Hey guys :) I’m back with another comprehensive Q&A piece, this time for the innovative crypto-powered VPN service – Orchid (OXT).
Orchid is a cryptocurrency-powered virtual private network (VPN) that describes itself as the world’s first incentivized peer-to-peer (P2P) privacy network. By harnessing the power of the Ethereum blockchain, Orchid aims to offer users a better VPN experience.
Now, before we dive in, the following piece is similar to my latest articles on Polkadot (DOT), Kusama (KSM), and Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), so if you haven’t already seen those, be sure to check them out as well.
Hope you enjoy!
The list of Q&A is kind of long so first comes the list of questions that I have prepared the answers to:
- What is Orchid?
- Who and when created Orchid?
- What is the purpose of the $OXT token?
- What is the main goal Orchid project aims to achieve?
- What is Orchid Protocol?
- Do you mine or stake OXT?
- Do regular users need to know about OXT to interact with the Orchid app?
- Where to Store $OXT?
- Where to Buy and Sell $OXT?
1. What is Orchid?
Orchid website homepage
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 Orchid’s peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace by staking Orchid tokens (OXT), acting as network nodes. Users connect to these VPN nodes by purchasing VPN bandwidth with the OXT token.
Why use the 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 bad actors who can discover your location, track and record your online activity, and even steal your sensitive personal information.
When connected to the Orchid VPN however, users gain control of their privacy when browsing the internet. They get connected to the internet through one of Orchid’s decentralized network of VPN service providers.
Orchid’s VPN service providers connect you to the internet through a private server that effectively masks your online actions so that you retain control of your personal data and have more privacy while online.
Benefits Unique to Orchid VPNs
On Orchid, you only pay for service while actually using the VPN (you pay for the bandwidth you consume). When you are done browsing, simply turn the VPN off and there will be no further charges and no monthly fees.
Most centralized VPN providers charge either monthly subscription fees or require users to purchase different bandwidth packages. So oftentimes you end up paying more than you should if you don’t use the VPN often.
Global Provider Network
Orchid allows its users to easily change providers within the Orchid network with a click. If you find the load times are slow, simply select a different one or tap to reconnect and get randomly reassigned.
Orchid allows you to use your account on an unlimited number of devices and people. Share your account with your friends and family for use on all their devices.
2. Who and when created Orchid?
Orchid founders, Steven Waterhouse, Jay Freeman, Gustav Simonsson & Brian Fox
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 including Dr. Steven Waterhouse, Jay Freeman, Gustav Simonsson, and Brian Fox.
Dr. Waterhouse is the CEO and co-founder of Orchid and has been involved in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space for several years. Prior to founding Orchid, Dr. Waterhouse served as a partner at Pantera Capital to focus on blockchain investments and also served on the board of Bitstamp until 2016.
In addition to his blockchain experience, Dr. Waterhouse also founded several other tech companies including RPX (Nasdaq: RPXC) and the Honeycomb product group at Sun Microsystems.
Orchid’s second co-founder and CTO is Jay Freemon, who is most recognized for developing Cydia, an alternative app store for jailbroken iOS devices. In addition to his role in Orchid, Freemon also serves as a local politician in California.
The third co-founder of Orchid, Brian J. Fox is a computer programmer, an open-source advocate, and an entrepreneur who’s founded several other technology companies and not-for-profit organizations dedicated to open source voting systems. Fox is most well known for creating the first interactive online banking software for Wells Fargo.
The fourth and final co-founder of Orchid is Gustav Simonsson who now serves as an advisor to Orchid. Simonsson is a developer and blockchain expert who’s known for his role in launching the Ethereum network in 2015 as one of the core developers on its security team.
3. What is the purpose of the $OXT token?
Orchid (OXT) logo
The native cryptocurrency of the Orchid network is $OXT and its primary purpose is to exchange value on the Orchid network.
For instance, Orchid is used in the following ways:
- Users purchase bandwidth with $OXT
- Orchid node providers receive $OXT in exchange for their bandwidth
- Both users and providers stake $OXT
$OXT for Value Exchange
Orchid bandwidth providers set their own rates for bandwidth and Orchid users select bandwidth providers who offer competitive rates with existing VPNs and privacy solutions. All payments are made using the $OXT cryptocurrency.
$OXT for Staking
Both users and providers are required to stake OXT during normal market operations. The staking of OXT on the network incentivizes good behavior and network growth over the long term.
4. What is the main goal Orchid aims to achieve?
Orchid aims to help restore the 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 to a better VPN solution than traditional, centralized VPNs that often have some challenges. For example, many VPN services collect and sell your private browsing data to advertisers or share it with governments.
Even ones that don’t do this can still act as a central data collection point where hackers and governments can potentially steal your data and reveal your location.
That said, Orchid was built as a solution to the privacy concerns around centralized VPN service providers.
5. What is Orchid Protocol?
The Orchid protocol is a custom VPN protocol similar in scope to OpenVPN or WireGuard. It’s designed for high-performance networking and runs on top of WebRTC, which is a common web standard used to transmit video and audio from inside browsers.
The key difference between the Orchid protocol and OpenVPN or WireGuard is its ability to allow users to request access to remote network resources and pay for these resources using OXT via the scalable Orchid nanopayments system.
Orchid’s nanopayments system operates off-chain, allowing all Orchid participants to exchange value without paying high transaction fees. It does this by amortizing transaction fees across transactions and even users.
6. Do you mine or stake OXT?
You can stake OXT, you cannot mine OXT.
To become a bandwidth provider (node) on Orchid, you must stake some number of OXT tokens in an Ethereum smart contract to create a stake deposit. Anyone can then stake OXT to this node using the smart contract.
Clients using Orchid’s VPN service select new nodes in proportion to their relative OXT deposit size. Therefore, a larger stake size will lead to more users, more bandwidth, and more revenue for that node. However, every node has a max bandwidth capacity meaning any additional stake is unnecessary and is effectively wasted.
Once tokens are locked into a node’s staking contract they can be used immediately for bandwidth provisioning. If a provider (node operator) wants to remove their tokens from the staking contract, they have to start the three-month unlocking process where their funds cannot be used as a stake deposit or transferred elsewhere by the provider.
7. Do regular users need to know about OXT to interact with the Orchid app?
Yes, users need to purchase OXT and deposit it into their Orchid app wallet to begin using its VPN service.
However, users are not required to stake OXT if they don’t 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.
8. Where to Store $OXT?
Orchid (OXT) is an ERC-20 token residing on top of the public Ethereum blockchain. That said, you can store OXT in any ERC-20 token supported wallet.
However, if you are going to be using 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 as well as to securely store your OXT.
Popular Orchid (OXT) Wallets:
- Orchid App (mobile, desktop)
- Argent (mobile)
- Coinbase Wallet (mobile)
- Ledger Nano S (hardware)
- Metamask (web)
In addition to the above-listed wallets, Orchid (OXT) can be stored on a wide variety of other reputable wallets supporting ERC-20 tokens.
9. Where to Buy and Sell $OXT?
Orchid (OXT)) can be bought and sold on a peer-to-peer (P2P) basis but the most popular way to buy, sell, or trade OXT is through centralized or decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges.
You can buy OXT with cryptocurrency or fiat currency at the following top exchanges. In most cases, you will be able to buy OXT with BTC, ETH, or stablecoins.
- Binance - BTC, USDT, USD
- Coinbase Pro - USD
- Gemini - BTC, ETH, USD
- Uniswap - WETH
- Kraken - USD, EUR, XBT, ETH
In addition to the exchanges listed above, Orchid (OXT) is also traded on a wide variety of other exchanges and platforms that enable people to buy, sell, or trade cryptocurrencies.
Hope you enjoyed that read :) Let me know if I have missed something in the comments.