It’s not only countries which impose such limitations on their citizens.
Internet-based service providers also use geo-blocking to selectively provide content and access to users based on their geographic location.
A familiar site for victims of Netflix's geo-blocking
The Ugly Side of VPNs
Unfortunately, centralized VPN services (specially the free ones) are plagued by a host of issues and vulnerabilities.
admitted that they had suffered a data breach in 2018. And if security
issues are absent, there’s still the problem of network sluggishness a lot of us have faced while using centralized VPN services.
Decentralize the Internet?
been, crypto startups working in the decentralized internet space are yet to
prove their worth.
maintains a transparent logging policy, whereby neither browsing data nor IP address is recorded by the app. It provides IPv6/DNS leak protection, and offers secure connection to 33 countries. With an average rating of 4.4/5 on Android app store, X-VPN can be considered to be one of the more popular centralized VPN service providers out there today.
According to Tachyon, in order to implement a robust, fast and secure VPN, the current TCP/IP protocol stack has to be completely restructured.
So what’s the Issue with TCP/IP?
layer and the Internet layer respectively, the term ‘TCP/IP’ generally refers to the entire internet protocol suite.
to make sure that they reach the correct destination. In tandem, TCP and IP are the foundational protocols of the entire suite of internet protocols.
protocols and interface methods used by the network host.
The ubiquitous TCP/IP Protocol
congested, the three-way handshake, acknowledgement and congestion control mechanisms (which are all integral to TCP) only lead to bandwidth wastage and further congestion.
Tachyon’s architecture models aims at completely overhauling the existing TCP/IP model, and providing addition security and privacy features.
Tachyon's Architecture Overview
Tachyon Booster UDP (TBU)
In the Tachyon environment, TBU is the bottom layer protocol which
will replace the Internet, Transport and Application layers of the TCP/IP
Tachyon claims that when used in conjunction with real-time Optimal routing, TBU can increase transmission speed by 2x to 10x in a centralized network, and achieve over 90% connection success rate in a complex network environment.
Protocol (PPP) and blockchain technology to facilitate the large-scale collaboration of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks. This eliminates the need of a central server, and offers anti-censorship through decentralization. To ensure robustness of the P2P networks, a Tachyon DHT based on Kademlia routing protocol is implemented.
Transport Layer – Tachyon uses UDP instead of TCP in the transport layer. UDP offers superior throughput and has less overhead compared to TCP, which improves transmission efficiency.
Application Layer – The application layer is redesigned to support the UDP in the transport layer. The optimizations include Forward Error Correction (FEC) to reduce packet loss, and bandwidth auto-scaling techniques to maximize the throughput efficiency.
Tachyon Security Protocol (TSP)
TSP uses AES to encrypt the connection, and a combination of hash algorithms (such as HMAC, SHA2 and Keccak) to ensure that messages would be ignored if the communication channel gets disrupted.
Other safeguards include adding redundant data to transmissions, and automatically renegotiating the encryption key after a certain amount of data has been transmitted.
TSP also simulates the feature state of the communication protocol (UDP, TCP, HTTP, HTTPS, FTP and SMTP) in order to conceal the real information and avoid data exposure. This simultaneously prevents hackers from
finding the characteristics of the Tachyon traffic, and firewalls from detecting the traffic. This practice is followed by X-VPN’s application as well.
Tachyon Anti-Analysis (TAA)
Tachyon Network uses TAA to reduce the risk of single node capture
attack in its decentralized network. It involves using concurrent multi-path routing and multi-relaying scheme. Data is broken down into multiple IP packets and transmitted through different channels simultaneously. If any channel is intercepted, the hacker can retrieve only a portion of the message. Furthermore, messages are relayed through multiple nodes so that it’s extremely difficult for any attacker to determine the actual target node. As the number of nodes in the network increase, the difficulty of intercepting messages or monitoring the network increases exponentially.
Most of the blockchain networks out there today use conventional TCP/IP based networking. To ease the transition to Tachyon’s internet protocol and reduce the integration expense, Tachyon has developed a SDK which blockchain networks can integrate with their technological stack.
Tachyon Protocol is also implementing an open, P2P market network where nodes provide services to each other. Their ecosystem will support 3 different types of nodes – Client nodes, which initiate connections; Provider nodes, which relay the traffic; and Business nodes, which purchase resources and services from other nodes. Tachyon’s native currency is the IPX token, which resides on the V SYSTEMS blockchain. Provider nodes will have to stake a certain amount of IPX tokens as a security deposit. IPX will also be used as the medium of payment by the participants in Tachyon’s ecosystem.
Tachyon Protocol plans to support multiple industries and sectors through its protocol stack and SDK.
Tachyon VPN marks their inception, which will also serve as a litmus test of the robustness of their solution. This will be followed by the integration of their protocol stack into V SYSTEMS as the transport protocol. In the near future, they are targeting DeFi, Internet-of-Things (IoT), and Decentralized Storage industries among others.
number of nodes – features which both the DeFi and IoT sectors would require in the near future. Moreover, their protocol has the same underlying foundations as the IFPS protocol, which is used for sharing and storing data in distributed file systems. Tachyon will provide an extra layer by encrypting the contents both during transmission and storage.
Blockchain startups working in the field of decentralized internet haven’t really made a mark yet. Tachyon Protocol is trying to push the boundaries by re-structuring the TCP/IP model itself through their own protocol stack. It’s a radical idea, and honestly, seems to be a tall claim from another startup in the block(chain) for now.
One factor which sets Tachyon apart from other projects is that they have been collaborating with both X-VPN and V SYSTEMS since 2016, to improve fundamental internet infrastructure technologies. Their combined technical expertise can give Tachyon an edge over the other players in this field. Moreover, their partnership with X-VPN automatically provides them access to X-VPN’s worldwide user base of over 50 million.
That said, the shared R&D and the user base can only serve as a stepping stone for Tachyon. Moreover, both X-VPN and V SYSTEMS are also relatively new entrants in their respective fields. Whether users adopt or shun their protocol will finally depend on how much value it actually adds to Web3.0 DApps. Till then, it’s all on paper.
Disclaimer – The author doesn’t have any vested interest in Tachyon, X-VPN or V SYSTEMS. Moreover, the author doesn’t have a regular Netflix account, and isn’t too bothered about VPN services either.