Blockchain-based VPNs: The Next Step in Privacy Tech?

Could open source bandwidth utilized by blockchain be the alternative to today’s VPN?

Every person who goes online today fights a losing privacy battle. Every site we visit, every app we download, every service we subscribe to collects our personal data. The number of places where this accumulates online shows exponential growth. There’s no way to keep track of it all, much less control who sees it.

Years ago, a few forward-thinking companies realized that lack of privacy would only become more of a problem, so they went to work creating a service known as a virtual private network, abbreviated VPN. It wasn’t long before the technology became the hottest cybersecurity recommendation going, thanks to a two-pronged attack that shrouds a user’s physical location by routing their IP address through a distant server and applying encryption to their internet connection.

A problem has come to light, however, that casts doubt over the actual privacy level of these services. Maybe a VPN isn’t the ironclad protection we thought. Here are the danger signs to watch for with your provider and how developers are working to overcome the issues.

Why Your VPN Isn’t As Safe As You Think

A VPN actually works exactly as it was designed to. All your data is encrypted and funneled through a distant server owned by the provider and then sent on to the internet. All good so far. The obvious problem arises that the VPN service has the decryption key to your information, so an employee could see the raw data without too much trouble.

The bottom line is that your data is only safe if the provider treats it ethically. In most cases that might be a good bet, but there have been examples of companies that scrape personal information from the data passing through their servers to be sold to third-party advertisers or Dark Web entrepreneurs. And we’re not just talking about letting someone…

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