HOPR, a data privacy startup, announced the release of a public incentivized testnet for its mixnet on xDai, an Ethereum sidechain.

  • A mix network or “mixnet” (taking its name from the proxy servers it employs, called “mixes”) obscures the metadata left behind when data passes through a network, which can be observed on most networks by state-level adversaries.
  • Nicknamed HOPR Säntis (after a Swiss mountain) and running on the xDai chain, the firm says the testnet provides “fast transactions secured by proof-of-stake, while eliminating the high Ethereum transaction fees.” Transaction costs on the xDai network are lower than on the Ethereum mainnet.
  • Participants in the program will earn ERC-20 HOPR tokens for running a node. These tokens will be distributed when the HOPR mainnet launches in late 2020.
  • “We want to get people to run a node ahead of our mainnet launch later this year and already earn tokens for that,” HOPR lead Sebastian Bürgel said in an email to CoinDesk.
  • The incentivized testnet is also a chance to get feedback on the mixnet, detect bugs and generally take the network to the next level with a second round of feedback, following the firm’s initial public testnet this summer, according to Bürgel.  
  • While HOPR sells its own hardware node version (at $440), a HOPR node can also be run on devices that run Windows, macOS and Linux. 
  • The reason for using hardware rather than the cloud, said Bürgel, is that it’s better for decentralization as it doesn’t rely on cloud infrastructure.
  • In July, HOPR announced a $1 million funding round led by Binance Labs.

Read more: Privacy Startup Nym Will Pay You in Bitcoin to Run Its Mixnet

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