certain thresholds which settle automatically when they are met. In the future, DAI will also be available as a payment option.

On the user side, this integration enables us to onboard broader communities into Mysterium Network. New users will be able to send ETH (or an ERC-20 token of their choice) to their Mysterium account, and receive MYST almost instantly to begin paying nodes for their services straight away. This means that a user won’t necessarily need to know what MYST is to use Mysterium Network. 

The MYST community is invited to provide liquidity to the Uniswap pool. This also provides an opportunity to earn a share of all fees from trades made through the Uniswap pool. 

In the future, we plan to integrate with other DEX platforms like Changelly to help connect BTC and other blockchain communities into Mysterium Network.

Ready to dive into MYST liquidity pool?

Excited about Uniswap x MYST? So are we. You’ll be able to provide liquidity yourself or simply swap your ETH for MYST ahead of our launch. 

Mysterium Network wouldn’t exist without its committed community of node runners and users. For this growing community of netizens committed to keeping the internet free, we are endlessly thankful. Interested in helping? Find out how you can run a node.

If you haven’t already, check out Mysterium dVPN available for Windows, Mac and Android. All our client applications are currently in testnet – so are currently free for a limited time. Try them out!