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CyberGhost VPN is one of the most established VPN services around. It was founded by Robert Knapp in 2011, and it quickly became one of the most popular free VPNs. CyberGhost currently has over 30 million users and its popularity keeps growing but the question is, how does it compare to other top VPN providers? In this review you will learn what is good and what is not so good about CyberGhost, and you will find answers to popular questions like: Is using CyberGhost safe? Is it legal and does it really work? Does CyberGhost still have a free version? Does it work with Netflix? Is torrenting & P2P allowed? Before we answer all these questions (and many more), lets first examine CyberGhost VPN’s pros and cons: Pros Fast speeds: 64Mbps (global average) Unlocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer & other streaming sites Optimized servers for torrenting/P2P traffic Strong logging policy & no IP/DNS/WebRTC leaks User-friendly apps for PC, Mac, iOS, & Android Great server network across 60 countries Cons Torrenting not available on US & Australia servers Doesn't work in high censorship countries Not recommended for Kodi 14-day refund guarantee on 1-month plan Works with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting Available on Windows Mac Ios Android Linux Price from $2.75/mo As you can see CyberGhost is without a doubt an impressive VPN, but there are a few drawbacks that you need to know about in more detail. Lets start off our in-depth review by looking at how fast CyberGhost really is. Speed & Reliability Very fast speeds, especially for same-country connections CyberGhost will match almost any VPN service for fast download and upload speeds, but what it occasionally lacks is consistency. CyberGhost VPN’s same-country (for example, London to London) download and upload speeds are impressive and reliable, but CyberGhost users connecting to international servers may notice a drop-off in speed, with ping times also increasing. Speed results from our physical location in London (100Mbps fibre optic connection) to a London test server. Before using CyberGhost: DOWNLOAD Mbps 95 UPLOAD Mbps 97 PING ms 2 When connected to CyberGhost: DOWNLOAD Mbps 54 UPLOAD Mbps 77 PING ms 13 Download speed without CyberGhost: 95 Mbps Download speed with CyberGhost: 54 Mbps Our download speed loss when CyberGhost is running: 43% We put all of the VPNs on the site through a rigorous scientific speed testing process, determining the average speeds from multiple locations across the globe. These are the average speeds you can expect to pick up from these locations: USA: 51Mpbs (download) & 41Mbps (upload) Germany: 78Mbps (download) & 74Mbps (upload) Singapore: 28Mpbs (download) & 15Mbps (upload) Australia: 32Mbps (download) & 7Mbps (upload) Server Locations 4,600 servers around the world Globe with a blue flag 60 Countries Image of a city landscape 84 Cities Image of a pink marker 4,680+ IP Addresses See all Server Locations CyberGhost’s servers cover the whole world, with great server coverage in Europe and North America. A choice of over 4,680 servers is paired with a similar number of IP addresses. Screenshot of CyberGhost VPN server locations in Windows app 4,600 servers is a very good number, and one of the highest server counts on the market. While it’s considerably less than NordVPN‘s 5,000 plus servers, it is still a very high number of VPN servers. Similarly to IPVanish, CyberGhost owns all of its DNS servers meaning that it doesn’t rely on rented servers to provide VPN connections. The countries with the most CyberGhost servers are the US (1085), Germany (608), France (324), the UK (665) and Canada (223). At city-level, CyberGhost covers 13 different US locations, and 3 locations in Australia, Canada and the UK. Streaming & Torrenting Great for Netflix, Torrenting and More CyberGhost provides many dedicated Netflix servers, which is great. They are very east to find in the app and we’ve never had any issues unblocking Netflix when using CyberGhost VPN. CyberGhost has also its own dedicated BBC iPlayer server, too, and CyberGhost is currently our highest-recommended VPN for BBC iPlayer. That’s not all, though. CyberGhost subscribers also report that they can successfully stream: Amazon Prime Video Hulu HBO Sling TV Sky Now TV PlayStation Vue Torrenting CyberGhost is also a good choice for torrenting, although there are a couple of caveats: It doesn’t allow torrenting on its US or Australian servers Torrenting on mobile is a hassle compared to Windows and macOS applications You can torrent from mobile while using CyberGhost if you check and select the existing P2P servers on the desktop app or on the website. P2P torrenting is allowed on mobile, but there is no tab to find out which work. If you’re ok with these P2P limitations, then CyberGhost is a safe, fast and reliable VPN for torrenting. CyberGhost doesn’t log, it has a VPN kill switch and when we checked for IP/DNS leaks, we found none. If however the torrenting limitations above are putting you off, then take a look at our best VPNs for torrenting. Bypassing Censorship No good for China and highly censored countries We can’t recommend CyberGhost as a VPN to use in high censorship countries, as it simply can’t guarantee to bypass aggressive web censors. Unfortunately CyberGhost doesn’t have the obfuscation tools that make ExpressVPN and VyprVPN better VPN services to beat online censorship in countries like China, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iran. CyberGhost even warns that you use of a VPN in certain countries is forbidden and CyberGhost VPN shouldn’t be used in these nations. CyberGhost does mention that workarounds to make its VPN work in these countries are available, but that you shouldn’t try them. Basically, CyberGhost doesn’t want people to use its VPN in countries where VPNs are not legal. Platforms & Devices Compatible with popular devices, including routers Apps Windows Logo Windows Mac Logo Mac iOS Logo iOS Android Logo Android Linux Logo Linux Router Logo Router Whatever your device or operating system, CyberGhost has you covered with either a custom VPN app, or a manual workaround for you to configure your device and use CyberGhost VPN with it. CyberGhost VPN is compatible with all Windows, macOS, iOS and Android devices. You can also use CyberGhost on multiple devices at once, up to 7 in total (depending on the plan chosen). Games Consoles & Streaming Devices AppleTV Logo AppleTV Amazon Fire TV Logo Amazon Fire TV Chromecast Logo Chromecast Nintendo Logo Nintendo PlayStation Logo PlayStation Roku Logo Roku Xbox Logo Xbox You can also use CyberGhost with a range of gaming consoles and streaming devices, by installing the VPN onto your home router and connecting the devices to it. You can also piggyback off the CyberGhost VPN connection from another device running the CyberGhost app, such as your laptop. The recent addition of a native VPN app for the Amazon Fire TV Stick is also a big plus. Browser Extensions Chrome Logo Chrome Firefox Logo Firefox CyberGhost has VPN browser extensions available for Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. These extensions are entirely free but, regardless of whether or not you’re a paying customer, you’ll only get access to eight servers in four locations (2 servers each) through them: United States, Germany, Romania and the Netherlands. These VPN add-ons are only proxies though, so they will only protect your web traffic. We recommend you use CyberGhost’s VPN extensions with the main VPN application or VPN client at all times. Encryption & Security One of the best VPNs for security Protocol IKEv2/IPSec L2TP/IPSec OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) PPTP Encryption AES-256 Security DNS Leak Blocking First-party DNS IPV6 Leak Blocking VPN Kill Switch Advanced features Split Tunneling TOR via VPN Server Please see our VPN Glossary if these terms confuse you and would like to learn more. CyberGhost is an excellent choice for privacy, with one of the most advanced security suites of any VPN available today. The CyberGhost apps default to our favorite protocol, OpenVPN, and it encrypts your web data traffic with the ultra-secure AES-256 encryption and has a kill switch to make sure your identity stays protected in the event of a connection drop. Rest assured that your true location is safe and hidden with CyberGhost: we ran several IP or DNS leak tests and we found no leaks. Logging Policy Based in EU but no logs policy assures privacy This is a list of all the anonymous information that CyberGhost collects (taken from their logging policy): “CyberGhost VPN records the log-in of an anonymous account for statistical purposes. We do this once a day (all other log-ins will be ignored) and sum up each daily log-in for one month. The daily log-in data will be deleted after 24 hours, the monthly sum at the end of each month.” CyberGhost claims that this data is the bare minimum required to keep its VPN service running optimally. CyberGhost’s logging policy makes it clear that no personally identifiable information is collected and therefore there is nothing stored on CyberGhost’s servers that could be used to identify you, should anyone ever seize their servers. Excerpt from CyberGhost Logging Policy Excerpt from CyberGhost Logging Policy Jurisdiction CyberGhost VPN is operated by the Romanian company CyberGhost SA, which was acquired by Kape Technologies PLC (previously known as Crossrider) in 2017. The fact that CyberGhost is headquartered in Romania may seem less than ideal since Romania is part of the EU which has aggressive data-retention and sharing agreements in place with other nations. However we are not concerned by where CyberGhost is located given that it doesn’t collect any personally identifiable connection data. CyberGhost is a VPN you can trust with your online privacy. Ease of Use Extremely easy to use How to Install & Set Up CyberGhost CyberGhost download in our CyberGhost VPN review Find the relevant software on CyberGhost's website and click 'Download'. CyberGhost download in our CyberGhost VPN review #2 OPT Follow the simple installation prompts and agree to the Terms and Conditions. CyberGhost login in our CyberGhost VPN review The app will automatically open once installation is complete. Simply type in your login details. CyberGhost connected screen in our CyberGhost VPN review After connecting the main screen will show the time you've been connected, your chosen server location, and new IP address. CyberGhost main screen in our CyberGhost VPN review The main screen is compact and simple, with a connect button in the middle and your chosen server location below. CyberGhost connected screen in our CyberGhost VPN review After connecting the main screen will show the time you've been connected, your chosen server location, and new IP address. CyberGhost main screen in our CyberGhost VPN review The main screen is compact and simple, with a connect button in the middle and your chosen server location below. CyberGhost connected screen in our CyberGhost VPN review After connecting the main screen will show the time you've been connected, your chosen server location, and new IP address. CyberGhost extended screen and server list in our CyberGhost VPN review Click on the arrows in the bottom left to open up the extended app interface. Here you can see the full server locations list and choose optimized servers. CyberGhost settings in our CyberGhost VPN review Click the cog symbol to open up the setting menu where you can change the VPN protocol and switch on leak protection. CyberGhost connection features in our CyberGhost VPN review Under the Connection Features tab you can activate the ad blocker feature and other privacy extras. CyberGhost split tunneling in our CyberGhost VPN review Click the Smart Rules tab to the left and then Exceptions. Here you can decide which apps you'd like to route outside of the VPN tunnel. CyberGhost is still one of the easiest VPNs to use, even with all of its bells and whistles. Menus in the apps are clearly labeled and come with helpful contextual tooltips. There’s even a set of demonstrative videos on the CyberGhost website that show you just how simple its VPN apps are. Browser Extensions CyberGhost’s browser extensions couldn’t be simpler. You just have to click the icon and select a location. Customer Support Live chat and extensive troubleshooting 24/7 Live chat support Online Resources The round-the-clock live chat support agents are always friendly and responsive, usually managing to solve our queries in a matter of minutes. There’s a good chance you won’t ever need to use live support, though, as the online troubleshooting guides are pretty comprehensive. Pricing & Deals A great value VPN made very cheap with long-term plan CyberGhost Coupon CyberGhost logo CyberGhost Get 79% off CyberGhost's 3-year plan TestedEnds 31 Aug Get CodeED Terms CyberGhost Pricing Plan CyberGhost used to provide a free VPN service, however that is no longer the case. At its very cheapest, CyberGhost costs $2.75 per month – a 79% saving – but this requires a 3-year commitment. We think it’s worth the money, but if you don’t want to commit for 3 years then a monthly subscription plan jumps to $12.99 per month while a 6-month plan will cost $7.99 per month (a 39% saving). CyberGhost has a 45-day money-back guarantee in place, which is one of the longest we’ve come across, but it only applies to subscriptions of six months or longer – one-month subscriptions have a 14-day refund guarantee. There are no hidden catches or restrictions. If you want your money back then CyberGhost will refund you in 5-10 working days. To get a refund, simply contact CyberGhost support (live chat or email) and request a refund before the 45-days are up. You may be asked to fill in a short survey. CyberGhost also offers a one-day free trial (or seven days for mobile devices). The free trial grants you the full VPN experience with no personal or payment details asked for. A handy pop-up will remind you of your remaining runtime every time you use the VPN service. Monthly US$12.99/mo Billed $12.99 each month 6 Months US$7.99/mo Billed $47.94 every 6 months Save 39% 3 Years US$2.75/mo Billed $99.00 every 3 years Save 79% All plans have 45-day money-back guarantee Payment & Refund Options Credit Card PayPal Bitcoin CyberGhost accepts a range of payment options including most major credit cards, PayPal and Bitcoin. Unfortunately, it doesn’t currently accept any other international options like Alipay or UnionPay.
ExpressVPN: Ranked #1 out of 100 VPNs that we tested ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN services on the market, but is it really the “#1 trusted leader in VPN” as it claims to be? We put ExpressVPN through rigorous testing and in this review we’ll tell you if it’s honestly the top VPN of 2019, and we’ll answer common questions like: Is ExpressVPN really that fast? Is it legit and safe to use? Does ExpressVPN unblock Netflix? Does ExpressVPN allow torrenting? How much does ExpressVPN cost? But before we jump in, here’s a quick overview of ExpressVPN’s pros and cons: Pros Cons Exceptionally fast same-country speeds Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer & more Safe, fast & unrestricted torrenting/P2P Strong logging policy & no IP, DNS, WebRTC leaks User-friendly apps for PC, Mac, iOS, & Android Great server network across 94 countries More expensive than some rivals Fire Stick TV app needs updating Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Sky, SlingTV, Torrenting, Kodi Available on Windows Mac Ios Android Linux Price from $6.67/mo That’s just a few highlights of what’s to come. Keep reading to see if ExpressVPN is the right VPN for you, starting with how fast it is. Speed & Reliability One of the fastest VPNs we've tested ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPN services we’ve tested – it’s extremely quick and responsive. ExpressVPN is also remarkably reliable and consistent, whether you’re connecting to a local server, or one on the other side of the world. It’s speed is also very impressive in high censorship countries like China, where most other VPN services struggle to even connect. Use the table below to see how ExpressVPN speeds fare against its top-scoring rivals in 11 locations around the world. Select server location ExpressVPN NordVPN IPVanish DOWNLOAD AVERAGE 52.10 Mbps 69.67 Mbps 44.83 Mbps UPLOAD AVERAGE 23.84 Mbps 27.86 Mbps 27.70 Mbps PING AVERAGE 141 ms 135 ms 131 ms Here are the average speeds you can expect from ExpressVPN from a handful popular regions. Europe Asia USA Australia DOWNLOAD AVERAGE 125 Mbps 47 Mbps 151 Mbps 129 Mbps UPLOAD AVERAGE 101 Mbps 34 Mbps 135 Mbps 113 Mbps PING AVERAGE 73 ms 3 ms 4 ms 2 ms Averages are calculated from our test results over the last 4 weeks. To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Test VPN Speed. Speed results from our physical location in London (100Mbps fibre optic connection) to a London test server. Before using ExpressVPN: DOWNLOAD Mbps 95.71 UPLOAD Mbps 98.71 PING ms 3 When connected to ExpressVPN: DOWNLOAD Mbps 85 UPLOAD Mbps 91.22 PING ms 8 Download speed without ExpressVPN: 95.71Mbps Download speed with ExpressVPN: 85.00Mbps Our download speed loss when ExpressVPN is running: 11% On top of fast download and upload speeds, ExpressVPN’s low latency and low ping times make it a good VPN for gaming, not as good as other VPN services but a strong gaming contender nonetheless. From our location in the UK, we tested average speeds connecting out to various locations worldwide while connected to ExpressVPN: USA: 77Mbps (download) & 40Mbps (upload) Germany: 79Mbps (download) & 66Mbps (upload) Singapore: 73Mbps (download) & 22Mbps (upload) Australia: 59Mbps (download) & 1Mbps (upload) Server Locations 3,000+ servers across 160 locations Globe with a blue flag 94 Countries Image of a city landscape 160 Cities Image of a pink marker 3,000+ IP Addresses See all Server Locations ExpressVPN operates more than 3,000 VPN servers across the world, spread evenly over every continent (excluding Antarctica). No matter where you’re located you should have no trouble finding an ExpressVPN server near you. 3,000 servers is one of the widest ranges of servers we’ve seen from any VPN service, and the ExpressVPN website even lists which VPN security protocols are available in each location (either country or city). ExpressVPN provides city-level servers in a number of locations, too: US UK Australia Brazil India Singapore Netherlands Germany France Italy Spain ExpressVPN’s 27 different city-level locations in the US and in four in Australia are some of the highest totals we’ve seen. Streaming & Torrenting Instantly unlocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and torrenting ExpressVPN easily unlocks Netflix through almost all of its US-based VPN servers (apart from New York), even if it doesn’t offer servers dedicated to streaming like some of the other top-tier VPN services like CyberGhost. ExpressVPN’s Isle of Man and Jersey servers work well with UK Netflix, while most UK servers will unlock BBC iPlayer (although customer support informed us it will only work if you’re located outside of the UK). ExpressVPN is also a popular choice with viewers of a whole range of other big streaming services. Plenty of subscribers enjoy using ExpressVPN with: Amazon Prime Video Hulu HBO Sling TV Sky Now TV PlayStation Vue The following ExpressVPN servers worked for unlocking Netflix: USA (New Jersey, Washington DC, San Francisco) Canada (Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver) UK (Isle of Man, Jersey) Torrenting Torrenting and any type of P2P traffic is allowed on all ExpressVPN servers, resulting in less congestion and faster speeds as a bonus. ExpressVPN registered fast speeds both downloading and uploading, which is fundamental for a good torrenting and P2P experience. ExpressVPN also works for those looking to stream via Kodi or similar media player apps. Privacy and security-wise, ExpressVPN’s kill switch works extremely well (should your VPN connection drop at any point) and when we tested ExpressVPN for IP or DNS leaks, we found zero. What’s more, ExpressVPN doesn’t keep any activity logs. You can read more about all of this below. Bypassing Censorship Works in China, UAE and more ExpressVPN works in China, bypassing Chinese censorship with ease, largely thanks to the company devoting significant resources into outsmarting the censors. That is why ExpressVPN is our best VPN for China. If you have protocol selection switched to Automatic, ExpressVPN’s proprietary obfuscation security protocols are activated, which are very effective in beating aggressive state-level censors. These obfuscation protocols ensure that its VPN apps easily beat even the most aggressive of blocks in countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Platforms & Devices Works with all popular devices Apps Windows Logo Windows Mac Logo Mac iOS Logo iOS Android Logo Android Linux Logo Linux Router Logo Router ExpressVPN supports just about any operating system or device out there – Microsoft Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android – with installation instructions given for each one. Where ExpressVPN doesn’t have a native dedicated VPN app, you have access to a walkthrough on the ExpressVPN website to show you how to set up a workaround. Games Consoles & Streaming Devices AppleTV Logo AppleTV Amazon Fire TV Logo Amazon Fire TV Chromecast Logo Chromecast Nintendo Logo Nintendo PlayStation Logo PlayStation Roku Logo Roku Xbox Logo Xbox ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN services for Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, although it is not our number one choice. Why is not our top pick? Well, ExpressVPN may have been one of the first VPN providers to roll out a Fire TV Stick app, and it works fine, but it’s grown to look out-dated and lacks some of the features that we’ve enjoyed in more recent Fire TV Stick VPN apps. If you own a Fire TV Stick and want to use a VPN app with it, take a look at our top VPN picks for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. If you want to run ExpressVPN on other streaming devices or games consoles, you’ll need to install ExpressVPN at router level, or you can piggyback off of the VPN connection from another device, like your PC or Mac. Browser Extensions Chrome Logo Chrome Firefox Logo Firefox Safari Logo Safari ExpressVPN provides full VPN browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. Most of the VPN browser add-ons we see from other VPN providers are proxies pretending to be full VPNs, but ExpressVPN’s extensions are the real deal. You can choose your server location from within the browser extension, which is a really neat solution. Thanks to a recent update you can now use ExpressVPN on five different devices at once, too. Encryption & Security Leader in security, with strong extras like a VPN kill switch & obfuscation protocols Protocol IKEv2/IPSec L2TP/IPSec OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) PPTP SSTP Encryption AES-256 Security DNS Leak Blocking First-party DNS IPV6 Leak Blocking VPN Kill Switch WebRTC Leak Blocking Advanced features Split Tunneling Please see our VPN Glossary if these terms confuse you and would like to learn more. ExpressVPN is a legitimate and extremely secure VPN service, with a multitude of standards and VPN protocols in place to keep your browsing data private and secure. If you leave the VPN protocol setting on Automatic then the ExpressVPN app will determine what is the best security protocol to use – a handy feature that’s not all that common. AES-256 encryption is widely regarded as near-unbreakable; OpenVPN, our favorite VPN protocol, is one of many available; and ExpressVPN also has the always-essential VPN kill switch, ensuring you stay protected in the event of your connection dropping. Split tunneling is yet another powerful feature that’s not all that common among VPN services. It allows you to protect your web traffic while keeping access to connected devices on your network, like your printer or Smart TV. We found ExpressVPN to be fully protected from any IP or DNS leaks, too. You can count on ExpressVPN to successfully hide your real IP address. ExpressVPN recently launched its TrustedServer feature, a proprietary technology that removes the need for local storage such as hard disks or solid state drives. Once again, ExpressVPN is leading the pack when it comes to security and privacy. Logging Policy Close to truly no-logs and away from 14-Eyes ExpressVPN doesn’t collect any personally identifiable activity logs. Here’s all the information collected by ExpressVPN’s VPN servers: Dates when connected to the VPN service Choice of VPN server location Total amount of data transferred per day That’s it. ExpressVPN maintains that this is the minimum amount of information required to be collected in order to keep the performance of its servers as strong as possible. The most important thing of all is that this data cannot be used to identify you, or what you do. All that’s possible to reveal is that you have used ExpressVPN’s service at some point. This is totally anonymous, and about as close to zero-logs as you can get. A recent report by the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) questioned ExpressVPN in greater detail and concluded that its servers were both “extremely difficult to compromise” and “limited in the amount of data that could be revealed” in the event that they were. ExpressVPN’s logging policy was put to the test in December 2017 when one of ExpressVPN’s Turkish VPN servers was seized and inspected by Turkish authorities investigating the assassination of Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov. The investigators could not find any customer connection logs. Jurisdiction ExpressVPN was founded in 2009 and is operated by Express VPN International Ltd., which is based in the British Virgin Islands and far outside of the intrusive 14-eyes surveillance alliance. That’s an excellent choice of location for a privacy-minded VPN company, as the British Virgin Islands has full sovereignty over its own data regulations. Foreign governments can still make demands for information, but ExpressVPN makes it clear that it will never share data with them and, crucially, that it doesn’t have any personally identifiable information to share in the first place. In case you’re still wondering, you’re safe with ExpressVPN. Ease of Use Hassle-free setup and easy to get started How to Install & Set Up ExpressVPN Screenshot of the ExpressVPN installation wizard This is the screen you'll see after you've downloaded your chosen software from the ExpressVPN website. Screenshot of the ExpressVPN download success screen When the installation is complete, you'll receive a prompt to start the ExpressVPN app. Screenshot of the activation code box in the ExpressVPN app Before you can start using the app, you'll need to enter the activation code provided in your welcome email. Screenshot of the main screen of ExpressVPN's desktop app The main view of the ExpressVPN screen - just click connect to fire up your new VPN. Screenshot of ExpressVPN while connected The on/off button turns green when you're connected, and clearly displays your chosen server location. Screenshot of ExpressVPN's list of server locations Your favorite server locations display here in a separate window. Screenshot of ExpressVPN's protocol choices in the desktop app Choose your protocol here - we really like the helpful contextual information provided ExpressVPN is so easy to use that it’s hard to go wrong – not just with the main desktop client, but also with its many device-specific apps and browser extensions. The ExpressVPN home screen is simply a big on/off button and a list of VPN servers, but if you want to customize things you can also find advanced settings behind a separate menu. Even ExpressVPN’s advanced options are explained in plain and easily-understood language, so you’ll never be making changes without knowing exactly what you’re doing. Browser Extensions ExpressVPN’s browser extensions are available for Chrome, Firefox and Safari. They give you full protection that fully masks your web activity without you having to leave your browser window. Customer Support Responsive and friendly live chat 24/7 Live chat support Email Online Resources ExpressVPN’s helpful 24/7 live chat means if you ever have a problem, you’ll be back up and running as quickly as possible. ExpressVPN really is one of the most customer-focused VPN services we’ve reviewed, and the ExpressVPN support team makes sure to keep you happy before and well after you’ve become their customer. You can also reach out to ExpressVPN’s customer support via email, with equally responsive, helpful and enthusiastic responses. Pricing & Deals A little expensive, but well worth it ExpressVPN Coupon ExpressVPN logo ExpressVPN Get 3 months free with ExpressVPN's 12-month plan TestedEnds in 2 days Get CodeED Terms ExpressVPN Pricing Plan ExpressVPN provides the same features on all its price plans, so the only decision to make is how much you want to pay upfront and how much your subscription costs you per month. The longer you subscribe to ExpressVPN for, the cheaper the monthly cost: a single month of ExpressVPN costs $12.95 (which is more costly than other 1-month plans offered by its rivals), but there’s a 49% reduction to $6.67 for a 15-month plan, which is great value for the best VPN service around. Monthly US$12.95/mo Billed $12.95 every month 6 Months US$9.99/mo Billed $59.95 every 6 months Save 23% 15 Months US$6.67/mo Billed $99.95 first 15 months and 12 months thereafter Save 49% All plans have 30-day money-back guarantee Payment & Refund Options Credit Card PayPal Bitcoin AliPay UnionPay You’re entitled to a 30-day money-back guarantee when you first sign up to ExpressVPN. We found that they grant refunds quickly and with no questions asked, after we made a simple request to customer service. ExpressVPN doesn’t have a true free trial in place, but take a look at our guide on how you can make the most of the 30-day refund guarantee. There’s also a ‘Refer a Friend’ program which earns you a 30-day free ExpressVPN subscription for both you and the friend you convince to sign up – plus there’s no limit to the number of friends you can refer.
Private Internet Access Review - An in-depth review
Private Internet Access talks a big game on its website. In among all the technical jargon it boasts that it’s “the most trusted name in anonymous VPN service.” Its name certainly promises as much, but can you trust Private Internet Access to give you the VPN speeds and security you need? We’ve spent days testing Private Internet Access to answer all your questions, such as: Is Private Internet Access trustworthy? What does Private Internet Access do? Does Private Internet Access work with Hulu? Does Private Internet Access keep logs? Who owns Private Internet Access? Before we get stuck in, let’s take a look at the basics of Private Internet Access, along with what we found to be its main pros and cons: Pros Excellent speeds - 87Mbps global average Easy, high-speed access to Netflix Unlimited P2P & torrenting Keeps no usage logs & no IP/DNS leaks 3,300+ servers across 32 countries User-friendly apps for PC, Mac, iOS, & Android Cons Small server network compared to top-tier providers Based in the privacy-unfriendly US Email support can be slow, limited live chat Patchy access in China Works with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Now TV, HBO, Sling TV, Torrenting, Kodi Available on Windows Mac Ios Android Linux Price from $2.91/mo Private Internet Access is an incredibly fast VPN, with some excellent features that make it ideal for privacy advocates. It’s not perfect, though – read on to find out more. Speed & Reliability Very fast and impressive speeds Private Internet Access is a very fast VPN. PIA’s best VPN servers are impressive for speed: if you live near London, New York or Toronto and want to connect locally you won’t find a faster provider in the current market. We were also highly impressed with PIA’s global performance, with very fast average download speed of 87Mbps. This is one the highest we’ve seen from any provider, making it a fantastic choice for P2P users and torrenters. Speed results from our physical location in London (100Mbps fibre optic connection) to a London test server. Before using Private Internet Access: DOWNLOAD Mbps 92 UPLOAD Mbps 99 PING ms 2 When connected to Private Internet Access: DOWNLOAD Mbps 47 UPLOAD Mbps 74 PING ms 12 Download speed without Private Internet Acess: 92Mbps Download speed with Private Internet Access: 47Mbps Our download speed loss when Private Internet Access is running: 50% Gamers will love PIA’s practically non-existent latency of less than 1ms in some locations. It also has exceptional upload speeds – you can expect 268Mbps at the best of times. We put all of the VPNs on the site through a rigorous scientific speed testing process, determining the average speeds from multiple locations across the globe. These are the average speeds you can expect to pick up from these locations: USA: 31Mbps (download) & 38Mbps (upload) Germany: 85Mbps (download) & 72Mbps (upload) Singapore: 26Mbps (download) & 9Mbps (upload) Australia: 35Mbps (download) & 10Mbps (upload) Server Locations Important locations are covered, the server list is small Globe with a blue flag 32 Countries Image of a city landscape 52 Cities Image of a pink marker 3,300+ IP Addresses See all Server Locations Private Internet Access’ servers are spread over 33 countries – a smaller selection than many of its big-name rivals, although every PIA location is courtesy of a real physical server. While 3,300-plus VPN servers is a fantastic amount, it’s likely that there’s only one IP address for each. That’s a good number, but VPN services like IPVanish (40,000) and VyprVPN (200,000) have far more. PIA VPN covers all the most popular locations in a good global spread, while 14 separate cities (and 1,500 servers) within the US is outstanding. There’s also city-level selection in the UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany. Private Internet Access Server Locations on the Private Internet Access Website Streaming & Torrenting Good for Netflix, great for torrenting Private Internet Access’ huge array of US servers means that unblocking Netflix is never more than one or two clicks away. We found access through its Washington DC, Atlanta, Chicago and Houston servers to be very reliable, and less so with US East, New York City, Florida and California servers. Access to BBC iPlayer had recently stopped working for us, and Private Internet Access has said that rectifying it is not a priority for the service. Our most recent tests, however, had success accessing the service. Private Internet Access is also a popular choice with viewers of a whole range of other big streaming services. Plenty of subscribers enjoy using Private Internet Access with: Amazon Prime Video Hulu HBO Sling TV Sky Now TV PlayStation Vue Torrenting Private Internet Access is a very, very good VPN for torrenting. P2P traffic is permitted on all servers and the market-leading upload and download speeds ensure rapid file transfers and buffer-free Kodi. It has a VPN kill switch to keep your identity safe while you download or seed, it’s totally protected from IP and DNS leaks, and its logging policy ensures your traffic will be kept private and anonymous. Bypassing Censorship No good in China but works well in other countries Private Internet Access is unusable in large parts of China as the government has successfully managed to block it via the Great Firewall. Reports and anecdotes from users suggest that it still works in Beijing at least, for example. Unless you want to spend a lot of time tampering with long-winded manual configurations, you’ll be better off finding another VPN service, though – our roundup of the best VPNs for China should help. PIA will still work to unlock the internet in slightly less dilligent nations though, such as Turkey, Iran or Saudi Arabia. Platforms & Devices Works across all platforms, and router too Apps Windows Logo Windows Mac Logo Mac iOS Logo iOS Android Logo Android Linux Logo Linux Router Logo Router There are custom apps to get Private Internet Access running on all the popular operating systems, both desktop and mobile, while a router-level installation will cover everything else. Private Internet Access works with Microsoft Windows, Apple MacOS, Android, iPhone and more. You can use Private Internet Access on a number of devices, up to ten in total. Manual setup guides are also available on the Private Internet Access website to help walk you through more obscure platforms or older OS versions. Games Consoles & Streaming Devices AppleTV Logo AppleTV Amazon Fire TV Logo Amazon Fire TV Chromecast Logo Chromecast Nintendo Logo Nintendo PlayStation Logo PlayStation Roku Logo Roku Xbox Logo Xbox Private Internet Access offers a custom app for Amazon Fire TV and Stick. Installing the app requires a little bit of technical knowhow, but once installed you’ll be able to choose servers all around the world and access your favorite video content. It’s also possible to use PIA’s software with other streaming devices and games consoles, like the PlayStation 4, Xbox One or Google Chromecast, by connecting them to a configured router. Browser Extensions Chrome Logo Chrome Firefox Logo Firefox Private Internet Access also has browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera, which protect your browser traffic. They’re just proxies, but still protect your IP address and prevent WebRTC leaks when surfing the web. You can learn more about the differences between VPNs and proxies with our guide. Encryption & Security One of the most secure VPNs around Protocol L2TP/IPSec OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) PPTP Encryption AES-128 AES-256 Security DNS Leak Blocking First-party DNS IPV6 Leak Blocking Supports TCP Port 443 VPN Kill Switch WebRTC Leak Blocking Advanced features Ad Blocker SOCKS Please see our VPN Glossary if these terms confuse you and would like to learn more. After all this, you’re still probably wondering one question: is Private Internet Access trustworthy? We can safely say that the answer is yes. Private Internet Access is one of the most advanced VPNs on the market, sure to satisfy even the most demanding of users. A screenshot of PIA's recommended security configurations PIA’s recommended security configurations You get a broad choice of protocols with Private Internet Access (including our favorite, OpenVPN), encryption (including AES-256), an ad and malware blocker (PIA MACE), TCP Port 443, as well as a kill switch. It also features IPV6 leak protection, although it’s unlikely you’ll need that right now – still, it’s good future-proofing for when IPV6 eventually becomes the new internet standard (you can learn more about IPV6 here). One small thing we’d change is that PIA VPN offers PPTP as a protocol, but not IKEv2. We prefer OpenVPN to IKEv2, but some users like that it often gives you faster VPN connection speeds. PPTP, on the other hand, is old and insecure and shouldn’t really be used by anyone. On top of all that, we also found it didn’t leak our IP or DNS – Private Internet Access operates its own DNS servers, which helps. Logging Policy Absolutely no logging information kept Private Internet Access keeps absolutely no VPN logs whatsoever – you can use the service with total peace of mind that your data and traffic is not being monitored, nor can it be traced back to you. Jurisdiction Private Internet Access first launched in 2010 and is owned by London Trust Media, a firm with a diverse portfolio of products and a particular focus on privacy and tech. It’s based in Colorado, Denver, USA. We would normally criticize a VPN for choosing the US as its base of operations, however, in the case of Private Internet Access we’ll make an exception. The fact that absolutely no browsing logs are stored or monitored by PIA means that any prying authorities would have nothing to uncover. Ease of Use Updated app does wonders for usability How to Install & Set Up Private Internet Access Private Internet Access download options screenshot in our PIA review Go to the downloads section on PIA's website to find the right software for your device. Private Internet Access installation instructions screenshot in our PIA review We love PIA's step-by-step instructions on how to navigate the installation process. Private Internet Access setup options screenshot in our PIA review PIA gives you the option to create a handy desktop shortcut for the app. Private Internet Access setup wizard screenshot in our PIA review Once the installation is complete, you'll be given the option to launch PIA and begin using the software. PIA Main Screen Screenshot for PIA Review PIA have drastically improved its app so that it is much simpler to navigate and pleasing to look at. PIA Server List Screenshot for PIA Review When clicking on 'VPN Server' on the main screen you are taken to this list of available server connections. Its a detailed list with a search bar to find your favorite server quicker than having to scroll. PIA Connected Screenshot for PIA Review When you choose a server, the app automatically takes you back to the home screen where the button animates itself in an attempt to connect. Once connected, it turns green. PIA Main Screen Expanded Screenshot for PIA ReviewPIA Setting Menu Screenshot for PIA Review The advanced settings open in a new and separate tab to the app. In the Privacy Settings you can find the inclusion of a kill switch with the helpful option to have it on 'Always'. You can also block domains used for ads, trackers, and malware through the PIA MACE option. PIA DNS Leak Protection Screenshot for PIA Review In the 'Network' screen you can protect yourself against DNS leaks, with the options to 'Set Custom DNS' alongside tick boxes for 'Request Port Forwarding' or 'Allow LAN Traffic'. PIA Protocol and Encryption Screenshot for PIA Review In the past, PIA’s one glaring failure was its clunky, unintuitive and grossly outdated desktop app. PIA has since released a far more modern app which is much easier to navigate and straight-up better looking, clearly taking note from its competitors. There are plenty of customization options for desktop notifications, launch on start-up, and a kill switch with an ‘always’ option. PIA has come a long way, but it’s not perfect: the advanced settings still open in a new tab and the tray app remains open on top, blocking the view. Annoyingly, you have to close the whole tray app manually in order to see it. The PIA mobile app is terrific – with just as much configurability as the desktop app, plus some extra connection details. Customer Support Lacking 24/7 support but good online knowledge base Live chat Support Email Online Resources 24/7 live chat is the obvious absence from Private Internet Access’ support repertoire. It’s something almost all of its higher-scoring rivals have, such as StrongVPN and VPNArea, and a feature we’d love to see soon. With PIA VPN you can only live chat with support between 4pm-1am UTC. You must be logged in to the member area to do so, meaning it’s also only available to paying customers. The positive flip-side to this, though, is that PIA has one of the best online knowledge bases out there. It’s well organized and should answer almost any query or issue you have. Pricing & Deals Affordable on two-year plan Private Internet Access Coupon Private Internet Access logo Private Internet Access Get 65% off Private Internet Access's 2-year plan TestedEnds 28 Aug Get CodeED Terms Private Internet Access Pricing Plan A month-long subscription with Private Internet Access costs $9.95. This is around the industry standard and isn’t very competitive. The cost goes down the longer you subscribe for, though, with a two-year subscription costing $3.49 per month. Private Internet Access isn’t the cheapest VPN, but it is one of the best. Private Internet Access doesn’t have a free trial and the money-back guarantee is only seven days long. However, cancelling within these seven-days is 100% no-questions-asked, with your refund arriving within seven working days. Monthly US$9.95/mo Billed $9.95 every month 12 Months US$5.99/mo Billed $71.88 every 12 months Save 40% 2 Years US$3.49/mo Billed $83.87 every 2 years Save 65% All plans have 7-day money-back guarantee Payment & Refund Options Credit Card PayPal Bitcoin PIA accepts a broad range of payment methods including most major credit and debit cards, PayPal and a few cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Zcash. Users in certain countries may also have access to additional international payment options like Mint, ecoPayz, and Neosurf, although they can’t be used to set up a rolling subscription.
How Privacy Coins Work Bitcoin transactions are semi-anonymous: every transaction on the blockchain is broadcast publicly and visible for all eternity, but the owner of each wallet is unknown. Tying addresses to real-world identities is now relatively easy for the powers-that-be, because everyone has to cash out somewhere, and that usually involves linking bitcoin addresses to bank accounts. Privacy Tech Algorithms The three most common privacy algorithms are zk-Snarks, Coinjoin, and RingCT. The latter method is used in monero; Coinjoin features in dash and is also being trialed with bitcoin; and zk-Snarks are used by most of the Z coins including Zcash. Here’s how they work: RingCT: Monero’s ring signatures allow the sender to hide their transaction among other outputs. In addition, RingCT makes it possible to hide the amount being sent. Coupled with a stealth receiving address, this makes for an extremely discreet way of sending funds. Transparency is optional with monero, which uses an “opaque” blockchain. Coinjoin: Developed by Gregory Maxwell, Coinjoin deploys a ‘safety in numbers’ approach. When two senders despatch a transaction of an identical amount, this is converted into a joint payment. When this occurs, correlating the transaction inputs and outputs is virtually impossible. There are many variants of Coinjoin including Private Send, which is used by dash, and Coin Shuffle; Cash Shuffle is the version currently being tested with bitcoin cash. zk-Snarks: Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge is a technology that allows miners to verify transactions without knowing who sent or received the coins. Using a cryptographic hash, each party can prove that a certain statement is true without revealing the precise details of who sent what and where. Although most commonly associated with the Zerocoin family, zk-Snarks are also being tested with ethereum. The Main Privacy Players Zcash: Born out of the Zerocoin protocol, Zcash is basically bitcoin with the option of privacy. There’s a fixed supply of 21 million coins and despite using a public blockchain, Zcash allows for the sender, recipient, and amount being sent all to be concealed. Researchers have published evidence that suggests some Zcash transactions can be de-anonymized, though for everyday usage, Zcash should still provide enough privacy for most people. Monero: Like Zcash, monero has emerged as a viable cryptocurrency in its own right, even for individuals who aren’t interested in privacy. Its privacy tech is highly regarded and numerous deep web marketplaces accept monero. Monero usage surged in the wake of the Alphabay shutdown, after it emerged that feds were unable to determine how much XMR the site’s alleged kingpin, Alexandre Cazes, held. Dash: By market cap, dash is the biggest coin on this list. It’s not an outright privacy coin however, but does have Private Send for users who’d prefer to keep their business to themselves. Transactions are confirmed by 200 TerraHash of X11 ASIC computing power and over 4,500 servers hosted around the world. Zcoin: The other Z worth mentioning, Zcoin enables users to “mint” a coin on a public ledger so as to transform it into a private coin. This process can be repeated multiple times, allowing a coin to be sent publicly or privately as desired. Pivx: An open source project, Pivx is another community-oriented privacy coin. It uses a mixing mechanism that’s based on Coinjoin, but which operates in a decentralized manner, aided by a network of masternodes. PIVX is the first proof of stake cryptocurrency to be based on the version 0.10 or higher Bitcoin codebase, and the PoS structure utilised does away with coin age, meaning in order to get the most out of your staking you must keep your wallet open at all times, resulting in more constantly available nodes, strengthening the network. Verge: XVG is another anonymous cryptocurrency that was designed for privacy-friendly networks such as Tor and I2P. The general consensus is that verge isn’t as private as some of its competitors, so don’t trust it with your life. On the plus side, it boasts fast and low-cost transactions. Spectrecoin Native Tor Integration preserves network privacy and protects users against surveillance, by keeping traffic within the Tor network at all times. OBFS4 Bridge Support facilitates undetected use in countries that block Tor, such as China & Iran. Spectrecoin is the only privacy coin to offer this feature Deep Onion Deep Onion is a hybrid cryptocurrency that uses proof of stake (PoS) and the X13 proof of work (PoW) algorithm. It is natively integrated with the TOR network and ALL connections are made over the TOR network. Deep Onion is 90% premined, but 70% will be air-dropped to community, 20% will be used for bounties, rewards and other promotions, and about 10% will be reserved for the development team. The development team from Deep Onion focuses on creating a secure and anonymous transaction network as much possible. To achieve that they are utilizing the Tor network to connect up to. As a result your IP address is not registered anywhere when using Deep Onion. Instead of this an anonymous Tor network ID is created for you. What sets DeepOnion apart from other privacy Cryptos are its ability to adapt to market changes and constantly updating the platform. In this regard we have new features that will be realised soon in the form of DeepSend, these features will offer more anonymity and privacy operation over the TOR network which will make DeepOnion one of the most secure Private Crypto currencies in this age. However, a particular Crypto currency provides an answer to the subject of Safety and Privacy. DeepOnion is an anonymous cryptocurrency which focuses on the privacy of its users. The DeepOnion developers utilize the Tor network to enable them to meet their key objective which is security. One of the qualities of this coin that makes it attractive to users is the fact that while using it, the user’s IP address is not registered on any platform. Instead of having your IP address registered, one gets an anonymous ID created for them in the Tor network. The Tor network offers multiple levels of privacy to ensure that your location, online activities, and identity are kept entirely confidential. Tor is tightly integrated into the DeepOnion wallet, and it conceals a users identity and their online activity from any third parties by separating your identification and routing online traffic by the implementation of onion routing, which encrypts and then randomly bounces communications through a network of relays around the world. Concealing your IP address is beneficial in that you can make transactions anonymously and no transaction can be traced back to you. Well, while some may fear that this is a loophole allowing for illegal transactions, it provides security for individuals making large transfers. Additionally, the coin boasts prompt transactions, with a faster speed than Bitcoin. The DeepOnion coin is still relatively young, yet it has managed to establish a very supportive community. Like bitcoin, DeepOnion runs on a peer-to-peer network, but its use of Tor network comes in as an added advantage. When using DeepOnion, one can be sure that their internet service provider or even the government is not monitoring them. It is freedom and privacy all in one package.
In the recent Bytom Global Dev Competition, some stablecoin projects have been seen. It is no surprise as stablecoin has been really a buzzword in the recent crypto market, and these projects are mulling over stablecoins based on Bytom Blockchain. Stablecoins have been embroiled in controversies and they have been dissected and studied by some of the smartest minds in the cryptospace. This article is going to do a deep dive on the buzzword stablecoin and visons about its design on Bytom. What is Stablecoin? The creation and development of stablecoins have a complicated history. We think it’s not necessary to present all of them, but it will be more interesting to introduce the concept with a short story.
A primary school student named Leek would get some pocket money from his dad every day, while his dad did not allow him to use the money to play online games in internet cafés. Leek then came up with the idea that to use cigarettes as payment for internet access fees since the internet café owner likes smoking, and the owner agreed.The owner of the internet café later opened a cigarette store after realizing that lots of pupils used cigarette as their internet access fees, and announced only cigarettes bought from this store were accepted by his internet café.The business went quite well and seeing this, many cigarette shops were opened to sell cigarette to pupils. Though they tried hard to tout their products, they were not welcomed as they were not accepted by the internet café.Things began to change when Leek’s father found out all this. He reported the shop and asked local authority to strengthen regulations on it. To respond to that, the cigarette shop owner tried his best to win regulatory support and figured out an “acceptance dealer system” which allowed a few pupils to buy cigarettes in bulk and resell it to others. The internet café also opened a special transaction counter for the convenience of selling and buying among those pupils and charged some commission fee for it.
The story stops here and let’s change the roles in it. In the cryptospace, Leek is those crypto investors, Leek’s father is the government, the internet café is those crypto exchanges like BitFinex and Gateio, the cigarette store is the issuer of stablecoin like Tether, and then cigarette is the stablecoin such as USDT or GUSD. Now we may have a basic understanding about the necessity and importance of stablecoins. The value of the stablecoin at the current stage is mainly to act as a means of payment other than legal tender, to enable the transaction of cryptocurrency in situations where fiat money is not allowed. Created out of the market demand and regulations, stablecoins in itself can become a tool to accumulate wealth, and their issuers and crypto exchanges are going to benefit the most. In this aspect, government shall regulate the crypto market starting from the regulation on stablecoins. Some expressed their concerns that dollar-backed stablecoins may have great impact on the international monetary and financial system; while in my view it is a gross exaggeration. Data shows that, USDT, which accounts for 87.33 percent of the stablecoin market share, currently has a market value of only $2.8 billion, with 24-hour trading volume at $3.3 billion (according to data collected from CoinMarketCap.com on Sep.26, 2018). For another, the international monetary and financial system is quite huge, compared to the $83.6 trillion in national money supply (according to HowMuch.net), the impact of the USDT on the monetary system is almost negligible. So at present, the impact of stablecoins is mainly confined to the cryptocurrency market. Visions about Stablecoin Following are some thoughts about stablecoin. First, a country can issue a stablecoin as a regulatory tool and see it as an exploration of digital currency; or explore the possibility of crypto-collateralized stablecoins.
A majority of the current stablecoins were issued by private individuals, but it is not ruled out that there will be stablecoins issued by a state in the future. If a stablecoin pegged to a certain legal tender (such as U.S. dollar and Chinese Yuan) is issued directly by a state, it would be truly stable. This kind of stablecoin is born with natural stability and the main concern about it is whether it will be accepted and massively adopted from the commercial aspect. Imagine if a country uses a stablecoin as a regulatory means with KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) regimes, it will be a gateway for the entire crypto market and the crypto market will be more controllable. The country will be able to know how new money flows into the crypto market. At the same time, the relationship between stablecoins and the existing fiat money can be eased. In this context, if a state-issued stablecoin is only to meet the demand of the crypto market, it will have no conflict with the existing monetary system. 2.BTC-collateralized stablecoin Most current stablecoins are pegged to physical assets such as U.S. dollar. In the future, there may be currencies anchoring cryptos or tokens like bitcoin – some countries may issue fiat money backed by bitcoin. It’s a counterintuitive prediction because intuition tells us that bitcoin is a volatile asset. But I think it is exactly a trend in the future, a significant step for the crypto world to influence the atomic world. Actually it’s not absolutely impossible. For one reason, more and more people want to fight against inflation via cryptocurrencies, especially those in Iran, Turkey, Venezuela, Argentina and Zimbabwe, suffering from economic and currency crises; for another, the fluctuation of bitcoin price has been seen the decrease at an annual rate of 25% since 2010. Bitcoin price volatility has been decreasing year by year (according to highchars.com) It is expectable that bitcoin would be a stable cryptocurrency in the far future. But why not directly use bitcoin as a payment means? As some users may still tend to use their own fiat money, and problems like congestion may emerge large on the bitcoin network along with the large volume transactions in the future. While the maturity of sidechain technologies could make stablecoin more advantageous. Therefore, there may come up a BTC-backed stablecoin. How to Create a Good Stablecoin? First of all, we need to get straight the function of a stablecoin. At present, stablecoins are a patch affiliated to traditional currencies to address specific problems in a certain sector. Precisely we should call stablecoin “pegged coin”, as the value of astablecoin is not that stable but fluctuates with the price of the peg. Stablecoin have to accomplish two “leaps” to achieve the practical goal as a popular stablecoin. The first leap is to technically achieve anchoring to real-world assets, by building reserve mechanism, algorithm regulation and interest rate adjustment. There have been many articles about the stablecoin mechanism. I will not go into details here, but recommend A History of Stablecoins to you. In summary, it mainly focuses on “decentralization”, “usability”, “stability”. Centralized stablecoins like USDT are easy to use and stable, but lack in decentralization. Decentralized stablecoins, such as BitUSD (a crypto-collateralized stablecoin), are featured by a high degree of decentralization, but its stability is greatly affected by fluctuations of the collateral. The second leap is to commercially achieve mass adoption. Only when a stablecoin is widely adopted, could it have values. Currently stablecoins faces the influence from government policies, acceptance of exchanges, the prosperity of C2C (customer-to-customer transaction) market and other commercial factors. Stablecoins Based on Bytom Bytom is a public blockchain dedicated to asset blockchainization, and stablecoins are in fact a part of the blockchainization of “currency” asset. Stablecoins based on Bytom will have three advantages:
Based on the BUTXO model (Bytom Unspent Transaction Output) and sidechain
Based on the system of asset blockchainization
Based on the national cryptographic standards
Based on the BUTXO model (Bytom Unspent Transaction Output) and sidechain. The UTXO (Unspent Transaction Output) model is the underlying data structure of bitcoin blockchain, featured by safety, stability and extensibility. However, the current stablecoins market is overwhelmed with tokens based on the account model of Ethereum, lacking stablecoins based on UTXO architecture. In my view, the model architecture based on UTXO is the future trend, because the tokens with asset attributes, especially stablecoins, require the most secure data storage structure. The decade bitcoin being around is a decade of tremendous stability and security, and a stablecoin based on the UTXO model will also have this trait. Bytom’s extended UTXO architecture can unify all kinds of stablecoins into a blockchain. As you can imagine, stablecoins backed by U.S. dollar, Japanese yen, Hong Kong dollar and euro can all be on a public chain.
Based on the system of assetblockchainization. Asset blockchainization is a systematic job as we elaborated in the serial articles.
Six major systems of asset blockchainization Taking the onchain identity system for example, there must be an identity system behind stablecoins. Imagine we have a Chinese yuan-pegged stablecoin, when we obtain all accounts related to CNY, we need to go through the procedures of KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering). However, the account system on blockchain is mostly based on public key or private key, so it needs to build a layer of account system on the top layer to match that of the real world. By building tools such as distributed identity and blockchain contract, Bytom builds an identity system on the blockchain to provide underlying support for the stablecoin. This is also something that most underlying public chains cannot make or have not focused on.
Based on the “national cryptographic standard”. In the narrow sense, the national cryptographic standard refers to “the public-key cryptography algorithm 2 based on M2 elliptic curve and SM3 cryptography hashing algorithm 3”, two pieces of standards deemed as domestic cryptography algorithm by the State Bureau of Cryptography Administration. It will enable Bytom to be friendly to domestic standards in terms of security. Broadly defined, the national cryptographic standard means that Bytom is a public chain protocol with Chinese elements. In the exploration for the development of state-issued digital currency and the creation of a stablecoin, we need to take Chinese elements into consideration. After all, codes have no national boundary, but the currency has its nationality.
Translated from “基于比原谈稳定币“ by Ma Qianli, vice president of 8btc News, responsible for the scenario realization of asset migrating onto Bytom Blockchain. Having competitive capability in IPO, M&A and asset securitization with many successful cases, Qianli was the director of investment banking arm in Codi Capital, and securities affairs representative of vöhringer after graduating from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.
Below is the first “Lighthouse Watch,” a list of existing projects using the Lighthouse application to facilitate fundraising. The Lighthouse Keeper Project compiled this list. I relied on posts to / lighthousekeeper and / lighthouseprojects to populate the list. The list is extensive but not comprehensive. Some of these projects may have already passed their desired fundraising window. Others are relatively new. I did not go digging through the technical details available for each project to determine a historical order. The list is organized by percentage of sought funding pledged to date. As you’ll see, only one project has been fully funded. The next closest is currently at 20% funded. There are a few in the single digits. The majority have no pledges to date. There is no way to reliably analyze causes for low funding. However, the fully funded project was promoted by Lighthouse app developer Vinumeris, and the project at 20% is one of the more developed campaigns. Both are also tech centric. If you appreciated this effort please consider making a donation to help develop the Lighthouse Keeper Project by sending us BTC at 1Eedd5BmoXA5rzAH6fWm9R8WTVfLTjLx2T