Category

payments

Say Hello to The New Mysterium Node Windows Installer

windows installer

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

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

What does the installer actually do?

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

What new features & functionalities does this introduce? 

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

There are only 3 steps to get you started:

 

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

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

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

Time to Earn Bounties

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Final Phase: Our Polygon x Pre-Mainnet upgrade, with 6 New Features

We’re just a matter of months away from our Mainnet launch.

 

As we enter this final pre-Mainnet phase, our current testnet will be upgraded, which requires a migration of all user accounts so we can hit the ground running.

Our integration with Polygon is also now live, which means almost instant and gas-less payments.

We’re opening up this testnet up to a small group. The first 50 node runners to join the BETA program will earn 5 MYST for participating, and an additional 5 MYST for sharing valuable feedback. You can get all the details in our GitHub.

While this phase is our final polish on the backend, it also introduces a number of new features that you’ll get to enjoy early. 

Discover these below, and then read on to learn what comes next, including our big plans after Mainnet.

 


1. Fast and inexpensive withdrawals for node runners

 

Polygon (formerly Matic) is now in full throttle and powering the peer-to-peer payments system. Your transactions and withdrawals will be a fraction of the cost and speed. 

Upon our mainnet launch, node runners who currently collect tokens via Polygon will also have the alternative option to withdraw their earnings directly on Ethereum mainnet without dealing with costly fees and wait times.

With this new system, your earnings will be deposited directly from your Polygon wallet to your Ethereum one. This requires only one transaction, so with no extra validation or block processing time, it will be three times cheaper than current Polygon withdrawals.

(NB: While P2P micropayments are cheap because they’re held off-chain, actually withdrawing funds can be pricier due to the mainnet transaction required.)

During our pre-Mainnet phase, we will be testing the readiness of this feature, where withdrawals will be made from the Polygon Mumbai testnet to Ethereum Goerli testnet. 

2. Registrations are free…

All new users and nodes will be able to set their beneficiary wallet without paying a registration fee. There will be no need to earn some MYSTT before changing this beneficiary wallet address either. Your address will instead be stored in a local node database, and addresses are only recalled when payouts are happen

3…and also faster

On Polygon (including its testnet), blocks are mined faster and there are no gas price surges. We anticipate that new consumer identities will be registered almost instantly. This will apply for both new dVPN users and node runners.

4. Automagic pricing 

Nodes will no longer have to set prices manually, as prices will be chosen based on a supply and demand algorithm for each region. The algorithm will assess node type (such as residential or non-residential IP), location and quality. For example, all residential nodes in the United States will have the same price set by default. The more dVPN users choosing nodes in a certain region, the price will increase. If there is less demand, then prices will go down. 

This system functions similarly to Uber’s surge pricing, which determines price based on availability within the network.

The formula for this pricing is as follows:

Base Price x Load Coefficient

Load coefficient = active sessions / active providers in the region

The system will have adaptive pricing and evaluate the current MYST value. If token prices fluctuate, then the base price will adjust automatically.  

This is especially important for our upcoming Smart Connect feature, which forms groups of node pools with similar qualities, price and region. When users need to reconnect to a new node, it will be priced the same, creating equality of service.

5. Better node discovery

We wrote our node discovery service from scratch. It was originally coded in Python, but we’ve transitioned to GoLang and made some architectural changes, so it’s 1000 x faster than before. Now when you open the dVPN, loading the list of worldwide IP addresses will feel almost immediate. The code also allows app developers to filter and slice nodes in a much more flexible way than before. 

6. Better infrastructure, less downtime

Our network will have self-healing infrastructure. This means if faults occur, or there are potential attacks on the network, we will be better protected. 

Our support services are also being updated and will cover multiple regions and timezones.  

 

If you run a Mysterium node, don’t forget to join our Pre-Mainnet BETA testers group and get up to 10 MYST in bounties! Join here.

Drawing the new Mysterium Map

We’re on track for mainnet release in Autumn 2021. As our community (and the wider Ethereum industry) is aware, extreme network congestion and crippling gas fees left a lot of dapps in the dust. Our team had to re-route our original mainnet roadmap to ensure that we could still provide the best quality of service as a network that depends on millions of microtransactions every single day

Though we’ve suffered these delays, our network is now stronger than ever because of it. Upon launch, our Layer 2 and 3 solutions give both our users and node runners a lightning fast, gas-less user experience that remains unaffected by Ethereum’s issues.

But where to next?

Mysterium has some big plans following its mainnet launch. 

We will see the manifestation of our whitepaper and the culmination of three+ years of code, sweat and tears. Our community of node runners is literally the backbone of our network. This grassroots project would be nothing but an idea without this community bringing our peer-to-peer protocol alive.

Other than key product updates, including the iOS version of the dVPN, our next major milestones will move us into a new era of Mysterium.

Our new tokenomics model will help us scale the network and make it more robust. We want to reward every player in the network, and invite new ones to discover how P2P marketplaces can also join the world of decentralized finance.

Read about Tokenomics 2.0, powered by PARSIQ’s IQ Protocol.

 

We’re also spreading the Mysterium magic even further. We’ll have a core focus on growing our ecosystem and becoming a breeding ground for innovation. We’ve built a completely original protocol that we’re proud of and which is helping users all over the world facing censorship and surveillance in their daily lives. It’s time to make Web 3.0 a reality, and our post-mainnet plans will center around growing this space and making the internet truly blind to borders. 

Make sure you have the latest version of the dVPN, and learn more about running a node in our network.

See you on the other side of mainnet. 

Introducing $MYST Tokenomics 2.0, powered by the IQ Protocol

PARSIQ 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.

Mysterium and Storj Labs Link the Decentralised Web Together

Mysterium Storj

Mysterium and Storj collaborate to free the cloud through decentralized protocols

Decentralisation of the web is a global movement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why use Storj for container registry?

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

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

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

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

How can node operators benefit?

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

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

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

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

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

Mysterium VPN  available for AndroidMac and Windows.

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

$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

Mysterium Network Product Updates – February 2021

Mysterium Network is building a decentralised VPN.

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

Check out our latest product updates;

Our network achieved new milestones

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

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

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

Mysterium VPN suite of apps are being revamped

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have removed Google Analytics from our desktop apps.

 

Payments

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

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

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

 

Protocol

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

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

 

Company

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

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

Want to get involved in Mysterium Network today?

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

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

Mysterium Network Product Updates – November 2020

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

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

Check out these latest product updates;

 

Testnet 2.0 launched (beta)

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

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

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

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

 

Top up with your crypto of choice

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

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

 

Unblocked in China

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

 

Cleaner UI

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

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

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

 

Matic x Mysterium 

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

 

My.Mysterium.Network updates

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

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

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

Want to get involved in Mysterium Network today?

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

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

Matic Network powers Mysterium P2P payments

Are you ready for faster, cheaper dVPN transactions? Matic Network is making it happen for you!

 

We’re excited to share that we’ve partnered with Matic Network. We’re only weeks away from our live integration with their custom Layer 2 solution, which will provide all users of Mysterium dVPN with almost instant P2P payments, at a fraction of the cost. (Quite literally, it’s a millionth of a fraction…)

 

The problem we are solving with Matic Network

As the wider community is surely aware, we as an industry have been facing specific challenges with expensive transaction fees on the Ethereum blockchain. 

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.

Mysterium Network, with our pay as you go service, is a natural ally for emerging markets when high transaction fees on Ethereum lock these users out.

This integration with Matic Network will mean that Mysterium account creation and top-ups will happen on a sophisticated and scalable Layer 2 sidechain, instead of on the Ethereum blockchain.

MATIC network

What this means in technical terms:

  • Hermes, Mysterium’s accounting hub, will be running on both Ethereum and Matic – find out more about Hermes hub in our micropayments whitepaper.
  • You will be able to move MYST tokens onto Matic via a Hybrid Plasma-POS Bridge. This bridge provides a POS and a Plasma option to bridge assets between Ethereum and Matic. 
  • The mysterium payment system will support cross-chain payments. This means that VPN users can have funds on L2 Matic chain, and Mysterium node runners can accept funds on L1 (Ethereum)

 

Some relevant numbers – registration TX fee on…

ETH mainnet: 10.3322418978 MYST

Matic: 0.000005699966589 MYST

In short, Matic is  1, 812, 685 times cheaper!😱

 

Want to know more?

We have written extensively on the topic in the context of building out a global censorship-resistant layer. For those interested: 

  1. Layer 1, 2, 3 and beyond: The search for the cheapest and fastest microtransaction
  2. Introduction to micropayments in a decentralised virtual private network (dVPN)
  3. Read our technical deep dive on peer to peer micropayments.

Want to get involved in Mysterium Network today?

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

Follow us on Twitter for regular updates or jump into our discord channel to speak directly with the core team.

 

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.