Mysterium

A friend asked me if I’d heard about Mysterium Network, decentralised VPN. I hadn’t, so took a look

TL:DR
I don’t see what this gives you over paying for a ‘normal’ VPN with bitcoin.

Most of the information seems to be from a single press release currently and a medium blog. They seem to have been around since December 2016. They seem to be active on their github repos. The latest commit was only a day ago.

On the Blockchain side, they use Ethereum and the crowdsale contracts from OpenZepplin. Only Presale.sol has any content.

On the VPN side, they seem to use OpenVPN. A VPN only protects the data between you and the endpoint. The endpoint can still track your traffic. I don’t see any explanation of how they guarantee anonymity.

On the network level. The endpoint and the client need to send data to each other. This means they need to know each others IP addresses. From a quick look I can’t find them using onion or garlic routing to hide them from each other.

Ethereum payments are not anonymous, wallets addresses are trackable using a block explorer. Some current work is integrating zksnarks with Ethereum to add anonymity. I haven’t looked in detail to understand if the transaction flow to see if you could link as client and an endpoint.

As for being able to ‘rent their unused network bandwidth’. This seems problematic. Many home broadband contracts do not allow you to run a server. So you would be breaking your term of service. More worrying would being liable for what a client downloaded over your connection.

More discussion over on r/Ethereum which addresses many of these points in more detail.

Author: Zoe

A recovering games coder.

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