The Orchid Protocol is a soon-to-be-launched ICO (Initial Coin Offering) by startup Orchid Labs Inc. It is an open-source project designed to end surveillance and censorship on the Internet. In essence, Orchid Labs intends to launch a fully-distributed, anonymous bandwidth market. Orchid is structured to provide a market-based, fully-decentralized, and anonymous peer-to-peer system based on “bandwidth mining” to address the lack of relay and exit nodes, by directly incentivizing participants.
Today, 76% of the world lives with restricted or censored access to the Internet, or has no Internet access at all. With their offering, the Orchid Labs team intends to provide people with the ability to freely communicate and access information.
The founding team consists of:
- Stephen Bell, Trilogy VC China founder
- Gustav Simonsson, who helped launch Ethereum in 2015
- Jay Freeman, the developer behind the Cydia software distribution platform
- Brian J. Fox, an openIsource advocate
- Steven Waterhouse, who has served as a partner at Pantera Capital.
The company has raised $4.7 million in a seed round of venture funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Blockchain Capital, BoxGroup, Compound VC, CrunchFund, Danhua Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, MetaStable Capital, Polychain Capital, Richard Muirhead, Sequoia Capital, Struck Capital and several other undisclosed investors.
3 Key Differentiating Factors
- Unlike Bitcoin (BTC), which was developed by a team, the Orchid Protocol could become an open-source project supported by a community of engineers.
- Unlike most other ICO tokens that have been primarily used as a fundraising mechanism, Orchid’s token is a “utility token” meaning that it will provide owners with a token that has a use on the platform.
- Unlike I2P and Tor, which suffer from lack of widespread adoption, Orchid is giving people a reason to put their computers on the network. The protocol will pay people for sharing unused bandwidth.
The Orchid token is expected to be launched in early 2018, according to the company’s website.