One of the biggest threats of our growing reliance on the internet is the lack of privacy. All of our activities on the web can be tracked by our ISPs, browsers, applications and the website itself. Any individual with the right skills can access (and preserve) the most private aspects of a user’s life simply by tracking the digital footprints left online. Despite knowing that, giving up the internet is impossible in today’s world.
But what if every interaction on the network was encrypted? And the only other parties that can access the data or information are the people we send it to?
It was the idea that inspired the birth of HOPR. But unlike VPN, no company guarantees our security and privacy. Instead, it is an independent, peer-to-peer, decentralized network managed by users. Therefore, HOPR cannot be influenced by any individual or company.
Dr. Sebastian Burgel, a technology entrepreneur who contributes a lot to the blockchain industry in Switzerland, founded HOPR. He is also Co-Founder and CTO for Validity Labs and Sonect.
Council of HOPR Association | Source: hoprnet.org
Together with a team of experienced innovators who share the same fear about the lack of privacy and security in online activities, Burgel decided to leverage blockchain technology to build a Decentralized and secure private network.
At the beginning of 2019, the project caught the attention of the Binance team and received a $1 million investment in mid-2020.
Some members build HOPR Network | Source: hoprnet.org
What is HOPR?
HOPR (pronounced “hopper”) is a project built to secure user data and information, as well as remove digital traces. It is based on blockchain technology and uses HOPR token to exchange value.
HOPR intends to provide a truly private internet experience using a number of different vehicles, all of which are blockchain-based.
First, the HOPR protocol is an alternative infrastructure on the internet that makes metadata untraceable.
Then there is the HOPR network, a decentralized blockchain independent of any influence. The platform is managed by the collective of users and they will receive rewards for doing activities on HOPR.
HOPR works how?
HOPR Network is an incentivized decentralized mixnet that ensures complete data and metadata security for all users. Data is sent over multiple hops, so no one but the sender and receiver knows the origin, destination, or content of the data transmission.
HOPR’s unique Proof-of-Relay mechanism means that every node running the node is incentivized to correctly relay data in exchange for HOPR tokens. Anyone can operate a HOPR node to earn HOPR tokens and contribute to online data security.
HOPR’s custom layer 2 scaling solution based on probabilistic paylines. This ensures completely decentralized payments without unnecessary blockchain transaction fees, while protecting the metadata of node runners.
Features of HOPR
HOPR leverages existing technologies to create a decentralized secure network. The platform has several important features such as:
“Mixnet” is a compound word between “mix” and “network”, which is a phrase for routing protocols that make it difficult to track data exchanged on the internet. This structure uses a proxy server to mix data and messages from different sources. The scrambled data are then delivered individually to their source.
The decisive factor is that it is necessary to break the direct link between the sender and the receiver so that the data and messages are difficult to track.
Cover traffic is random data sent over the mixnet. These data have no intrinsic value of their own, but have the function of adding extra traffic in the mixnet. The more data in the mixnet, the more efficient it is and the harder it is to keep track of each data packet.
When traffic is low in the mixnet, other users are incentivized with HOPR tokens to send arbitrary packets of data into the mixnet.
Cover traffic effectively provides anonymity, making it difficult and nearly impossible to associate metadata with the sender.
The HOPR token ties all aspects of the HOPR protocol together. It is a medium of exchange and is used to incentivize users to perform activities on node. Token HOPR has 3 main functions: Payment, staking and voting.
The number one function of the HOPR token is to reward node operators for their role in privately relaying metadata.
HOPR holders can also forward data as a member of the network. So, when a user needs to send secure and private data over the network, the holder opens a node.
That holder’s node is paid tokens by the network (HOPR) for each data packet he sends. And each relayer in the node will be entitled to a share of the payment.
The second function the token performs is to help the node operators make money. This is done through HOPR’s staking mechanism.
Users can lock tokens in their nodes for staking. The more data they relay through the node, the more tokens they earn. The income comes from both the payment feature as well as through providing cover traffic.
HOPR is a decentralized network that aims to put control and management of the infrastructure in the hands of its users. To do this, anyone holding the HOPR token will be able to vote on issues affecting the protocol, including the network, defining parameters, and many other proposals.
Token holders can also register as a member of the HOPR Association. HOPR Association is a non-profit legal entity in Switzerland. It provides legal status to HOPR whenever it interacts with the real world to protect the identity of the holder.
This Association is essentially a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization).
Benefits of HOPR
The current internet structure works in a way that requires users’ private information before allowing interaction with others. This information may be accessed by other parties, both legally and illegally.
Internet service providers (ISPs), browsers, websites… can access the user’s IP address (by extension, location and name). They even track relationships, browser history, amount of data sent and time sent.
Malicious parties can also infiltrate these data packets, extract all the user’s personal, private information and use it at their discretion.
HOPR set out to build metadata obfuscation infrastructure so that data packets do not reveal partial information about internet users. It also breaks any links between the data you send to yourself.
Compare HOPR and VPN
Many internet savvy users assume that a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can also perform these functions. However, VPNs are still hosted by private organizations. Even if VPN providers don’t have bad intentions, they can still be compromised in a number of ways because they are private entities and can be tracked. If a government agency requests user information, it must comply, or face dire consequences.
HOPR network, on the other hand, leverages blockchain technology to provide a decentralized and self-sustaining system. HOPR is managed by the users themselves, who are anonymous and untrackable.
By receiving HOPR tokens, each user in a node is naturally incentivized to forward data and cover traffic.
HOPR token supply
At launch, there are a total of 1 billion HOPR tokens. This number is numerous, but only a small percentage is available for circulation.
Large amount of tokens will be locked in staking. In addition, a lot of token allocation categories are released gradually over 4 years through different channels, such as treasury, pre-sale, bounty, cover traffic, public distribution, etc.
Token supply and distribution chart
At the time of launch, there were only about 130 million HOPR in circulation, most of which is still locked through staking.
The Internet has penetrated almost every aspect of human life. It is impossible to imagine what would happen if all the private information and data were taken advantage of by those with bad intentions. However, this is the reality we are facing.
We deserve to protect our data and restore privacy. With HOPR’s infrastructure, we can also become part of the network to ensure our own privacy.
According to Asia Crypto Today
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