Cool idea! What you are describing is pretty much exactly how Tor works. The only thing novel that it seems that you are adding is the idea of a “marketplace” and payment mechanism using Ethereum. You may be interested in reading up on the history of incentives for Tor nodes. Here are a few resources about that:
So how to proceed? My current idea is a combination of the two designs. The directory authorities give out digital…blog.torproject.org
Tor, the most popular anonymity network ever built, can help to hide your digital tracks from anyone, even intelligence…www.dailydot.com
One of the biggest concerns with adding an incentive for Tor nodes using cryptocurrency is that the blockchain could be used to de-anonymize users. These concerns might be satisfied using a protocol like Zcash (which could find its way into Ethereum) but then that raises other questions, like:
- Does the incentive for nodes result in more attacker nodes than honest nodes (since the cost to attack goes down), or does the number of honest nodes that are brought online by the incentive significantly outweigh the number of attacker nodes?
- Does adding a monetary cost to using Tor result in less people using it?
- Does the underlying cryptocurrency protocol scale to the number of users that we want to use this network? It might be worth exploring how protocols like TumbleBit could be used in combination with the Lightning Network to solve the scalability problem.