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The goal of the Sentinel ecosystem is to expand universal access to the Internet through a robust and provable approach. This is accomplished by enabling organizations and individuals around the world to build cost-effective, scalable, distributed and decentralized network solutions based on Sentinel Cosmos blockchain, leveraging the following
The Internet has created a form of interconnected global consciousness that can have an enormous positive impact. However, the value and power of the Internet's ability to disseminate information is under threat. There has been a rapid increase in censorship and mass data collection on the Internet, as well as an ever-growing dependence of people on the Internet. Nowadays, this trend of censorship and data collection violates fundamental human rights of access to information and privacy. The initial goal of the Sentinel ecosystem is to provide a framework for building decentralized virtual private networks or dVPNs. VPN applications are used by people around the world to access geographically restricted content by connecting to servers located in regions where the desired content is provided without restriction, while at the same time ensuring the privacy of interactions through the establishment of an encrypted connection. Whether the goal is to gain access to restricted content or to enhance the security of data transmission over the Internet, people around the world are demanding secure, low-cost and reliable VPN services.
With the release of Cosmos IBC, which provides interoperability, Sentinel can act as a private network or dVPN layer in the Web 3.0 infrastructure stack.
At its inception, VPN technology was primarily focused on creating secure tunnels between an organization's servers and its members to provide encrypted data transmission. Over the past decade, today's consumers have come to associate VPNs not only with the traditional view of enterprises, but also with a whole new narrative related to their concerns about privacy, Internet security and global data availability. We see the VPN industry flourishing as a result of these concerns, growing at 15% per year and projected to reach $75 billion worldwide by 2030. Existing VPN applications available to consumers in the VPN industry fail to authenticate their claims and keep their promises, assuring users of "privacy" and "reliability," thereby creating a serious contradiction. In recent years, this contradiction has been revealed on an almost quarterly basis, as leading VPN networks are continually exposed for deliberately storing and collecting user data, while at the same time allowing for serious security vulnerabilities. The VPN industry currently operates like a cartel, with the vast majority of leading brands having the same owners.
In contrast to these basic "consumer" VPN applications, a robust and holistic "dVPN" (a term originally proposed by Sentinel in 2017) has the following advantages:
1. Proven encryption - The provability of establishing end-to-end encryption between the user and the server from which the user intends to access the data, with transparency of open source and application integrity verification systems of the integrity verification system.
2. Throughput Proof - availability of a throughput proof system that allows throughput to be provided by the server provider in exchange for agreed compensation from the user in a provable manner.
3. Proof of absence of logs - ability to provide evidence that no logs related to browsing history or user data are stored centrally by the application developers.
4. Distributed Exit Nodes - Having a network of "exit nodes" (dVPN servers) whose ownership is distributed among many participants who do not know the identity of the user.
5. Distributed relay network - having a robust relay network with strong management and participation to reduce the risk of unscrupulous participants, while ensuring that exit nodes do not know the identity of the user.
In 2018 and 2019, the combined market capitalization of all dVPN projects combined was less than $10 million at one point. Today, the combined market capitalization of all dVPN projects has exceeded $500 million, and the recent entry of investors such as Sequoia and Andreessen Horowitz into this market segment shows that the dVPN sector is in the early stages of its growth cycle.
Sentinel aims to become a leader in the dVPN industry and currently has the highest quantitative user score in the sector.
Validators are members of the Sentinel - Cosmos Hub consensus who are responsible for ensuring security.
A user is an end user who wants to access a dVPN built on Sentinel for secure Internet access.
The dVPN hosts are community members who intend to monetize the provisioning of unused capacity for their Sentinel-built dVPNs by placing either an exit node or a relay node.
The dVPN application creator is the creator of a dVPN built on Sentinel, using Sentinel's dVPN zone as the infrastructure layer. The application creator is responsible for attracting users and marketing to generate revenue to be able to pay dVPN nodes.
The Cosmos ecosystem allows Sentinel to create and manage its own network at the "hub" level. While dVPN applications (note that Sentinel is not an application, but a service with infrastructure on which third-party users build their dVPN applications) built in the Sentinel network are hosted either in shared zones or in their own zones, depending on the bandwidth requirements of each individual application. The Sentinel hub and zone structure uses the Cosmos Hub/Zone architecture to increase the scalability of the dVPN dApp. Zones will communicate with the Sentinel core network (hub) via Cosmos interblockchain communication (IBC).
A centralized VPN architecture consists of multiple intermediary servers that are required to manage user permissions as well as establish a user connection to the VPN host. This centralized architecture requires a high degree of dependency on these intermediate servers, which pose a risk to network resilience due to multiple points of failure as well as multiple points of attack. Downtime in centralized VPN networks can be attributed to the malfunction of one or more of these components, and can lead to degradation in service quality and user satisfaction. The Sentinel dVPN structure provides an incredible degree of fault tolerance and security compared to any consumer-grade VPN. The Sentinel architecture minimizes the number of intermediate servers and dependencies. In addition to the management and account creation system, which occurs entirely on the blockchain, the process of requesting available servers occurs on the blockchain. Because the blockchain on which the application is hosted will run 24/7 without interruption, because the validator community infrastructure is globally decentralized (it will not be affected by 1, 2 or 3 data center outages), the uptime and user experience of such an application far exceeds the offerings of centralized resources.
A key contributing factor to the resiliency of the Sentinel architecture is the decentralized distribution of computing power required to run Sentinel Hub and Sentinel Zone. The computing power required to run the dVPN Sentinel ecosystem is not provided by, or dependent upon, centralized organizations; instead, it is provided by expert "checkout" organizations that are distributed globally and have highly redundant systems with significant bandwidth and uptime. While the Sentinel architecture ensures that user anonymity is not compromised by the application itself, the use of the relay network created by Sentinel is necessary to ensure complete user anonymity from an output node perspective. Sentinel's relay network will allow users to tunnel their connection through a series of "relay nodes" that ensure that the user does not directly communicate with the exit node. Sentinel's proprietary, patented "bandwidth proof" protocol provides reliable and transparent bandwidth measurements from the service provider (community-based nodes) to the end user. The "proof-of-bandwidth" protocol is integrated into Sentinel's blockchain, providing clear tracking of the quality of bandwidth provisioning services and establishing a level of trust between all participants. This data is subsequently used to determine whether a node has met the required level of service to avoid penalties.
In the coming years, Sentinel's ecosystem will consist of dozens of cross-platform dVPN apps built by third-party developers who take responsibility for the brand strategy and marketing strategy of the app, while monetizing through traditional fiat channels and paying service providers in exchange for provably encrypted and secure bandwidth.
Sentinel's institutional capital raising began in Q4 2020 and ended in February 2021, with a fixed token sale price of $0.0025 per Sentinel token. In this round, 1.4 billion Sentinel tokens were offered to strategic partners.
According to the Sentinel network's original ERC-20 allocation, which was developed in 2017, 75% of the token stock was to be owned by the community. As the Sentinel network switched from Ethereum to Sentinel's own Cosmos-based network, the total amount of tokens circulating in the network will increase from 2 billion to 10 billion over the next 5 years.
It is important to note that the lock-in schedule for Team, Treasure and Marketing is designed so that no tokens are released during the first year, and the allocation schedule is heavily weighted towards later years compared to earlier years. For example, 0%, 12%, 30%, 60%, 100% of the assigned allocation will be allocated in years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 respectively.
The main utility of the Sentinel token revolves around its functions:
- control token and stacking ;
- a means of paying for dVPN subscriptions ;
- dVPN extended service payment facility.
Staking is possible today with an APY of 61%:
On July 6, 2022, there were 3,268 active nodes (nodes) in the network.
That's a 12,000% increase from 27 knots on July 6, 2021.
Today, nearly 3,000 users are actively using Sentinel technology by paying for #dVPN services and connecting to the network.
Sentinel-based dApps are some of the only, if not the only, apps in the Cosmos ecosystem right now that ordinary users can use in their daily lives. You don't have to know the ins and outs of the cryptocurrency market to do so: just download the app and pay for dVPN services. This is the first step towards mass adoption of Sentinel.