About P2P VPS
The P2P VPS network offers Virtual Private Servers (VPS), similar to established companies like Amazon EC2, Digital Ocean, Vultr, and Linode. However, instead of using centralized and expensive data centers, the marketplace would uses a network of personal computers and IoT devices hosted by people participating in the network. Anyone with an internet connection and a device capable of running Docker can rent that device in the P2P VPS marketplace.
While the applications of such a network are similar, the real focus of P2P VPS is to create a decentralized network of anonymous web servers, capable of delivering websites or web apps, in order to prevent censorship and promote free speech. Members participating in the marketplace can earn cryptocurrency by renting out their device, while helping to create a more decentralized internet at the same time. In this way, the P2P VPS software is censorship-fighting software, different from, but complementary to, Tor.
For a High Level Overview of the P2P VPS Project,
For specifics on how the software functions,
Fig 1. P2P VPS network diagram
What is P2P VPS?
P2P VPS is a peer-to-peer (P2P) protocol for sharing computing resources in exchange for cryptocurrency. In figure 1 above, the red squares represent Servers, which coordinate to create a marketplace for selling and renting computational power. They are analogous to a full node in Bitcoin (non-mining). The green circles are Clients, also called Devices, which represent computers available for rent on the market. Clients subscribe to servers, and servers coordinate the marketplace.
How does P2P VPS work?
P2P VPS depends on two well-established technologies: Docker and SSH.
Docker is a new virtualization technology that has seen astounding success in adoption by the worlds IT industry. Using this technology, it is possible to create a ‘virtual’ computer inside a real one and rent it out. Renters are ‘sandboxed’ inside the virtual machine. They can use the host computer’s resources such as processor, hard drive, memory, and internet connection, but malicious users can not directly attack the machine.
Secure Shell (SSH) is an encrypted communication protocol that’s almost as old as the internet itself. This battle tested technology is used to tunnel between clients and servers, in order to network each device to the wider internet. This allows the devices to serve web pages and apps. P2P VPS software automates the complicated networking process, creating a low friction user experience.
What to know more? You can find all the documentation at:
No single source of failure (server coordination)
P2P VPS servers form a decentralized network with no single point of failure. Servers communicate with one another about the clients that are directly connected to them. This allows renters to browse a global market of computing power with many points of access. It also makes the network very hard to censor or disrupt.
P2P VPS servers act as an important middleman, shuffling financial transactions and offering networking service. Server owners are free to charge a percentage of each transaction in exchange for providing these services. A healthy economy of servers will foster competition and niche markets.
Fluid market (client migration)
Clients are nothing more than personal computing devices connected to the internet. As a result, they are free to move between servers. If a server leaves the network, clients can easily move to another server and stay in the marketplace.
Extremely Low Cost
P2P VPS client software scales all the way down to small IoT devices, such as the $35 USD Raspberry Pi minicomputer. It’s also perfect for running on old computers currently collecting dust. This makes the barrier to entry extremely low and will tap into a massive network of latent computing power.
How Is P2P VPS Different Than Existing Crypto Projects?
Filecoin is a popular file storage project which has made waves in the crypto space. However, that project is focused on network storage and not computational power. It is a good complement to P2P VPS, but not a competing technology.
Golem and Dfinity are two edge-computing projects in the crypto space with venture capital investment. However, both companies focus on high-end computing, with targeted use cases such as the modeling of protein folding and CGI graphic rendering. In contrast, P2P VPS focuses on general purpose computing and internet services. Targeted use cases are blog hosting, ecommerce, and web apps. In short, the typical internet.
All three companies also use a staking system. To build upon the model example in figure 1, server owners (red squares) are required to stake some amount of cryptocurrency for a long durations, such as three months or longer. If they fail to fulfill their contract, server owners risk losing their stake. In the meantime, those assets are locked and illiquid. This model prices out all but industrial players.
In contrast, P2P VPS uses a rich API which allows renters to filter the marketplace by metrics such as uptime, network speed, geographical location, and hardware specs. There is room in the market for every computing device on the network, from powerful supercomputers to IoT devices, from high uptime to low. Market dynamics are free to dictate the ‘right’ price, and everyone has a chance to compete for niche markets.