Mysterium Master Plan to Restore Our Privacy

Roberto Vis
Feb 1, 2018 · 6 min read

From our Whitepaper: “Our mission is to create a distributed, trustless and sustainable network — providing an open access and privacy to all Internet users.”

With this goal we’ve set ourselves onto an epic journey. Just to be clear — privacy to all Internet users cannot be ensured just by launching yet another VPN app and simply adding “decentralization” to it. It’s a lot more complicated. Truly aiming for this goal, we have to understand core elements of the Internet, design and create an adequate mechanism enabling private communication between any two points, constantly seek for any possible threats and develop ways neutralizing them.

In today’s world, our privacy is constantly breached at someone else’s will. Let’s see if we can create a safer world of tomorrow — one where our privacy is protected.

Elements delivering “Privacy on Demand”

At Mysterium, we’ve identified several elements needed to enable privacy:

I. Carefully designed Protocol, enabling any kind of Entity (e.g. IoT device, person, server etc.) to anonymously find another Entity, open up a private communication channel with it and engage in an uninterrupted/unmonitored conversation;

II. Decentralised Network of Nodes — various machines connected into the network and following the rules set out in the Protocol while providing the core service by encrypting/decrypting/shredding/recollecting/relaying messages between the “talking” entities.

Centralized vs Decentralized (from Mysterium video)

III. Coordinating Components designed to orchestrate all the processes such as payments or node discovery into a coherent “play” making sure that every element plays according to the protocol.

Control Tower

The result: in theory these elements alone could provide us with “Privacy on Demand”. In reality it would also require the user to be quite tech savvy in order to enjoy it, because he would be using Mysterium API instead of a friendly App. So you might ask — what’s next?

In order to ensure privacy is something everyone can enjoy, we must go one step further and create technological bridges — tools, designed for app developers, so they could use “Privacy on demand” anytime their process needs it.

That’s why from the very start we are designing Mysterium into “Network as a service”. Once developed, the whole network will act as a whole and provide privacy at a call of an API. Naturally, we will be working with various dApp developers-building real use cases.

This brings us to the final — IV’th Element:

IV. Ecosystem of dApps using Mysterium API will provide you with the wanted benefits like communication, music streaming, banking, etc. with Mysterium Network acting “behind the scenes” making sure that communication between you and whoever is on the other side (server, another person, bank, etc.) is kept private from prying eyes.

An Ecosystem (from Mysterium video)

Our Future is dCentralized

Today we can already see insights into how the human society and Internet protocols supporting it might look like in 10+ years.

We believe our future will be largely decentralized, governed by open, transparent organizations/products/protocols with dApps acting as an interface into this complex world of interconnected protocols.

Today we can already imagine its shape. Let’s take a very plausible case of dCentralized taxi. Instead of a central company, a protocol could enable people to run separate elements of such service(as an example, a single driver would represent a node in this network). Role of the protocol would be to make it safe for us to use it. It’s pretty foreseeable and most likely will happen within the next decade as there is a large economical incentive for this to happen: rides will become cheaper, drivers will make more money. So what’s stopping it?

Concept itself is simple and very understandable, the problem lies in technology — we still don’t know if it will stand the test of time, for example:

  • can current technology provide enough Scalability & Security.
  • Will it protect our personal privacy, financial security, physical security?

99 vs 1

Up until now a single company had to make sure all elements were in place (infrastructure, processes, rules, safeguards, etc.). Some companies are very well funded so they can build it all “inhouse”. However, this model creates huge “walled gardens”, fighting with all their power to protect “their market”, which in most cases only protects interests of a handful of investors comfortably residing at the top, the 1%.

We believe decentralization is taking us in a very different direction, where you as a developer can take a bunch of different protocols and networks, put them together, create your own elements on top — and you will have a perfectly functioning dApp, providing all sorts of benefits: streaming music, banking, taxi services, etc. This means — you don’t have to raise millions just to create your app anymore. Barrier is getting lower and lower, and there will be more and more networks providing you with all sorts of services for your dApps. A few examples:

  • Ethereum, Nem— decentralized networks providing access to smart assets, smart contracts;
  • Storj, Golem — decentralized networks providing access to data storage/computation;
  • Mysterium — decentralized network providing access to “Privacy on demand”.
Privacy breach (from Mysterium video)

Due to recent breaches into our privacy — public awareness of the phenomenon is growing at an increasing pace. In a decade it will be impossible to imagine that a dApp would not protect your privacy. But protecting privacy is a costly process, thus it would be way too wasteful for every dApp to develop their own privacy protocols, deploy their own network of nodes, etc..

That’s why it’s paramount that we work now on creating mechanisms allowing anyone to access “Privacy on Demand”, making sure these mechanisms are ready for dApp developers once decentralization shifts into higher gear with upcoming explosion of user oriented dApps.

This is essentially what we at Mysterium are doing now.


Mysterium acting as “Network as a Service”

To wrap up — all 4 elements in once place:

  • Protocol — a set of rules, describing the “mechanics”,
  • Network — of nodes, providing actual privacy service,
  • Coordinating components — making sure all communication is happening according to the protocol,
  • and finally dApps — using Mysterium whenever they need “Privacy” for end-to-end encryption/multi-hopping/etc..

Only by working together all 4 elements have a chance to ensure Privacy is not a luxury enjoyed by the few, but rather a normal state of everyday human experience.


The Plan

  1. Build Mysterium into “Network as a Service” designed to provide a single outcome: “Privacy on Demand”.
  2. Build at least 1 app by ourselves, showcasing the use case of the network (internally we have already started testing it).
  3. Grow a healthy Network of Nodes by developing an incentivization mechanism using crypto tokens.
  4. Work with developers all over the world building tools for them, so they could easily integrate “privacy” into their Apps/dApps.
  5. Create an unstoppable technology: Decentralize, Automate, Open Source.

With this post we are starting small mini-series of posts. Following we will post a more detailed Roadmap.

Thank you for reading this far. Please share your thoughts, or better join our other communication channels.

Mysterium Network

Decentralized VPN built on blockchain - https://mysterium.network

Thanks to Marta Kuz and Ramunas Norvaisas.

Roberto Vis

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Helping build an ecosystem of Empowerment.

Mysterium Network

Decentralized VPN built on blockchain - https://mysterium.network