How Blockchain Tech, Digital Currency and the DeFi/Decentralization Movement are Democratizing Global Access and Increasing Personal Safety

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Decentralized financial-world overview as of Q4 ‘21; Nascent projects on Cosmos blockchain; Node hosting unpacked

By Dan Edlebeck, Exidio CEO

As the world begins to understand and accept the ideas and forces that underpin the eruption of the digital currency movement, the many benefits of decentralized finance are becoming apparent. Recently, El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as legal tender, beginning a turning point in the history of money and marking the first time money was made by the people, for the people. This new legal tender is being freely transferred between people with minimal traditional means- the “unbanked,” people in remote, poverty-stricken, resource-deprived areas. Digital assets empower them, access to the same banking standards as the rest of the world; this is a massive shift from the status quo. 

Now, the people of El Salvador have access to the American dream. They can save their sweat equity in a monetary system that protects them against inflation and conserves their purchasing power. This change is just the start of many new tools from the crypto ecosystem beginning to integrate into people’s lives in very real ways, globally.

For example, we saw an explosion in NFT adoption for artists worldwide; the use of crypto technology allowed artists financial freedom from intermediaries and increased their profits, which led to increased liberties and autonomy for the masses. Owning an NFT means that individuals will be able to own digital property from items in video games to land in the metaverse or costly clothes for virtual avatars- all while transacting in Bitcoin at the speed of light thanks to Bitcoin’s Layer 2 Lightning Network.

El Salvador voluntarily adopted a disruptive technology for the benefit of its citizens, but we must ask ourselves: What about governments that stand in opposition to these ideals? For example, does the Chinese government intend to allow its citizens to transact in Bitcoin, protecting themselves from inflation freely? The answer is no, as China recently banned Bitcoin (again).That said, blockchain developers are not known for giving up easily. With just a few months left in 2021, we are seeing an explosion of technology like decentralized exchanges and stablecoins. Thanks to stablecoins, a Chinese citizen who wants to flee China can do so thanks to cryptocurrency. We are seeing increasing dollarization as people gain increased access to the best fiat currency available to humanity.

Decentralized exchanges (DEX) allow anyone to exchange any cryptocurrency without passing through gatekeepers or intermediaries. The question becomes, how does one get cryptocurrencies if they do not have an available gateway to convert fiat currency into the digital world? The answer to this question is mining, which means providing resources to the network in the simplest of terms. There are many ways to mine cryptocurrencies. Traditional Bitcoin mining is now driving an ecological transition of the oil and gas industry to newer types of crypto, which allow the use of stored data, CPU, or bandwidth to earn rewards or become part of the network.

With the evolution of cryptocurrency, we now have smaller cryptos, allowing the “everyday person” to participate in the DeFi world without fearing the massive competition of large Bitcoin pools. Recently an open-source software suite called HNSOS launched. It is an easily installable piece of software, allowing any enthusiast to launch their node and mine on multiple networks simultaneously.

What’s Next (Now!) In Privacy: dVPN and Node Hosting
So what is the next missing piece to the metaphorical puzzle? Network privacy and free access. Now that mass-adoption of digital currency is firmly underway, people everywhere need a way to access these services without being flagged by harsh censorship measures. That is where decentralized VPNs come into place. dVPN networks democratize internet access, allowing anyone in the world to connect to the network and evade surveillance from totalitarian regimes that could potentially result in death. The Sentinel network, for example, is built on a new blockchain paradigm called Cosmos, one of many blockchains built on Cosmos, and it is one of the leaders in the web three ecosystem together with Akash, which disrupts cloud computing. dVPN networks disrupt centralized VPNs owned by a few entities with very dark backgrounds.

Amazon has revolutionized retail goods by giving everybody a global platform on which to sell and buy goods. dVPN networks have similar explosive potential. They will allow anyone to sell and purchase bandwidth verifiable on an open and decentralized market without corrupt go-betweens. Imagine when the average consumer understands they can get paid for their excess bandwidth without doing anything; or buying bandwidth at a much lower cost than on centralized VPNs. It is quite literally opening free capital that people always had but could never access. This concept is semi-analogous to mining crypto, but a much bigger deal for all stakeholders.

Anyone who hosts a node will be sharing their bandwidth, allowing others to use it as a bridge to reach whatever internet service they might need. Going back to the China example, this can enable Chinese citizens to access Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube; without the CCP, or others like it, knowing. Interoperability is the new blockchain paradigm, and you will hear more about interoperability and Cosmos, the same way you heard about Ethereum and smart contracts. When blockchain can easily communicate with other blockchains, we suddenly find ourselves in a blockchain world where no borders exist online; value can freely travel from blockchain to blockchain without anyone stopping it. The more that technologies similar to this continue to emerge from the blockchain world–especially Cosmos–the more collective good we as a society can do. 

I invite anyone reading this to explore dVPN technology immediately. Go and host a node—export freedom and human rights globally to those in need across the globe, and get a window into the future of finance and computing, all while earning rewards.

About Dan Edlebeck
Dan is the CEO of Exidio. He is a connector of thought-leaders and doers in the blockchain space, building diverse networks to achieve high-impact goals. With 10 years of experience in business development, marketing, and operations. Dan worked to bring three blockchain projects to market and helped build four cryptocurrency company communities. He has an ambitious vision to make the world a better place, harnessing the capabilities of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Dan earned his MBA at Babson College and his bachelor’s at UW-Madison.

About Sentinel 
Sentinel is the first scalable framework allowing for dVPNs to utilize shared resources, reducing the overall network carbon footprint. The goal of the Sentinel ecosystem is to decentralize the VPN industry and introduce the ‘dVPN’ to the mainstream consumer.

About Exidio
Exidio is the leader in transparent, end-to-end encrypted VPN technology. Exidio builds beautiful applications empowering consumers and businesses to reclaim their digital privacy and security. Leveraging open-sourced code and decentralized networks, Exidio is bringing a new paradigm of transparency to the VPN space. Customers can download our application to access websites and stream videos from around the world, reclaim their online security and free themselves from third-party surveillance.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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