The project behind a blockchain protocol designed to enable private internet browsing has raised another $7 million in funding, CoinDesk has learned.
According to the company, Orchid Labs has now raised a total of $43 million on an offered $125 million in a pre-sale of a token that will power its still-in-development technology.
“Orchid Labs’ mission is to build open-source software that keeps the Internet open and accessible — a natural resource for everyone, everywhere,” Steven Waterhouse, a co-founder of the company, wrote in a blog post announcing the funding.
CoinDesk reported in April 2018 that the firm had sold $36.1 on the offered $125 million. Along with a previously reported $4.7 million in another token sale, from major investors such as Andreessen Horowitz and Blockchain Capital, this brings the company’s total to roughly $48 million.
Orchid is designed to give internet users an incentive to share their bandwidth with other users. By doing so, the protocol can break up traffic and route it through various nodes on the network, making it extremely difficult for an adversary to determine who is visiting the website, much as the TOR system works now.
The idea behind Orchid is that it can build a bigger network by offering people micropayments for sharing bandwidth. To that end, Waterhouse also said that the first consumer-facing Orchid product, the Orchid App, is coming soon: a mobile VPN on iOS and Android that will mask users’ internet traffic by routing it over the nascent Orchid network.
“We also hope to play a part in driving the VPN market towards more transparency, privacy and fairer pricing.”
Users interested in updates about the progress of the protocol are encouraged to sign up for announcements about its beta release, on the Orchid website.
Steve Waterhouse image via CoinDesk archives