Understanding Privatix Network

Privatix, making possible for users to find and consume services in a decentralized environment without a 3rd party. And for developers — to easily make their own services as DApps, leveraging built-in Privatix Network Core features, like billing, discovery, messaging, service life-cycle management, smart contracts, service provisioning, and even common user interface features on Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu.


At first sight, the whole project we generally call “Privatix Network” may seem complicated and not that easy to understand. The different parts and products with all their definitions may be a bit confusing for non-tech-savvy readers.

However, if the explanations are clear and simple enough, most readers shouldn’t have too much trouble understanding.

In this article, we’ll explain our project as clearly and simply as we can. So it’s a good place to start for people who’ve just discovered us and want to find out more without having to do a lot of digging.

At the same time, we’ve also attached cross-links for more technical documentation for readers who want to dive in.

Good luck and don’t forget to follow our news on twitter, telegram and medium.

1. Privatix Network: CORE

The foundation for everything is the core components that make it possible to buy and sell numerous services (i.e. Bandwidth ) in a decentralized and autonomous manner.

Each component has its own unique function, but together they all work like a single mechanism.

Privatix software consists of:

  • Privatix core — responsible for billing and orchestrating service life-cycle.
  • Service plug-in — package that contains everything that’s needed to provide or consume a single service (e.g. VPN).
  • User interface — single interface to control all operations.

Please note: Privatix will be focused on network bandwidth as a service, leaving other possible service plug-ins to be created by other developers.

All Privatix Network Core components are released under an open source license, which gives anyone the power to modify and copy the software and to distribute modified copies. The software is released in a transparent way that allows independent verification of binaries and their source code. The Privatix company will not benefit from keeping IP (patents) away from Privatix Network Core components. If any patents are obtained for Privatix Network Core components, the sole purpose will be to provide protection against the tech giants trying to prevent this project from spreading.

1.1 Privatix core

Full name: Privatix Core
Source code:
https://github.com/Privatix/dappctrl

The Privatix Core is responsible for:

  • messaging between providers and consumers
  • communication with blockchain and other components
  • service lifecycle management
  • billing and payments

The Privatix Core supports multiple services. In order to add service support to Privatix Core, users have to download and import a service plug-in (see below). We are focused on developing bandwidth related service plug-ins (e.g. VPN service plug-in)

In early versions, we will ship VPN service plug-in together with Privatix Core. When more service plug-ins become available (i.e. Socks 5 Proxy, etc.), users can decide for themselves which ones they want to download and install.

Service plug-ins may be available for download from Privatix repository or from 3rd party repositories.

The vision for the final production version is that the software should be cross-platform, easy to install and use, as lightweight and censorship-resistant as possible.

Final version platforms: Windows, OSX, Linux (Ubuntu), Mobile*

1.2 Service plug-in

Full name: Service plug-in for Privatix core
Source code:
https://github.com/Privatix/dapp-openvpn (dapp-openvpn)

The service module is a pluggable module that adds support for specific services (e.g. VPN). After installing the module, the user can buy or sell the respective service.

The service module contains:

  • Offering template — has all fields required to describe the service parameters and offering conditions. A cryptographic hash locks its format between seller and buyer. Template guarantees that all providers and consumers “speak the same language” regarding a particular service. Each offering is strictly validated for compliance with the template it was created from.
  • Access template — has all the data the provider needs to supply so that the client can start using the service (e.g. IP address, authentication credentials, service parameters). A cryptographic hash locks its format between all parties. Access based on this template is generated automatically by the Privatix core and validated by the consumer for compliance with the corresponding template.
  • Client adapter (for consumers)— adapter for specific client software (e.g. VPN client). It is used by clients to consume specific service. At a minimum, the client adapter will provide the following functionality: Start the client; Stop the client; Report usage statistics (e.g. Megabytes, seconds, etc.)
  • Server adapter (for providers) — adapter for specific server software (e.g. VPN server). Used by providers to deliver a specific service. At a minimum, the server adapter will provide the following functionality: Authenticate user via service controller; Report start of usage; Report end of usage; Report service usage statistics (e.g. Megabytes, seconds, etc.)
  • Additional software — any additional software to automate service delivery or consumption.

1.3 Smart contracts

Smart contracts are fundamental to guarantee payments in trustless environment. We have two types of smart contract. One that is used both as an entry point and for exchanging PRIX tokens. The other is used strictly for offerings and service payments. Users can move tokens back and forth between smart contracts at any time via a simple user interface.

1.3.1 Token contract

Full name: Privatix Token Contract (PTC)
Source code:
https://github.com/Privatix/smart-contract

Privatix Token Contract is a standard ERC20 contract that is used solely for PRIX token exchanges directly between Ethereum accounts. To provide or consume services on Privatix Network, users must first transfer some tokens to the Privatix Service Contract (see below).

1.3.2 Service contract

Full name: Privatix Service Contract (PSC)
Source code:
https://github.com/Privatix/dapp-smart-contract

Privatix service contract (PSC) is a smart contract on Ethereum that provides the following functionality:

  • allows decentralized offering discovery
  • guarantees fair payments in a zero trust environment
  • reduces the chance of non-relevant offerings
  • prevents overbidding by controlling available supply on offer
  • native aging for old offerings
  • provides the basis for a decentralized rating system
  • motivates fair usage

1.4 Messaging channel

Full name: Privatix Messaging Channel

Storing data in the blockchain is costly. On the other hand, service offerings, authentication credentials, and service parameters must be able to pass from Agents to Clients at an acceptable price. To make it possible, Privatix will store in blockchain URL of Agent, that can be contacted for offering details and for access to service.

1.4.1 Messaging channel transport

Messaging channel currently supports two types of transport:

  • anonymous
  • direct

Anonymous channel transport makes communication of Client and Agent completely anonymous, keeping both parties IP addresses in secret. It means, that Agent can place offering and remain completely anonymous. The client gets the same anonymity when discovering those offerings.

Plain channel transport makes exactly the same job, but IP address of Agent will be publicly available and Agents may harvest IP addresses of Clients, who contacts them for offerings. This method is disabled by default but can be enabled by users, who prefer simpler and faster discovery and don’t care about revealing their IP address.

1.4.2 Offering message

The offering message contains the full offering data. It is always created from an offering template, which is immutable for all Agents and Clients.

Each offering is unique, linked to offering template and identifiable by a cryptographic hash. To create a new offering, Agent fills offering template, cryptographically signs new offering and gets a hash from it. After that, he publishes this hash, together with Agent’s URL to the blockchain. Client’s get notified about newly published offering link and contact Agents directly full offering message. This communication is done over a messaging channel and can be completely anonymous. Offering itself does not contain any sensitive information, and thus is public and not encrypted.

1.4.3 Access message

The access message is used to send data from Agent to Client to grant access to the service. It may include custom information, but usually, it contains:

  • address of the Agent’s server
  • payment address
  • credentials for service access
  • various service-specific parameters (e.g. protocol, certificate, etc.)

This message is generated after the Client has accepted the offering. It is then encrypted using the Client’s public key and thus can be decrypted only by the intended recipient.

1.5 Service software

Privatix Network is a platform for buying and selling various services. Any service that can be measured on seller’s and buyer’s side, using a single parameter, might be bought and sold via Privatix Network without a 3rd party. There is no escrow party, that can decide if service was provided or consumed. Instead, service is sold and paid in such small portion, that risk for misbehavior considered neglectable.

Privatix Core can work with different services, not only VPN. Privatix service plug-ins rely on a generic and modular architecture, making possible for any developer to bring his own services as DApps, leveraging built-in Privatix Core features, like billing, discovery, messaging, service life-cycle automation, smart contracts, and even common user interface features.

As a company, Privatix is focused on developing service agnostic platform and services specialized on internet bandwidth.

1.5.1 VPN Agent

Full name: Privatix VPN Agent
Source code:
https://github.com/Privatix/dapp-openvpn (dapp-openvpn)

VPN Agents (or “exit node owners”) are users who want to share/sell their broadband. Agents install Privatix Core with VPN service plug-in on their Internet-connected devices which enables them to sell/share their internet bandwidth.

Privatix VPN Agent supports multiple servers controlled by a single Agent software program. Servers can reside on a machine different from the one running the service controller — this greatly improves security and scalability. At the same time, the scenario allows centralized VPN providers who are already operating to use Privatix network to promote their services to new customers without any investments.

Services: OpenVPN (obfuscated), Socks5 (obfuscated), other*
Final version platforms: Windows, OSX, Linux (Ubuntu), Android

Final version use-case :

  • Download and install software
  • Define what percentage of the current bandwidth to share
  • Receive payment in PRIX (can be converted to any cryptocurrency) for bandwidth sold directly

1.5.2 Client

Full name: Privatix VPN Client
Source code:
https://github.com/Privatix/dapp-openvpn (dapp-openvpn)

Client software makes it possible to discover Agent`s offerings, accept them and connect to VPN Agents (exit node owners). It will automatically configure VPN service on the Client side. When Client will start using VPN service, it will automatically pay for VPN traffic in small portions. Any time, Client has the right to stop using the service. No subscriptions anymore. No payments in advance. Just real “pay as you go”.

Services: OpenVPN (obfuscated), Socks5 (obfuscated), other*
Final version platforms: Windows, OSX, Linux (Ubuntu), Android

Final version use-case :

  • Download and install software
  • Obtain payment currency (PRIX)
  • Choose bandwidth channels offered by the agent and connect
  • Pay Agent directly for use of bandwidth

2. Additional services

Exactly like Consensys or Parity, which have developed critical infrastructure and services around the Ethereum blockchain, we plan to fuel the Privatix Network in the same way. Some services are must-haves for rapid growth and mass adoption, even though they aren’t crucial, and some are just nice to have. We would be happy if any developers do any of the following:

  • see the potential of this project as we do
  • find benefits in the modular and generic architecture
  • contribute to this project, either by helping with Privatix Core development or by developing their own service plug-in

2.1 Explorer (dashboard)

Full name: Privatix Network Dashboard
Address:
https://privatix.network

The main function of the Dashboard is to collect data from the blockchain regarding all Privatix-related services and represent the current and historic state of the network: how many nodes (agents) we have, how many megabytes have been transferred, how many service offerings published, closed, etc.

A dashboard with an understandable graphic interface is not essential for network workability. Anyone can get this data from the blockchain. But, as a development team, we need to track key metrics, and we also believe it may help the public to better understand how the Privatix network is used.

https://privatix.network

2.2 Bandwidth marketplace

Full name: TBA
Source code: TBA

As we’ve mentioned above, two of the major actors in our network are Agents (selling bandwidth) and Clients (buying bandwidth). The goal is to help supply to meet demand as quickly and efficiently as possible in a way that benefits both sides.

Basic elements of this additional service on top of Privatix Network are an Auction and a Fiat payments gateway. The fiat payment gateway will allow users to pay for bandwidth with popular payment methods like credit cards, etc. At the backend, the service will perform all operations with PRIX and ETH via API calls to the relevant exchanges. This will increase the rate of mass adoption and provide a real source of information about bandwidth prices in real time. Moreover, there are many interesting services currently under development that may be integrated in the future, 0x and Airswap for example.

In our vision, the auctions are intended to make it easier for buyers to match up with the most appropriate sellers. At this time, we don’t yet have a final vision of this service, but we tend to use a second-price auction model, as on the Google Adwords platform, especially as we also have a bandwidth quality parameters.

Basically, this Marketplace may contain other functionality to serve the goal. Some of this may be transferred to build-in Client/Agent functionality, some may not. In addition, some services may be added — token swaps with 0xprotocol or Airswap for example.


3. Proof of concept products (Dapps)

POC (proof of concept) services and products — is the outcome of all we build and basically the answer to the question “where is the money?“ It’s not enough just to invent the first telephone or split the atom, someone has to build a business on top of it, someone needs to build the first telephone company and the first nuclear power stations to produce cheaper, more efficient electricity.

Yes, our paramount mission is to create a decentralized and fully autonomous p2p network on blockchain — the Privatix Network — but, hand in hand with this, one of our goals is to show how people can make the best use of this network and benefit from it in many different ways.

For this reason, we ourselves will create a number of decentralized applications (Dapps) and services, based on the Privatix Network, in order to demonstrate to entrepreneurs and developers how they can utilize it in a number of innovative ways. Privatix, as a pioneer, also has the potential to derive significant profits from these products.

It’s important to emphasize that, unlike Privatix Network Core components, POC products may not necessarily be fully decentralized and/or fully open source. Anyone can develop any products using the Privatix Network Core futures, and it comes with development costs. Developers are not obligated to stick with open source ideology and may keep any IP they want for end-consumer products. Just in case Privatix Network Core components are changed or modified, developers are obliged to stick to the original open-source license (MIT).

3.1 dVPN

Full name: Privatix dVPN
Address: TBA ( Planned as replacement of
Privatix.com — centralized VPN service with over 1,500,000 users )

VPN means Virtual Private Network, a secure tunnel between two or more devices. VPN creates a secure tunnel between your computer and the internet, allowing you to surf the web anonymously from wherever you want. VPN also hides your IP address and changes it to another one.

Classic VPN providers are well known and use dedicated servers around the world and standard VPN protocols like OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, etc. VPN shields your privacy, helps to avoid internet censorship and encrypts transferred data.

But, the major problems of centralized VPN services that rely on servers in data centers around the world are: The non-transparent logging policy, central authority as a single point of failure, DPI-based blockers (i.e China), easily detectable datacenter IP’s and high prices.

dVPN based on the Privatix Network will allow you to surf between millions of exit nodes at the best available speed and use advanced modified VPN connections that are undetectable by DPIs. If you choose to be a peer in the network, you will be able to pay for it by sharing your traffic with other users. If you get more traffic than you give you will have to pay the difference. Vice versa the difference will be paid to you.

Final version platforms: Windows, OSX, Linux (Ubuntu), Android, iOS

Final version use-case :

  • Download and install software
  • Choose to be a peer or not (if you are also a peer — it may reduce the price of dVPN or even make the software pay you)
  • Choose the country and click to connect
  • Receive payment in PRIX (can be converted to any cryptocurrency) or pay for the difference of incoming/outgoing traffic.
You can find further information in our Whitepaper, section 7.2
Please note: Privatix has been operating a centralized VPN for years, more than 1,500,000 users consumed it, and it keeps growing daily. At this time, we operate with servers, but once we finish developing the Privatix Network, we intend to switch the infrastructure and users to a new paradigm. It will immediately create strong demand for bandwidth and give a tremendous boost to the whole network. This gives Privatix exceptional advantage over its competitors.

3.2 dCDN

Full name: Privatix dCDN

Today, classic CDN is a very profitable business. However, content is becoming heavier, and more expensive, because of the increasing use of HD videos, games and streaming content.

Our original idea in the Whitepaper was a concept-based dCDN, low-cost unused bandwidth from thousands of exit nodes instead of costly servers. It’s a real possibility, but can only be developed if the network grows big enough and sufficient funds are available to invest in R&D.

Unfortunately, this kind of development is very expensive and we can’t afford it. Despite this, however, we are ever hopeful that someone — one of us even — will someday have the passion and the resources to do it.

You can find more information in section 7.6 of our Whitepaper.

3.3 Proxy Market

Full name: Proxy Market
Address: TBA

When the Privatix Network is established, it will contain hundreds and thousands, even millions, of connected devices (Agents), and most of them will have residential IP-addresses.

For thousands of companies and businesses, residential proxies are a vital and also scarce resource. Traffic from these kinds of endpoints (exit nodes) is very valuable and scarce because there is no workable solution whereby supply would be able to meet potential demand.

Online retailers collecting comparative pricing information, developers testing their websites from any city in the world, large ad networks using proxies for ensuring the ads they deliver are safe and compliant, cybersecurity firms checking sites are not malicious, and business intelligence tools using thousands of proxies every day to parse search engines or competitors’ websites.

The Proxy Market will include an advanced API through which anyone will be able to buy the use of proxies (traffic) from Privatix Network Agents in a convenient and easy way.

You can find more information in section 7.4 of our Whitepaper.

3.4 Privatix.FAAS (SDK)

Full name: Privatix FAAS
Address: TBA

Freedom as a Service (FaaS) — it’s a powerful SDKs that will eliminate the need for developers to worry whether or not their app will be blocked in certain countries. We all know about the Telegram case in Russia recently, and this type of thing will happen again and again.

Privatix intends to provide an SDK that will be easy to integrate into any software and give developers the ability to send all traffic via the Privatix Network’s Agents’ exit nodes in the event that any of their servers are blocked. All this in order to ensure that applications remain private and resistant to censorship.

You can find more information in section 7.7 of our Whitepaper.

3.5 Privatix.BOX ( Hardware )

Full name: Privatix BOX
Address: TBA
Hardware type: TBA

Privatix BOX is a hardware device (a portable smart router) that allows you to utilize an Agent’s software and/or dVPN with the additional function of Wi-Fi sharing (tethering).

This device is particularly useful for travelers as there’s no need to install any dVPN software — all the functionality is pre-set and ready to go.

Privatix has a clear vision of how this device can be produced, and the company has carried out initial tests with a variety of dd-wrt routers and low-cost portable computers (raspberry pi, for example). The only question is the price to the consumer, which will very much depend on the production volume.

Because we are a software company, we are also looking for partnerships in the area of production and distribution. We would be happy to make any connections.

You can find more information in section 7.3 of our Whitepaper.

3.6 Privatix.Monetize ( SDK )

Full name: Privatix Monetize
Address: TBA

Mobile apps and free software monetization is, on the whole, a niche with huge potential. We all know that everyone is looking for new ways to monetize their apps without having to use paid subscription or ad injection.

We see a new way to utilize a small portion of users bandwidth as “payment” for using a free app. That option could be used in conjunction with such well-known methods as ad placement, for example.

A huge number of free apps with millions of daily users that just can’t be monetized by traditional methods. We believe that Privatix Monetize SDK has the potential to unlock these hidden profits for app developers all around the world.

You can find more information in section 7.8 of our Whitepaper.

3.7 Decentralized Infrastructure-as-a-Service

Full name: TBA
Address: TBA

This commercial product turns directly to the market of data center infrastructure where consumers require services that use a lot of bandwidth (i.e. VPN services or CDN’s). In addition to servers, this business consumes a lot of IP-addresses, which are now very scarce (ipv4).

The costs for this bandwidth and IP’s provided by data centers is usually much higher than for spare bandwidth infrastructure. In addition, the big advantage is that all the traffic will be routed through residential and not through data center IP’s, which, for many use cases, is better and sometimes even mandatory.

From a technical point of view, it’s very similar to the description in 3.3 Proxy Market service. But, in terms of marketing messages and target audience, there’s a huge difference.

If the Privatix Network is successful, even though it contains a lot of Agents, the kind of commercial services it’s offering could be very profitable, and at the same time, it will create a huge demand for spare the bandwidth provided by Agents.

You can find more information in section 7.5 of our Whitepaper.

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