Orchid: Why does it have value?

Orchid: Why does it have value?

Hey all!

Today, I watched Steven (Seven) Waterhouse present on the Orchid protocol and the future of VPNs at Consensus:Distributed. Full disclosure, over the past few weeks, I've been looking into the potential of Orchid and I'm liking what I'm seeing. If you're familiar with the current state of our internet and the trend of surveillance capitalism, then you already know why. If not, think of Surveillance Capitalism as the system of tracking the browsing histories and habits of internet users and profiting off of them without compensating the users involved in any way. While VPNs have been held up as one of the ways you can protect yourself from this trend, even they aren't perfect.

If you're wondering why, consider the practice of logging. Logging is when a party like your internet service provider keeps track of all of the IP addresses you visit, which in turn, allows them to figure out all of the sites that you visit. Some internet service providers use this information to sell your data to third-party advertisers, similarly, in a general sense, to what Google and Facebook do.

Since VPNs are inherently anonymous and opaque in terms of the details of their businesses, it's hard to know exactly what they're doing with your data. Yes, they can promise that they don't log your browsing history, but truthfully, they can do all sorts of things behind closed doors because the VPN industry is generally, loosely regulated. 

Alongside this, VPNs are also centralized. They protect you from most trackers but they still store your data in a single, physical location. As we in the blockchain space already know, that means that there's always a risk of that data being stolen.

To understand where Orchid fits into this picture, think of it as a set of rules for the creation of decentralized VPNs.

As of now, according to Waterhouse and Orchid's team, anyone can buy Orchid's native coin OXT, download the Orchid app and effectively create their own VPN. Think of it like becoming a Masternode, with the difference being that Orchid has no explicit staking requirement or specialized hardware requirement. Once you launch your Orchid node, you can use it to route the internet traffic of other users and earn OXT for doing so.

What's the kicker, you might ask?

The nodes that route user traffic are chosen on a randomized basis, much like how block validators are chosen on a proof-of-stake network. 

Keeping this in mind, with Orchid, the more OXT you stake, the more of a chance you have to be chosen. 

This in turn, is one weakness that I see in Orchid's system since whales can easily take control of all of its staking rewards, as has happened time and time again in simple proof-of-stake systems. In future posts, I'll dig deeper into how this might be mitigated as well as into why I believe Orchid still has lasting value.

For now, thanks for reading and as always, remember to connect with me on Twitter @Expatcrypto3 and since we're on the cusp of the halving, find a way to celebrate!

- Expat

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Ian LeViness (ExpatCrypyto3)
Ian LeViness (ExpatCrypyto3)

Eternally Driven to Educate and Learn about all things Blockchain Tech- Writer/Thinker/Student


Eternally Driven to Learn and Educate about all things blockchain tech- Writer/Thinker/Student

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