On May 30, 2017, decentralized VPN platform Mysterium held an initial coin offering (ICO) for less than 45 minutes. In that time, 68,629 Ether (ETH) was traded for MYST tokens in an exchange that equates to 14,000,000 Swiss francs (CHF) or $14,363,394.50 (USD), according to Mysterium’s website.
Fortune favored the developers of Mysterium, whose token sale will help them reach core development, operational, marketing, sales, and legal compliance goals. When the soft cap of 6,000,000 CHF was achieved, Mysterium tweeted the following:
Less than 20 minutes after this tweet, the number had more than doubled to the hard cap of 14,000,000 CHF, signaling the end of the sale.
Mysterium is powered by partnerships with digital asset marketplace TokenMarket, crypto financial broker Bitcoin Suisse AG, and open source framework Zeppelin. According to its website, Mysterium's Network will act as a marketplace where providers can sell unused traffic, and customers can use the network to buy VPN services. The network relies on the existing architecture of VPN protocols and the Ethereum blockchain's executable distributed code contracts (EDCCs).
Access to VPN services incur fees, the lion's share of which go to service providers or node operators, and the rest go to protocol development. According to Mysterium's white paper, these will be denominated in MYST initially, but that’s subject to change in the future. The method of mining is also a bit different. Rather than being rewarded in computing power (often referred to as Proof-of-Work) or ownership in currency (called Proof-of-Stake), node operators are provided MYST tokens for sharing bandwidth. Mysterium may also integrate the award of commissions for transactions on the Mysterium Network in non-MYST currencies.
The white paper provides details as to how nodes interact with the Ethereum blockchain:
The core components of the Mysterium Network integrate together to create a decentralized platform. Ethereum's EDCCs allow for robust payment handling with decentralized code. An identity service and registry ensure client-to-service-provider security. A discovery service and searchable database let customers pick the most reasonable choice for their VPN, and services are paid for through a secure promise-based microtransaction.
The white paper details how EDCCs manage the payment systems between parties. Digital signatures are verified and compared with the parameters of the promise-based microtransaction. If the promise isn't signed, is a duplicate, or there are insufficient funds to cover it, the contract cancels the transaction. If the intended conditions are satisfied, the code uses parameters unique to the transaction stored on the blockchain, or state storage, to keep a serial record of the transaction.
Mysterium's developers promise an announcement in the coming days and with funding acquired, its goal of providing users a decentralized VPN service is a step closer.