1. Why Sentinel?
It started off with the idea of being able to harness resources for big data computing and then, moved on to secure access of that data and then, finally with TOR and torrents as the inspiration, we decided to incentivize guys that are acting as relay nodes or exit nodes.
Sentinel is an interoperable network layer that uses multiple blockchains to create a decentralized system of resource sharing with governance and appropriate incentivization.
The idea of Sentinel is basically like an overseer or validator of many. Sentinel aims to be the #1 digital resource distribution with fair validation platform. In addition Sentinel aims to strive towards making innovations in the world of digital privacy/security — thus all becoming a personal Sentinel.
2. Who is behind Sentinel development? Backgrounds?
The team’s sole focus is to output over 300 hours of dev work per week at a minimum and this number will only grow. Keep watching the GitHub and see the new contributors. Sentinel, to accelerate progress will be represented at a renown public event in early May.
Sentinel development team consists of a strong marketing, front-end and back-end development teams. Sentinel does not hire any remote back-end developers and currently all of the developers are working full time on the project.
The team has over 25 individuals composing of full-stack developers, system architects, UI/UX engineers, hardware engineers, marketing and growth hackers, legal due-diligence etc. There are already over 500 commits to the Sentinel code in one quarter. This puts Sentinel in the top 25 projects that are committed on GitHub.
3. How does the Sentinel dVPN works?
The dVPN currently works using the OpenVPN protocol and has an encrypted tunnel from one user to another and the node sends data back to the user.
The plan is to provide the user with an option to choose nodes that exit into TOR or another dVPN Node, etc. and allow a the market to determine a fair price based on the offering.
The Sentinel dVPN (decentralized Virtual Private Network) is the first use case built on the blockchain with an extremely distributed network topology with nodes spanning across continents.
The dVPN can be installed currently on Linux, Windows and Mac operating systems. Mobile Apps will be worked on as soon as a stable infrastructure is developed for desktop environments.
Nodes for the dVPN can be setup on a system that’s running docker — Linux, Windows or Mac and it is recommended to run current nodes on a Linux machine in a VPS.
4. Sentinel specs and how this translates to English for non-crypto speakers?
Sentinel uses the Ethereum blockchain to store data and transfer value. Bandwidth is the resource on this blockchain and all data is stored within the Ethereum blockchain for validation purposes.
Users can access this bandwidth from nodes that provide them for a specific fee based on their offering, location and other parameters. The market will determine a fair price for those services and the Sentinel Smart Contract logic will ensure governance compliance is met.
5. Why is Sentinel unique, and why it will thrive?
Sentinel is unique, not due to the dVPN, but due to the Service Chain that this runs on. Currently, this chain runs on Ethereum, but owing to scalability and to achieve interoperability, Team Sentinel decided to move away from Ethereum and has chosen TenderMint as the consensus engine of choice and are working with the team to develop on the same.
Hopefully, with the implementation of Plasma and Casper, the Etherum chain will be as powerful as the other DLTs and DAGs out there.
The Sentinel Service Chain is the first interoperable networking layer to communicate between multiple chains for identity validation, service offering along with bandwidth sharing and incentivization.
The distributed and decentralized services marketplace is huge and Sentinel is targeting a key resource that will drive this innovation — networking. This system has a payment governance system with Unpaid/Paid/Hold blocks for multiple forms of payment (Post Paid, Pre-Paid and Recurring)
The entire network monitoring and payment system is being offered as an SDK that can be directly implemented in various apps developed by multiple organizations around the world.
6. Many things under development, what are the key features in the DVPN that will help Sentinel propel?
Currently, we have a lot of features coming up:
- centralized on-chain swaps
- Exit Nodes with entry into TOR
- Packet Standardization
- TenderMint Integration
This not only means that Sentinel will be a dVPN product, but an entire communication suite in the form of dChat and dVoIP will be developed and integrated with the Sentinel Desktop & Mobile Clients in future.
7. How is Sentinel different from mysterium, orchid, privatix, etc?
Sentinel can be more or less compared to private networks (Substratum is a close competitor) than the dVPN products out there.
The dVPN was just the first product that obviously proved the capability of the network’s bandwidth incentivization protocol.
As private network first and then a services marketplace, Sentinel establishes superior qualities in terms of the offering and has demonstrated the ability to monetize and power networks during a load test of a 1000 users during a 96 hour airdrop (or TestDrop as we’d like to call it) where the network peaked at 75 concurrent sessions.
The airdrop had over 750 participants and had 20 nodes contributing where, nodes earned more than 10K TestSENT (where only 1000 were needed for them to break-even with their offering) during the 96 hour airdrop period.
To be able to host a Service Provider Node, please visit — https://github.com/sentinel-official/sentinel/blob/master/vpn-node-docker/README.md
8. What has Sentinel already produced to establish its credibility?
Sentinel has developed the the working prototype of a dVPN (along with the ability to host nodes) that has been exposed to the load testing and monetization of a real-time environment.
It has been listed as one of the projects that will be working directly with developers of TenderMint and Cosmos.
Successfully hosted an airdrop with the use of a Telegram Chat Bot, which handled 780 submissions and 32 issues during the 96 hour airdrop period.
Along with that, the project has been listed in the top 62 on cryptomiso.com
Soon, the Sentinel Desktop Client will have on-chain centralized swaps. Then, Sentinel will swap other tokens on the Ethereum Chain such as $OMG, $ZRX, $GNT, etc. with $SENT to encourage anyone to start using the product and secure themselves.
9. What are the risks that participants of the network may face (exit node/users)?
Currently, exit node hosts are exposed to the browsing of various websites accessed by users of the Sentinel Network. Due to this, during the testing period, we’ve had 3 nodes of offline due to DMCA requests (and this was expected too).
Owing to the above stated issue of exit node exposure, a layer-2 network will be developed, where the exit node sends a request through TOR, receives it and then sends it back to the user.
Even though this increases the latency of the network, there is enough security on privacy, that the network will continue to thrive.
10. Plans for other exchanges?
We are currently looking to get listed on a HongKong Exchange that provides us with an entry into the Chinese market, a country that uses the VPN on a daily basis.
Sentinel, also plans to work with other exchanges in future after the rebranding phase is completed.
11. What is/will be Sentinel marketing plan? Funding?
Currently, Sentinel’s funds allow developers and teams involved to continue working full time.
Sentinel’s product marketing activties have not begun and is due until rebranding and a new multi-page website is developed.
12. How will Sentinel simplify the usage of DVPN for mainstream adoption?
Not only Sentinel’s dVPN, but also other products will follow a mix of pilot and phased rollouts.
During the initial phase, the team will look to ensure the functionality of the product is achieved and tested before there are any UI improvements.
Post release of alpha and a rigorous testing phase, these products will undergo a UI overhaul based on feedback from the community. The same repeats for every Native Service developed by the community.
The team will come up with mobile apps and browser extensions along with the ability to host a node on Raspberry Pi to ease activities for enthusiasts. In future, the Sentinel Box with an ethernet IN from the ISP and an ethernet OUT to the router will be developed and up for purchase/configuration. This will increase consumption as a router provides access to multiple devices and also secure the entire home network. Other updates will soon be shared on the Telegram Group (https://t.me/SentinelSecurityGroup)
13. So random people will use my IP, will it be possible to eves drop data that goes through my IP?
No. The code for exit node dockers is open sourced and only if the checksum of the node matches with the code on GitHub, the node connects to the server. If not, they don’t connect.
Also, to note, traffic flowing through the docker is not exposed directly and uses the OpenVPN protocol, no different from current centralized VPNs. With the focus on privacy and security, the team looks to implement layer-2 TOR and SOCKS5 as part of an immediate roadmap.
I have been following @SentinelGroupio closely since I tested the DVPN version 0.0.2 two weeks ago, their price run has been only driven by product development, no marketing whatsoever at this point.
These people are not messing around when the say that their aim is to “…be the #1 digital resource distribution with fair validation platform…”. They have laser focus TO DELIVER world class privacy products, a proof of this is that when I tested Sentinel DPVN side by side versus NordVPN (which I have been using since late last year), there was no difference between the two in regards of lag, or speed; I am talking of an ALPHA product, that truly runs on the blockchain, very few projects can actually boast the kind of progress these guys have, whoever they are.
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