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VPN Protocol Wars in the Blockchain World

Republished by Plato

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Placeholder VC partner Joel Monegro, in his formative article on value captured by protocols, explained that shared data layers in decentralized networks and limited supply cryptographic access tokens (i.e., cryptocurrencies) make blockchain protocols valuable and accessible for all.

The proliferation of blockchains has led to an influx of these “fat” protocols, which are capturing more value than the leaner application layers on top vis-à-vis thin ones in traditional internet stacks such as TCP/IP. As a result, decentralized protocol solutions looking to solve various problems have come to the fore.

Some of these problems being the disadvantages in traditional internet communication, centralized control over web accessibility, and mass surveillance. Blockchain-based VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are a solution to this problem. Two major companies that are working on products in this space are Orchid and Tachyon Protocol. With their VPN services going live this month, let’s compare how the two match up.

Web vs. Web 3.0 (source)

An Introduction to Orchid and Tachyon

Orchid is building an open-source internet protocol on top of the internet stack to allow anonymous web access in order to circumvent surveillance states.

It does so by incentivizing users to share bandwidth with others in a marketplace setting. This breaks up traffic and directs it over Orchid’s network of distributed nodes. Kind of a decentralized alternative to TOR (The Onion Router). Launched back in 2017, Orchid has so far raised USD 48M from marquee investors such as Sequoia, DFJ, Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, Box Group, Blockchain Capital, etc.

Tachyon Protocol is building an alternate stack to disrupt traditional communication protocols over the internet in order to eliminate drawbacks in TCP/IP. It is a collaboration between X-VPN and V Systems. X-VPN is a renowned VPN service provider used by 50 million + people worldwide. V Systems is a blockchain database cloud project that uses a unique Supernode-Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism for security. Tachyon brings to fruition years of experience and research by Sunny King (inventor of Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism), Peerchemist (Peercoin Project Leader, and President of the Peercoin Foundation) and FinTech investor Alex Yang. More on the collaborators and team members later.

With a focus on VPN, both platforms are built on public blockchains (Ethereum and V Systems). Nodes on each network need to stake tokens for verification before they can offer traffic to users. In return, they receive crypto payments (in the respective tokens) through smart contracts. However, there are major differences between the two projects that set them apart.

Orchid vs. Tachyon Protocol

Orchid Protocol works on top of traditional internet protocols and creates a privacy layer using blockchain. This is done by using the open-source WebRTC for transmission to perform preliminary data obfuscation and multi-hop to reduce the chances of data theft. Data obfuscation makes Orchid traffic look like normal internet traffic with no identifier to detect that Orchid is being used.

However, this also leads to the possibility of deterioration in the transmission quality of data being moved. In normal practice, data obfuscation has been seen to have adverse impacts on network security and firewall identification. Similarly, multi-hop, while hiding original nodes, does not mask individual node activity in a P2P network. As a result, source nodes can be tracked using traffic analysis. For storage and routing, Orchid uses IPFS and Ethereum’s DHT, respectively.

The Orchid Protocol acts as a layer on top of the normal Internet stack

In comparison, Tachyon Protocol’s approach has been to disrupt the core transmission protocols themselves, thereby providing a more comprehensive solution. It is reconstructing the TCP/IP model using its own iterations of proven P2P technologies – DHT, blockchain, UDP, and encryption.

As opposed to WebRTC, it uses its own Booster UDP to improve network connection success rates and transmission quality. The Tachyon Security Protocol is designed for end-to-end encryption and protocol imitation. With respect to multi-hop, the Tachyon Anti-analysis helps multi-relay forwarding to reduce the risk of information exposure after a single node is attacked. Tachyon also uses its own DHT for routing.

Tachyon Protocol replaces traditional Internet Protocols with distributed technologies

Orchid is built on Ethereum, which is a mature ecosystem with thousands of dApps and platforms built over it. However, in its current state, the Ethereum chain is limited in terms of TPS (transactions per second) and hence leads to performance bottlenecks during times of high traffic.

Orchid Protocol’s whitepaper mentions that if it were to rely on Ethereum solely, the network would allow up to 7 million users only. Comparatively, V Systems, the blockchain on which Tachyon is based, has much higher TPS and hence can theoretically support a billion users. However, it is a smaller ecosystem compared to Ethereum and is relatively newer.

For verification, Orchid Protocol uses a stake weighting plan for nodes with staking time as the adjustable parameter. The initial staking period is set at 30 days, which is good for network security but increases the barrier to entry for user participation since they need to bear more opportunity costs from higher risks of price fluctuations. To solve this issue, Orchid lets nodes with higher/longer stakes to get more traffic.

This, however, runs the risk of Matthew effect: “rich get richer, poor get poorer.” In Tachyon Protocol, staking amounts and staking periods are both adjustable parameters, thereby allowing more parameters to be tweaked in the event of an early-stage attack. The initial staking time is set to 7 days in Tachyon. In order to make up for the opportunity costs of users, the system provides fixed staking rewards to participants.

Key team members of Orchid Protocol are:

  • CEO Dr. Steven “Seven” Waterhouse who co-founded RPX Corp and was a project lead at Fortress, Pantera Capital and Sun Microsystems. Steven has extensive experience in the blockchain industry, with key connections in the VC investment space.
  • Co-Founder Brian J. Fox who was the first employee of the Free Software Foundation and is the author of the GNU Bash shell. Brian has a rich experience in open source community development.
  • Co-Founder Jay Freeman who developed the popular Cydia software.
  • Co-Founder Gustav Simonsson, who helped launch Ethereum and is an authority figure in blockchain security.

Key Tachyon people include:

  • Founding Member Sunny King who invented the Proof of Stake consensus mechanism and is the founder of V Systems blockchain project. Sunny is a cult hero figure in the cryptocurrency space making rare appearances in public to maintain his anonymity.
  • Founding Member Peerchemist who is a project leader at Peercoin. As an OG crypto developer, he is highly regarded in the developer community and maintains a global developer network influence.
  • Founding Member Alex Yang who is a FinTech investor and entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience in banking and finance including Nomura as an Executive Director and UBS as a VP. He is also a Co-Founder of Beam Capital.
Sunny King’s first “public appearance” at The Capital event by CoinMarketCap (source)

For making settlements, Orchid uses nano payments, which is also one of its major points of focus. Nano payments allow for a large number of small transactions at low transaction costs. However, nano payments aren’t completely untraceable, and as mentioned earlier, individual node traffic can be tracked to identify source nodes.

In comparison, Tachyon has a unique mainchain payment channel. In addition to allowing for a large number of small transactions, the transaction fees in the sidechain are nil. Payments using this sidechain method are anonymous since they use payment pools. But the implementation complexity is high.

Having analyzed both projects at length, there are certainly pros and cons to both platforms. However, one major advantage that Tachyon has over Orchid is that it is backed by established brands like X-VPN and V Systems, which have been battle-tested by millions of users. As the war of the VPN protocols heats up, it will be interesting to see how these two platforms grow and influence the segment and each other over time.

Blokt is a leading independent privacy resource that maintains the highest possible professional and ethical journalistic standards.

Source: https://blokt.com/blockchain-blog/vpn-protocol-wars-in-the-blockchain-world

Blockchain

Cardano Price Analysis: 17 May

Republished by Plato

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At a time when other altcoins were stumbling, Cardano [ADA] witnessed significant growth. Although the price of the digital asset mirrored the correction in the Bitcoin market, the overall market still seemed to hold on to a high value.

At the time of press, ADA had lost 12% of its value since the peak and was currently being traded at $2.14 with a market capitalization of $69.31 billion.

Cardano hourly chart

Source: ADAUSD on TradingView

The above chart of Cardano shows the drops seen by the markets recently. Although the price dropped from a peak of $2.47, it has now managed to hold on to $2.13. Though the overall market looked strong, short-term indicators predicted a correction.

As the price traded right above the support at $2.10, a fall could push it under the level and close to the next immediate support at $2.02.

Reasoning

ADA market unlike many other altcoins markets was showing reduced volatility. Convergence of Bollinger bands was indicative of this trend. The signal line was moving lower, tracing the movement of the candlesticks.

As the price remained above the current support for a long time, there were chances that the price would breach support. The relative strength index was noting that selling pressure which was maintained close to 50 was now heading towards the oversold zone. The rise in selling pressure could push the price lower; however, Chaikin money flow suggested that the money that was leaving the market was now coming back in.

Crucial levels

Entry-level: $2.09
Take profit: $2.01
Stop level: $2.16
Risk to Reward: 1.04

Conclusion

The current Cardano market was suggesting that the consolidating price might be looking to correct again. The indicators were suggesting a rise in selling pressure, which could result in another fall. However, the buying pressure could result in a trend reversal as the CMF highlighted money entering the ADA market.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/cardano-price-analysis-17-may

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Blockchain

Legacy Records, The First Record Label Paying Music Artists In Crypto

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From painters to digital artists to musicians, crypto continues to find integration across artistic mediums. Music continues to be a field that is ripe for revitalization, from a business standpoint. Accordingly, a number of different musicians have been releasing songs and albums as NFTs. Now, we have what’s being reported as the first official record label looking to get involved. The label looks to have artists join the ranks of other musicians getting involved in crypto.

Two-Pronged Approach

In a press release issued to start this week, Legacy Records CEO Keishia McLeod said it came down to “either get involved or get left behind”. McLeod cited unique income stream opportunities for artists and closed by saying that “this is the future, not a trend”. McLeod has stated previously her intent to drive the label to be at the forefront of leveraging emerging technology in music.

There are two major buckets contributing to Legacy’s approach. The first is the most notable, as the label will become the first to offer artists an opportunity to receive their advance and royalty payments in the form of crypto. The second is to engage artists with NFTs, allowing fans to participate in auctions for unique content. The label’s specific plans around NFTs, and number of artists seeking to get paid in crypto, have not yet been disclosed.

Related Reading | The “Hottest” NFT: Max Denison Pender Creates And Destroys A Self-Portrait In A Volcano 

As the crypto market grows, both artists and businesses are getting involved | Source: CRYPTOCAP-TOTAL on TradingView.com

Legacy Music’s Broader Business Growth 

Las Vegas-based Legacy Records, not to be confused with Sony’s Legacy Recordings, will look to take advantage of the potential press buzz from the announcement. However, in tandem with the release, the label also announced a to-be-name music distributor who has also agreed to pay Legacy Records artists in bitcoin. The label also merged with New Jersey entertainment lawyer Navarro Gray’s ‘The Gray Firm’, to provide legal guidance around digital execution.

McLeod has noted previously that the label has desired being a mainstay in revolutionizing the way music artists do business. In a January interview with the LA Tribune, McLeod cited Netflix’s impact on the film industry, adding that “we haven’t seen that yet in this industry, but it’s coming. We’re going to be a large part of making that happen”.

Related Reading | Reviewing Topps MLB’s First Swing At NFT Tech

Music Artists Emerging Into Crypto

Legacy’s roster has the potential to join a growing list of music artists that continue to engage with crypto and NFTs. Last month, we wrote about long-time hip-hop artist Eminem partnering with Nifty Gateway to release original instrumental beats. Saturday Night Live promptly had a sketch explaining the digital collectibles parodying Eminem’s “Without Me”.

Other musicians engaging with NFTs include DJ Premier, 3LAU, The Weeknd, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, and more.

Each week, our team recaps the week’s NFT action with ‘NFTs In A Nutshell‘ – covering everything NFT, from sport, music, and more.

Featured image from Pixabay, Charts from TradingView.com

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Source: https://bitcoinist.com/the-first-record-label-paying-music-artists-in-crypto/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-first-record-label-paying-music-artists-in-crypto

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Blockchain

XRP, Dogecoin, Chainlink Price Analysis: 17 May

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Dogecoin required to counter bearish conditions before a jump above $0.569 resistance. Lastly, Chainlink needed to push above $45.5 to trigger a bullish comeback after a descending triangle breakdown.

XRP

Source: XRP/USD, TradingView

Gains made over the last three days were impressive especially considering a bearish broader market, but sellers returned at $1.52-resistance. At press time, the cryptocurrency traded within the channel $1.52-$1.31 and reflected a degree of equilibrium between the buyers and sellers. For those hoping to make profits from a volatile XRP market, ADX’s movement dimmed expectations. Since mid-April, ADX has been on a steady decline and a period of consolidation seemed likely.

RSI hovered in the neutral territory around 50. A symmetrical triangle awaited a breakout to the upside and the Fibonacci tool presented a few target levels above the 200% extension level north of $3 (not shown).

Dogecoin [DOGE]

Source: DOGE/USD, TradingView

On the daily timeframe, Dogecoin showed some sideways movement as bulls prepared for the next upswing. The channel between $0.523 and $0.373 was bolstered by the 20-SMA (blue) and formed a reliable buy zone should another dip occur.

As mentioned earlier, breaking above $0.569 resistance could trigger another rally in the DOGE market. Steering clear of $0.73-resistance would heighten the chances of DOGE touching $1. However, bearish conditions still presided and had to be countered first before any talks of an upswing. Awesome Oscillator noted bearish pressure after a series of red bars. MACD line remained below the Signal line but a bullish crossover could signal the onset of an uptrend.

Chainlink [LINK]

Source: LINK/USD, TradingView

Chainlink broke south from a descending triangle and a single candlewick dropped as low as $35.1- representing losses of 14% from the bottom trendline. Now below its 50-SMA (yellow) on the daily timeframe, bearish sentiment could lead to another sell-off towards $31 for LINK. On the other hand, some buying volume was noted on the 4-hour timeframe. A pickup in volumes and buying pressure could lead to a resurgence above $45.5 and this would likely push LINK beyond $50. A broader market recovery could act as a catalyst for such a price swing.

Meanwhile, RSI’s lower highs confirmed weakness after LINK formed a peak at $52.9. Even though Chaikin Money Flow dipped over the past couple of days, the index was still well above the half-line as capital inflows outmatched outflows.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/xrp-dogecoin-chainlink-price-analysis-17-may

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