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Wolfonaire Chatbox : AMA With Orchid(9th June, 2021)

Hello! Wolfonaire Family & Crypto Enthusiasts

We recently hosted an AMA With Orchid 9th June, 2021 at 2.00 PM UTC. This session was phenomenal. If you have missed then here is the precious AMA transcript, for those who missed the live session this will enlighten you for sure…

Guest Speaker :

Mr. Derek E. Silva | CMO, Orchid

(Note: This is the transcription of the event. Please note that the transcript was edited for comprehensibility and coherency, while the content was not changed.)

INTRODUCTION

Derek : Orchid was founded by well respected open source and freedom advocates such as Brian J. Fox (the creator of GNU Bash), Jay “Saurik” Freeman (the creator of Cydia), Gustav Simonsson and Dr. Steven Waterhouse.

They have been watching as governments around the world continue to push for increase surveillance, the biggest tech giants also engage in their own surveillance across the web, and felt strongly that a crypto powered, decentralized marketplace of services would better serve users’ needs.

They encountered many issues along the way, including scaling payments based on usage. In the end they chose to build a VPN product first, using a brand new VPN protocol built by the team, with a nanopayments solution to help Ethereum scale to millions of transactions per second.

Wolf : Appreciate That. Huge Fan Of This Vision

The mainnet launched in December 2019, and we’ve made a lot of progress since then! 🙂 I’m confident we will have more chances to talk about this today.

Wolf : For our members who are not already familiar with the project, can you give us a very high-level overview of what #OrchidProtocol is and what competitive edge it brings to the Crypto Universe?

Derek : At its core, Orchid is a decentralized marketplace for services. The first service offered is a crypto powered VPN. Users create accounts without providing any personal information, not even your email. Orchid knows nothing about you or what you use the service for, and that’s the way it should always be.

To help bootstrap trust, Orchid has gone out and sourced well-known VPN providers with the technical and operational knowledge required to operate a VPN node.

Those are the partners you see listed on the website, and whose nodes you are connecting to when you use the default Curator (a list of servers registered in a smart contract).

However, anyone can download the node software and create their own Orchid node, and their own Curator, and advertise it. Bandwidth providers set their own prices as well, typically in fiat currency or a stablecoin.

So you get to use open source software that does not collect any personal information, no invasive in-app analytics, some of the best VPN providers all under one roof, more official partner providers coming in the near future that will go beyond the typical VPN space, and the ability to set up multi-hop circuits that mix and match Orchid, OpenVPN, and Wireguard nodes for those that want to roll their own solution or are very paranoid. 🙂

Oh, and to my knowledge, Orchid is the only decentralized VPN with real, live payments happening today. All the others are still running testnets.

Wolf : Awesome 👌🆒️🙌… How do holders of the $OXT Tokens benefit in the ecosystem? What power within your model do individuals hold? Why is it so attractive and what are the basic requirements to participate?

Derek : Good question, and something that I think that will evolve over time. Today, you own and stake OXT to be a bandwidth provider, or to create a custom account on Ethereum. This is effectively a two-sided staking protocol, as users need to have enough OXT in their account in order to pay for the service, and this is something that the bandwidth provider you’re connecting to will check when you attempt to connect.

I know the founders have been thinking about how to add more utility to OXT, but I don’t know what changes may take place in the future.

Wolf : Have you met all your goals in the roadmap till now? And were there any difficulties that you didn’t expect and were not prepared for?

Derek : I’m not a core part of the product team, but I do know some features have taken a bit longer to deploy. Many projects were not expecting Ethereum Gas prices to hit 300+ Gwei last year during DeFi Summer, so that prompted the team to turn its attention to adding other scaling capabilities to the product. That resulted in Orchid going multi-chain, and deploying the nanopayments contract to the xDai blockchain! While xDai is effectively an Ethereum fork, it uses proof of stake instead of proof of work already, and that lead the team to making in-app purchases use xDai instead of Ethereum. In the end, that meant people could buy an account for just $1 USD, making Orchid much more affordable for people to use, while keeping OXT part of the core staking mechanism for providers.

We also ran into some delays with getting the Windows client deployed, as the core networking services don’t port as easily to Windows as it has from Android, to iOS, to macOS and Linux. However, the team continues to work on this and we will get there! A full Windows client, Linux client, and continuing to enhance the performance of the node software is all on the way.

What’s great is that the existing clients handle much of the demand, and a $1 account is a great entry point.

Wolf : Can you please give us a short tutorial on how even a nontech guy can easily use and enjoy your platform?

Derek : Of course! That’s very important to going beyond the current crypto-aware populace.

1. Visit the App Store or Play Store
2. Search for “Orchid VPN”
3. Download the app
4. Launch the app 😉
5. Go to “Manage Accounts”
6. Select “Add Credit”
7. Purchase a small, medium, or large account
8. Done!

Once the transcation is confirmed on xDai, which takes less than one minute, your Orchid account is set up and you can connect! Then you can use Orchid just like any other VPN. And through this whole process Orchid does not learn anything about you. The Play Store and App Store do not provide app developers with personally idenfitiable information (PII).

Wolf : Thanks for the details… Lets pick the Twitter Questions

Q1. Kindly elaborate the Probabilistic nanopayments approach and its benefits .

Derek : I’ll try to keep this really simple, and provide a link to the blog to learn more.

Wolf : 🙂Sure

Derek : So you’re using Orchid’s dVPN, which is a pay-as-you-go service. No monthly or yearly subscriptions. Payments are expected to be made at a per-packet level with high frequency, but that would clog up most blockchains, especially one running proof of work.

Instead of sending a transaction worth $1 directly to the provider, with probabilistic payments the user could send something similar to a lottery ticket with a 1% chance of winning $100 (or whatever the current size of a ticket is at the time).

Orchid’s design takes this to an extreme, with nanopayment tickets representing the value of thousandths of a penny, or smaller. The tickets are all sent off-chain; only when a winning ticket is redeemed would its receiver (the bandwidth provider) have to make an on-chain transaction to claim the face value amount, which is rare. The receiver has no way to know if a ticket is a winner beforehand, therefore giving all tickets implied value.

This is why users have to have enough OXT in their account at any time to pay for the service, because the size of the ticket will depend on the price of ETH, OXT, and gas prices. On xDai this is less of an issue, but it does still apply if xDai Gas prices increase in the future.

You can learn more at

https://blog.orchid.com/introducing-nanopayments/.

Q2. What strategy will you implement to bring non-crypto-natives into your ecosystem? How do you keep a balance between developing the technology and also improving the value of your token?

Derek : The most important thing to do is to make crypto appa as easy to use as non-crypto apps. Adding in-app purchases went a long way to making Orchid accessible to millions of people. The user experience and user interface can both be simplified further to make it even simpler, and that is work that’s happening now.

Easy to download, create (buy) an account, connect, manage your account, and backup your account in case you lose your device. Those are the keys to more growth in my opinion, and we’re focusing on the last two on the list now.

Q3. Tell me 3 reasons why to prefer Your over other competitors. What are those features which makes you unique from your competition?

Derek : Great question! This depends on who you consider to be Orchid’s competitors, but I guess I should focus on other dVPN products.

  1. Orchid works on the mainnet, and has for 18 months. Again, I’m not aware of another dVPN protocol running a mainnet product, regardless of which blockchain(s) it’s using. I could be wrong about this, but I don’t focus all my time looking at others. 😉 😛
  2. 2. Nice, approachable branding. I think other products are focusing very much on appealing only to crypto-aware people, so everything is dark, and brooding, and “badass.” That’s fine, but personally I think it’s doing them a disservice in the long run by making normies feel excluded.
  3. In-app purchases — this is incredibly important. We can’t expect 3 billion people to set up a wallet, buy their own crypto, and create a custom account. This feature is perfect for power users like you and I, but my mom and don’t don’t want to do that in their 60s! Making in-app purchases available, and affordable, was very key to differentiating Orchid from other dVPN protocols.

Q4. Why do you believe Orchid VPN is poised to be the next evolution of Virtual Private Networks? What technology does Orchid uses to enhance digital privacy of people globally?

Derek : I think this comes down to a few simple facts:

  1. If someone knows who you are, even if it’s a burner email, then there is data they can provide to law enforcement about you. it could be an email address, it could be information about your device and browsing habits collected by in-app analytics software like Flurry, Firebase, or Mixpanel, it could be a PayPal address, or something similar that ultimately can be tied back to your identity.
  2. Open source software is verifiable, and all of Orchid’s software (and website!) is open source. The smart contracts have also been audited. Very few traditional VPN providers can truthfully make these claims.
  3. Orchid has rolled its own VPN protocol that encrypts and obfuscates your traffic using WebRTC, the protocol that audio/video calls on Skype, Google Meet, Whereby, and many other protocols use. That way someone attempting to sniff your traffic thinks you’re having a video call, not sending emails or watching a live stream. And then, of course, you can mix in other protocols in a multi-hop route. If you set a up a 3-hop route, where your traffic has three servers to go through before exiting on the public internet, the middle node has no idea where the traffic originally came from, or the destination.

Q5. What a special for your security? And what make you confident is safe? i think security its important,please tell us about security of #Orchid ?

Derek : I think the points above cover this well! 🙂 At the core Orchid knows nothing about you, does not collect logs, encrypts and obfuscates your traffic, and allows you to create custom accounts with a brand new Ethereum wallet (and xDai soon as well) using the web dApp.

Even Orchid’s website doesn’t have any analytics, JavaScript, or cookies.

Now Community Question & Answer Session Began

Q1. Community support is one of the biggest aspects of a project’s success. Most projects have programs that interact with their users. Does you have any special plans to attract and expand the community and improve the user experience?

Thank for the question, Trung! We have been building out an ambassador program that is almost ready to launch. 🙂 It’s been a lot of fun researching how other projects do this, learning what works well and what doesn’t, and of course setting objectives for what an ambassador program should achieve. I encourage to join our Telegram group or DIscord server to that you know when this launches!

Q2. Community support is an extremely important factor for all projects, so what made you decide to choose Community to host AMA and what do you expect the most from this AMA?

I’ve been chatting with Wolf about this for a few months now. Participating in AMAs lets us reach new people who may not learn about Orchid otherwise, and that is important to marketing Orchid but also growing the community. If you care about digital security, privacy, protecting human rights, and resisting censorship, then you have a place in the Orchid community. ❤️

Q3. Smart contracts are prone to failure and many projects fall victim to this, costing users money and the project discrediting. How reliable and secure is your smart contract? Have you audit it through any of the parties?

Thanks for the question, Quyen! Yes, Orchid has had two audits done.

https://diligence.consensys.net/audits/2020/01/orchid-multisend/

You can learn much more about OXT and the smart contracts at

https://www.orchid.com/oxt

Q4. Do you have any YouTube channel or website for this project?From where we can learn something?

Q5. I’m a developer, and I’m interested in contributing to your project alongsides earning, Do you have any Bug Bounty to check for vulnerabilities?

It’s not a fully formed, published bug bounty but yes! If you find a security vulnerability or something else the team has missed, we are happy to pay you for finding it and disclosing responsibly. We have paid out a couple of bug bounties over the past 18 months, and are happy to do so again.

Phew! That was fun. I’m always amazed that this takes a whole hour to answer some questions. 😅

The Wolfonaire team will be distributing the rewards, along with access to a free Orchid account for you to use!

Now the session ends with lots of thanks to our Guest Speaker…

Here are some important links of Orchid

Website | Telegram | Twitter | Wolfonaire Family Chatbox | Wolf

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