A strategic look into how networks are built
Mysterium Network was started with a purpose. That purpose was and continues to be: create a network that ensures surveillance-free communication and access to the internet for all. How to sell bandwidth on our marketplace? Check out our definitive guide to becoming a Mysterium Node, or simply get started here.
The internet is becoming an increasingly fragmented place. This was not intended by the founders of the internet. Those in power know that when you control information flow, you control people.
This is neither fair nor ethical. And this problem begs a solution. Mysterium Network is building a technological solution to a social problem – with your help. Mysterium Network is equally a research and development project.
Research – because we are building new technologies from scratch, even if separate components have existed for a while
Development – because technology alone will not solve this problem. Instead, a distributed node network in place, and in action can solve a big part of the problem.
Related: What is the splinternet, and how can decentralisation fix it?
What is Mysterium Network comprised of?
To truly understand what we’re working on at Mysterium Network we must divide our network into different components for clarity.
1. Base Layer Our base layer is comprised of our core technology. This is our node software, payment hub and discovery service. This is the layer that addresses how to sell bandwidth within a bandwidth marketplace. All these components are currently being built and tested through the Mysterium Network Node Pilot. Related: Introduction to micropayments on Mysterium Network
2. Infrastructure Layer The infrastructure layer makes it easier for other application developers to plug into Mysterium Network and access our pool of residential IPs. As we create tooling that makes it easier for developers to build on Mysterium Network, this will help to drive more traffic through our network Our infrastructure layer comprises of different components such as a quality oracle, identity pool payments management, automatic exchange tool and much more. Some of these components are being built as we speak, with much more coming up as we continue to work with partners who help us identify needs with feature requests. We are also working on enterprise client software for VPN businesses which will allow them to become consumers in our network. Our goal is to progress this client software to potentially allow these VPN businesses to also become providers within Mysterium Network. We will dive deeper into each of these components, and what they will mean for corporate partners and app developers in a later blog post. Sign up to our newsletter to hear it first.
3. Apps Layer With our application layer, the goal is to drive incoming traffic into Mysterium Network so nodes can earn from real users. Our application layer comprises of our own reference implementation, Mysterium VPN on android. It’s free – so give it a whirl. It could also stretch to include anything from mobile and television applications through to web scraping tools which utilise our network of nodes. Interested in building on Mysterium Network? Jump into discord, let us know how you’d like to contribute to building an open internet for all and let us know how we can help.
Stay tuned for some exciting announcements on developer bounties to encourage building on Mysterium Network! Want to hear about it first? Join us on discord and telegram to connect with both core team members and the wider Mysterium community.
Join us in bootstrapping this research project
To build towards a successful permissionless and decentralised virtual private network, we have a three-pronged strategy:
Build an initial network of nodes and embed them with an open Mysterium protocol (an evolving one). The aim is that each node is able to provide any user of the network with access to the open internet and/or a line of secure communication.
Provide this network with an incentivisation mechanism. This is where payments come into play. Once peer to peer payments are live, network users will be able to pay a node directly for its service. To test our network, we needed to get some real-world data and input. Hence the Mysterium Network Node Pilot was born.
Build and encourage an ecosystem of apps. Without this, Mysterium Network loses its diversity of use and robustness. This is where our infrastructure and apps layer comes into play. We are building all kinds of tools – amongst them our own reference implementation of apps using the network. Check out Mysterium VPN on Android – which both showcases Mysterium Network’s potential while providing real-world value to its users.
Related: Tor vs VPN vs dVPN
Mysterium Network Node Pilot.
Through the Mysterium Network Node Pilot, you join us in the research phase of our project, which means you should expect rapid changes. We have just released our proposed Mysterium Node Pilot bounty updates for the month of March. We are doing so with a 30-day lead up so that we can gather feedback from our community and shape these rules with them. You can find our proposal for March’s bounty rules here. As we build a network for the people, by the people – we need your feedback to understand how best to shape incentive mechanisms that create a robust network that is resilient against bad actors.
Mysterium Network - The Network will always come first
Our Node Pilot and evolving bounty rules are designed to bootstrap the evolution of Mysterium Network. We will continue with bounties to strengthen key areas of Mysterium Network, reshaping areas which are underdeveloped and exploring new geographies or communications protocols which can bypass censorship. Eventually (with the implementation of peer to peer payments) the network will become self-sufficient – meaning that users will pay nodes directly. With March’s iteration of bounty rules, we are hoping to move closer to market conditions. We have a limited budget for bounties, and this is one of the reasons we are proposing a cap on the number of nodes we will pay monthly. In real market conditions, all nodes who collect tokens will be paid. This is why we have proposed rolling payouts – which means you can combine your tokens from several months to allow you to rank amongst the top nodes within your region and get a payout. In saying all this, we urge you to be prepared for changes within bounty rules, as the focus will shift depending on the data uncovered during our ongoing research phase. Help us create a sustainable robust network which places privacy and openness at the forefront. Give us feedback on our proposal, join the community and run a Mysterium Node.