Orchid (OXT): online privacy

Orchid is a P2P privacy tool which includes a VPN and other features to protect our data and other people’s. It is a shared application for our internet connection.
Source: orchid.com

Background

Nowadays, any person uses internet on daily basis, via cell phone or computer, for example to watch videos, news or messages from friends, using their favourite apps for free. But in reality, users pay somehow supplying their personal data, sometimes being aware of this tracking and they agree with this.

But other times, users don't know about such tracking and are tracked without their consent. Although we believe that our information is secure on our cell phone, we are leaving a digital data trace. When we use the Internet, our ISP (Internet Service Provider) may take our information and resell it to advertisers without receiving a cent for it.

In many cases, cybercriminals and governments can also obtain our personal data without any prior permission. Governments can even use our data to block content so that we see only what they want us to see.

A decentralized privacy solution

To protect ourselves from this undesirable activity, a group of privacy-focused developers created Orchid.

Orchid is a new P2P privacy tool that includes a VPN and other features to better protect the users’ data and everyone else’s too. Orchid is like a ride sharing app for your internet connection.

When the user wants to create a private online connection, he can take out his phone and launch the Orchid app

Orchid automatically selects a bandwidth seller for each user that will drive them wherever they want to go on the internet. Because the connection is encrypted and traveling through the bandwidth seller servers, the user's ISP cannot track what they are watching, surfing with their mobile plan or with a local WiFi.

With Orchid, user’s privacy is protected and their digital data trail is hidden. They could use a traditional VPN too, but that’s more like hiring a full-time driver. A traditional VPN is a single provider that Mary has to trust. While the user is going online, their VPN will. Some VPNs actually collect users’ information to sell it to advertisers or share it with government agencies.

This is how free VPNs often make money. When the users use Orchid, however, they buy bandwidth from a decentralized network of sellers. They can switch between them based on their preferences, and even string them together in a multi-hop route for additional privacy that can’t be offered by a single VPN. Their personal information is protected and because Orchid is built on Ethereum and uses an Etherium token, OXT, for payments, they will never have to share their credit card details or other personal information with anyone.

Orchid was founded in 2017 by a team of developers from the USA and Germany. Its protocol was first launched in December 2019. It is the first decentralized web 3.0 P2P protocol with an incentive system using its native token and an off-chain nano-payment system.

How can Orchid be used?

It’s designed for regular people who want to use the internet securely, privately, and without having their online activity being sold to advertisers. To pay for private browsing with Orchid, you don’t use traditional currency like dollars, euros or yen. Instead, you can use OXT.

Orchid is a new P2P tool for privacy that includes a VPN and other elements that put the users in control of their internet connections

OXT is the Etherium token that powers the Orchid Protocol. OXT is the Etherium token that powers the Orchid Protocol. It’s the cryptocurrency that everyone uses to pay for services on Orchid, no matter what country they’re in. Let’s say the user wants to use Orchid. First, he needs OXT, which can be bought on an exchange. Next, he sends his OXT to a Web 3-enabled crypto wallet. He sends some ether too, to pay the Etherium network’s transactions fees. Now, he connects his Orchid account with his wallet and follows the instructions.

The next step, is to download the Orchid Mobile app. Because Orchid is entirely Web 3, no user name and password is required to sign in. Instead, the user generates a cryptographically-secured key with his app, and pastes into his wallet to link his Orchid account. That’s all it takes. Now, he’s ready. When the user wants to connect to the internet privately, he turns on Orchid with a single tap. If he’s not happy with her connection, he can tap again to get a new bandwidth provider.

The user pays only for the bandwidth he uses, there’s no upfront subscription or monthly fee. Instead, he’s charged per IP packet using a unique innovation from Orchid, called “probabilistic nanopayments”. Nanopayments are part of an off-chain system that allows all Orchid participants to exchange value without paying high transaction fees.

The system is also more private than traditional payment methods, and it’s only possible with Smart Contracts (see Etherium Smart Contracts) and the blockchain.

How does Orchid keep data private?

Orchid facilitates the purchase and sale of bandwidth between users a providers because it decentralized and blockchain-based, Orchid is able to keep data more private than traditional VPN services in two ways:

  • First, when you pay for bandwidth on Orchid, you can only pay with Orchid’s Etherium token, OXT. You couldn’t pay with a credit card or bank account, even if you wanted to. This means using Orchid doesn’t involve sharing a card number, home address, email address, or any other info with a bandwidth provider or with Orchid itself.
  • Second, the Orchid app can assemble providers together in a multi-hop configuration that uses layered encryption. At each hop data is protected so that no single ISP can make a connection between the Orchid app and the content being accessed.

This means that, unlike a traditional VPN, bad actors interested in nefarious data collection won’t know both who you are, and what content you are accessing when you use multiple hops. Orchid uses staking to incentivize participants in the network, and to avoid bad behaviour. Staking is the process of setting aside crypto to support the operations of its network.

To sell bandwidth on Orchid providers must stake OXT. The more OXT a bandwidth provider stakes, the greater their chances are of being selected by the network’s node provider smart contract to provide bandwidth to users.

This creates a virtuous cycle where the sellers who provide high-quality bandwidth can grow their user base and be rewarded with OXT, which they can then stake to grow their user base even further.

Orchid’s off-chain management of nanopayments also enables gas optimization so the network may function with very low fees

More importantly, the decentralized nature of Orchid’s nodes and payments, make it very difficult for bad actors to censor or disrupt it. Orchid believes that a free, open, and private internet is a fundamental human right, and Orchid is committed to improving internet data privacy and security, and providing a safer internet experience through decentralization.

Crypto Market Orchid Performance: OXT is a new token which was launched in December 2019.

Source: CoinMarketCap

Its last 3 months performance has been very remarkable going from 0.20 dollars to 0.38 at the present getting an almost two-fold increase. On 17th August the token reached the value of 0.76 dollars in a great price growth as it can be seen in the following graph.

Source: CoinMarketCap

Although its rank is 316, both its mission and vision alongside with its technical team make us think that he can have a great future within the ERC20 token group (see ERC20 token article).

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