Recently, the Mysterium Network launched the world’s very first decentralized blockchain VPN. Mysterium coin (MYST) is a token on the Ethereum Network that is held to the ERC20 standards. With an end goal of democratizing and decentralizing VPNs worldwide. Now available on Android, macOS, and windows, the app is lacking in some areas that commercial VPNs cover. However, there is a fair selection of countries and nodes to choose from, some with pretty decent speeds.
Mysterium described their VPN app on their website, stating it is powered by the “OpenVPN protocol, which is an open source commercial software that implements virtual privacy techniques to create secure point-to-point or site-to-site connections in routed or bridged configurations and remote access facilities.
So, why would you want a decentralized VPN anyway? Well, in some areas there are government restrictions on centralized VPNs and IP ranges or ports associated with them, and you can never truly be sure a big company won’t share your information without your consent. If you want complete anonymity online, then using a decentralized VPN will give you secure, private access to the internet, keeping your information protected from hackers, and the government. No more trusting your information to corporations who don’t have your best interests in mind.
In recent years, many people consider our internet privacy to be under attack, from data being used for targeted, personalized advertising, to the influx of cyberattacks and scams that seem to pop up every other day. And with companies storing an ever-increasing amount of your data, the problem doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon.
VPNs, which stand for virtual private networks, can also mask an IP address, by assigning its users a different one, all provided by other users who are on the Mysterium Network. Decentralizing VPNs could be a big step forward for internet security. Moving a typical, centralized VPN onto a blockchain could undoubtedly add a new layer of privacy for their users. Mysterium seems to want a name for themselves as the world moves toward decentralization and even ensures all their source code is visible on their platforms. This means no secret servers collecting your data under the radar, and no hidden code doing something you aren’t aware of.
But, the Mysterium Foundation’s VPN is not only to be used for connecting anonymously to the internet. Users can also share any of their spare bandwidth to the network and earn tokens as a reward, the Mysterium coin. Running on the secure Ethereum blockchain, mysterium will be assuming the role of a marketplace, for the shared use of VPN services.
For the time being, Mysterium VPN is a great step towards a decentralized internet. In terms of the future, Mysterium has said they plan to work on shredding and jumbling data as it moves through their network, making this data harder and harder to recover. Although there is a lot of work to be done on the app before it can meet the standards of centralized VPNs already on the market, it’s definitely off to a good start.