Could change be afoot in the VPN marketplace? Possible, if the latest idea from VPN provider Privatix gets off the ground. They have just released a White Paper in which they propose creating a bandwidth marketplace which uses P2P VPN networks can operate on blockchain.
Privatix is a modestly sized free VPN provider at present with around 750,000 users worldwide and a further 250,000 subscribers to their Temp Mail email service.
Their idea would work by people allowing other users to access their bandwidth when they outside, asleep, or otherwise not online. Both individuals and companies would be able to rent out their unused bandwidth to those who need it. According to Privatix, demand for this bandwidth is high but at present, there is no reliable solution that allows individuals or companies to trade their idle bandwidth.
Essentially this would then mean Privatix could then create a huge decentralised fully autonomous P2P VPN network on Blockchain. According to Privatix, this network could not be blocked, would be fully encrypted, and any financial settlements between users could be settled securely, using crypto-tokens.
Privatix claims that an issue faced by many of the existing ‘centralised’ VPN providers is that it is possible for DPI-based blockers to identify when a connection is using a VPN. This is one of the ways in which those who seek to block VPN access to content, such as the Chinese Communist regime and Netflix, can achieve that.
Privatix already uses a DPI-free protocol, which helps them to get around blocks of this nature. Many other VPN providers are also still able to access Netflix US services around the world and also function in China, with some using the same technology.
But a blockchain based P2P VPN network would also be able to get around such blocks. It also has potential as a base for app developers to get around online censorship by making it impossible for apps to be blocked.
As part of this proposed bandwidth marketplace, Privatix is also planning to create a crypto-token called PRIX which would be the form of currency used in the marketplace. The market itself will function just like any other supply-and-demand-based system.
As demand for bandwidth on the marketplace increases, sellers would be able to increase prices accordingly, but the more supply that is available, the cheaper prices will go.
And Privatix says they will deal directly with any issues related to misuse of capacity on exit nodes which should remove any need for legal disputes between bandwidth traders.
At present the idea is still at development stage, although Privatix clearly has high hopes for the future. So confident are they, that they are launching an ICO to begin raising funds through the selling of the currency.
The pre-ICO will begin on September 14th and includes a special offer in which buyers will get a 60% bonus for every PRIX they buy, meaning that for every 1 PRIX bought, 1.6 PRIX will be delivered. THe full ICO begins on October 19th and will last for four weeks. Privatix founders and employees will be given 7% of the PRIX tokens but will have to retain them for at least one year.
It is a fascinating concept which certainly has the potential to make waves in the VPN industry if it takes off. It is early days yet, but at a time when the use VPNs is being challenged around the world, such innovation can only be beneficial for both the industry and users.