Orchid is a cryptocurrency-based virtual private network (VPN) that bills itself as the world’s first peer-to-peer (P2P) privacy network. By leveraging the power of the Ethereum blockchain, Orchid is committed to offering users the best VPN experience.
What is Orchid?
Orchid is a decentralized VPN (virtual private network) service that connects its users to a global pool of bandwidth providers.
These providers share their bandwidth in the Orchid peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace by hosting Orchid Tokens (OXT), acting as network nodes. Users connect to these VPN nodes by purchasing VPN bandwidth using the OXT token.
Why use Orchid VPN?
When you connect to the Internet, you are connecting through public Internet service providers on public servers. These public servers are highly vulnerable to hackers, governments, and other attackers who can detect your location, track and record your online activity, and even steal your sensitive personal information.
However, when connected to Orchid VPN, users have control over their privacy while browsing the Internet. They connect to the Internet through one of Orchid’s decentralized VPN providers.
Orchid VPN service providers connect you to the Internet through a private server that effectively masks your online activity so you maintain control over your personal data and ensure greater online privacy.
Benefits unique to Orchid VPN
Pay-Per-Use (Pay per use only)
At Orchid, you only pay for services when you actually use the VPN (you pay for the bandwidth consumed). When you’re done browsing, just turn off the VPN and there will be no additional and monthly charges.
Most centralized VPN providers either charge a monthly subscription or require users to purchase various bandwidth packages. Too often, you pay more than you should if you don’t use VPN often.
Global supplier network
Orchid allows users to easily change suppliers on the Orchid network with one click. If you find your download times are slow, just select a different one or click to reconnect and get a random connection.
Orchid allows you to use your account on an unlimited number of devices and users. Share your account with friends and family for use on all their devices.
Who created Orchid and when?
The Orchid project was created by Orchid Labs, a San Francisco-based company founded in 2017. As for the people behind Orchid, it was founded by 4 people: Dr. Stephen Waterhouse, Jay Freeman, Gustav Simonsson and Brian Fox.
Dr. Waterhouse is the CEO and co-founder of Orchid and has been involved in cryptocurrency and blockchain for several years. Prior to founding Orchid, Dr. Waterhouse was a partner at Pantera Capital and served on the Board of Directors of Bitstamp until 2016.
In addition to his blockchain experience, Dr. Waterhouse has also founded several other technology companies, including RPX (Nasdaq: RPXC) and the Honeycomb product group at Sun Microsystems.
Orchid’s second co-founder and CTO is Jay Freemon, most recognized for developing Cydia, an alternative app store for jailbroken iOS devices. In addition to his role in Orchid, Freemon is also a local politician in California.
Orchid’s third co-founder, Brian J. Fox, is an open source programmer and entrepreneur who has founded several other technology companies and non-profit organizations that focus on open source voting systems. Fox is best known for creating the first interactive online banking software for Wells Fargo.
Orchid’s fourth and final co-founder is Gustav Simonsson, who is now Orchid’s advisor. Simonsson is a blockchain developer and expert known for his role in launching the Ethereum network in 2015 as one of the core developers on his security team.
What is the OXT token for?
The native cryptocurrency of the Orchid network is OXT, and its main purpose is to exchange value on the Orchid network.
For example, Orchid is used like this:
- Users buy bandwidth for OXT;
- Orchid node providers receive OXT in exchange for their bandwidth;
- Both users and providers stake OXT.
OXT for Value Exchange
Orchid providers set their own bandwidth rates, and Orchid users choose providers that offer competitive pricing with existing VPN and privacy solutions. All payments are made using the OXT cryptocurrency.
OXT for staking
Both users and suppliers are required to stake OXT during normal market transactions. Placing OXT on the network encourages good behavior and long-term growth in the network.
What is the main purpose of Orchid?
Orchid is committed to helping restore an open and accessible Internet for everyone by offering a decentralized VPN solution that uses a global P2P network of bandwidth providers to connect individuals while maintaining privacy.
It aims for a better VPN solution than traditional centralized VPNs, which often have some issues. For example, many VPN services collect and sell your personal browsing data to advertisers or share it with governments.
Even those that don’t, can still act as a central data collection point where hackers and governments can potentially steal your data and reveal your location.
However, Orchid was created as a solution to privacy concerns associated with centralized VPN service providers.
What is the Orchid Protocol?
Orchid Protocol is a custom VPN protocol similar in design to OpenVPN or WireGuard. It is designed for high performance networks and runs on top of WebRTC, which is a common web standard used for delivering video and audio from within browsers.
The key difference between Orchid protocol and OpenVPN or WireGuard is its ability to allow users to request access to remote network resources and pay for those resources with OXT through Orchid’s scalable nanopayment system.
Orchid operates offline, allowing all Orchid members to exchange valuables without paying high transaction fees. This is achieved by amortizing transaction fees between transactions and even users.
To become a bandwidth provider (node) on Orchid, you must lock a certain amount of OXT tokens in an Ethereum smart contract to create a deposit. Anyone can then stake OXT to that node using a smart contract.
Customers using the Orchid VPN service select new sites in proportion to their relative OXT deposit. Consequently, a larger bid will result in more users, more bandwidth, and more revenue for that node. However, each node has a maximum throughput, which means that no additional rate is required and is actually wasted.
Once the tokens are locked in the node’s contract, they can be immediately used to allocate bandwidth. If the provider (node operator) wants to remove their tokens from the placement contract, they must begin a three month unblocking process when their funds cannot be used as a deposit or transferred by the provider to another location.
Does a regular user need to know about OXT to work with VPN Orchid?
Yes, users need to purchase OXT and deposit it into their Orchid app wallet to start using the VPN service.
However, users are not required to stake OXT if they do not want to. They can simply deposit OXT into their Orchid app wallet and pay on the fly for a private secure internet connection. Users only pay for the bandwidth they consume.
Where is OXT stored?
Orchid (OXT) is an ERC-20 token located at the top of the Ethereum public blockchain. However, you can store OXT in any wallet that supports ERC-20 tokens.
However, if you are going to use the Orchid network, then the best wallet for storing OXT is probably the Orchid network mobile / desktop app. This app allows you to actually use and interact with the Orchid network and store your OXT securely.