MASQ Network - a privacy solution offering a dMeshVPN, browser, dAppStore, and earning ecosystem

Project Name: MASQ Network

Project Description

At MASQ, we believe today’s digital world should not have barriers online, where tracking, blocking and censoring normal citizens has become an everyday thing!
Our personal data should be just that - PERSONAL - not harvested, shared and monetized to the highest bidder.
Most importantly, everyone should be able to access the world of web3 and blockchain applications and have the freedom to do so from where ever they live in the world.

Over the last four years, the team and community at MASQ Network has delivered an innovative and attractive browsing software solution to unlock borderless browsing with privacy by default!

No tracking, no central servers, no silo’ed personal data, no sign-ups. Just a wallet and the will to try out something uniquely private-by-default!

This is achieved through the MASQ open-sourced mesh network solution (called MASQ Node) powered by the users themselves, that works on top of the normal internet without special hardware or traditional VPN or Tor technology.

Coupled with the MASQ web3 privacy browser, any user can try out the MASQ Network now for free on Polygon Amoy testnet, and see the exciting user experience created so far.

Some of the key features include:

  • Borderless browsing and privacy online without tracking, from anywhere in the world
  • Native handling of ENS domain profiles, dot eth content, IPFS websites, Handshake domain resolution
  • Uncensored access to crypto platforms, web3 dApps, and the social platforms
  • In-built web3 dApps library, curated by the team and community
  • Ability to earn passive crypto by sharing Internet bandwidth with the MASQ Network

Classification as a Public Good

MASQ is characterized as a Public Good for several core reasons:

  • Freedom of Information: MASQ enables access to uncensored information and content on the clear web, supporting freedom of expression and the democratization of knowledge.
  • Benefits to Society with Enhanced Privacy: MASQ helps protect individuals from intrusive surveillance and data collection, promoting digital privacy rights. Your data stays your data!
    MASQ does not harvest, track or log anything on users and ensures privacy and enhanced browsing security for all users, serving the public interest and contributing to the common good of the web2 and web3 users.
    Truthfully, the MASQ team doesn’t even know exactly how many active Nodes are worldwide at any given time - no personal user information or app analytics are collected. (on-chain data and privacy-respecting download metrics are used to estimate network use and growth trends)
  • Non-Excludability: MASQ Core networking software is open-source and the browser is available publicly to all users, (also hosted in IPFS) so it is impossible to exclude anyone from using them. This means that anyone with access to the internet can benefit from the privacy and security features offered by MASQ.
  • Non-Rivalrous Consumption: The use of the MASQ Network/Browser by one individual does not reduce its availability to others. Multiple users can simultaneously benefit from the network without disrupting the availability of the service. In fact, the more users supporting the MASQ Network, the more capacity and network stability is present overall.

Main Project Funding Sources

Having started from community grass-roots, MASQ has operated without conducting an ICO, public raises or Angel/VC backing. A pure utility token was launched after community discussion in 2020, and donations from community facilitated the first Liquidity Pool in late 2020.
MASQ has sustained growth and development through volunteer work, community donations, minor grants in the last two years and a small stream of fees from Protocol Owner Liquidity (currently on v3 Quickswap and v3 Uniswap).

IMPORTANT: No grants, public funding or donations are utilized for Liquidity provisioning of token buybacks - this has never been considered appropriate within any aspect of grant funding awarded to the MASQ project

The following are several grants awarded in past two years, in order of size:

  • Giveth QF Polygon campaign in Q1 2024 of 10,000 MATIC, and roughly $4,000 in user donations
  • $3,000 micro grant from Polygon in 2022
  • ETH donated for gas to deploy contracts in 2019/2020 and facilitate airdrop distribution to community

Seeking project-specific funding or funding for general operations

General operations - funding will go towards our developers, with a specific focus on development of the MASQ Lite client which will act as a browser extension and desktop app that users can run to privatize their default browser and device network traffic.

Importantly, no grants, public funding or donations are utilized for Liquidity provisioning.

Team Information:

MASQ has a distributed team of full-time and part-time contributors, as well as volunteers - in summary there are 8 fulltime team developers, 4 part-time contributors, and 2 volunteer tech advisors

  • KauriHero - Project Lead Twitter | GitHub
  • Suiux - Product UX/UI Design Lead
  • 2 fulltime engineers working on the MASQ Core codebase + 2 interns part-time working on MASQ Core (built in Rust) - (Backend)
    The Core team is guided by tech advisors who have over 30 years experience in software development
  • 3 fulltime front-end developers working on Electron Chromium Browser front-end,
  • 1 Marketing Coordinator full time + 2 community admins part-time

Social Credibility (development progress, awards, notable GitHub commits, referrals):

There are many to list since our inception in late 2019, but most notable ones are:

  • Released our open-source MASQ Core upgrades, with most recent in April 2024 allowing mesh network hops to be changed by the user (this is unique in the privacy tool space)
  • Released fully-featured MASQ web3 privacy browser (built on Chromium) customized for web3-natives, providing a 60 second onboard into the MASQ Network with minimal to zero additional configuration for most users.
  • Ranked in top 20 projects on Giveth QF Polygon web3 round, out of a few hundred projects
  • Official partnership integrations with Handshake, Presearch, Filebase, Akash and more
  • Multichain with current network compatibility with Eth mainnet, Polygon mainnet and their relative testnets (with more blockchain and EVM ecosystems in the pipeline)

Additional Information

How many users have downloaded the MASQ browser and actively use the network?

  • Since the MASQ Browser public launch on Sept 2023:
    • over 3,000 unique downloads (plus additional ones from IPFS hosted files)
    • masqbrowser.com website received over 21,000 unique visitors
    • over 500 verified Discord users joined MASQ Discord feedback channel to actively share their user experiences.
  • As MASQ doesn’t conduct user tracking or centralized reporting, active users are estimated using on-chain metrics:
    • As of May 2024, there are over 23,000 test token transactions - Roughly each transaction equates to an average of 100-200MB of data browsing.
      (source on Mumbai, and Amoy)
  • There is a MASQ Dune dashboard for onchain analytics for MASQ holders - As of May 2024, there are over 7,000 $MASQ utility token holders on Ethereum & Polygon networks.

Social Media

You can find a full list of our social media channels here: MASQ Official Links

Discord contact

@Kaurihero

Eligibility criteria

  • Do you have a commitment to open-source (i.e. every open-source license accepted by the Open-Source Initiative technology and sharing results publicly?
    Absolutely, and the MASQ Core software is under GPLv3 on GitHub, powering the networking protocol.
  • Have you provided transparency about how exactly funding will be used?
    All funding will go to developers of the software, with specific focus to delivering a MASQ Lite client and browser extension. This can be tracked on-chain with a treasury multi-sig where grants would be securely stored
  • Are you advancing values of freedom and privacy (no surveillance and handling of personal data)?
    Without a doubt, and that is the core ethos of MASQ from day 1 - privacy-by-default, respecting user privacy, no collecting or storing user data, decentralization of the network itself and no central controlling entities in the MASQ mesh network
  • Are you supporting decentralization in various fields (for example building Web3 projects)?
    Yes, and the team strives to include various layers of decentralization and leveraging partners to grow alongside the ecosystem and expand use-cases to the broader user-base
  • Have you provided social media channels to the extent that we can confirm social proof of your project?
    Yes.
17 Likes

MASQ is a project that has been building for years without any VC funding, ICO or presale. During that time they have build an incredible powerful privacy tool that is helping people to keep their access to a free and open web as we speak. All achieved by community funding and a devoted team that kept going unphased by bull or bear momentum in the blockchain space.

Extra support would be welcomed so the goal of bringing a never seen privacy tool to the masses can be achieved even quicker. Every netizen should be granted access to a free and open web and if they are prevented, they should have to be able to use the MASQ solution.

The web must stay open!

14 Likes

The MASQ browser, by offering decentralized and private internet browsing, can be considered a public good due to its non-excludable and non-rivalrous nature. It enhances privacy and security for all users, allowing anyone to benefit without reducing its availability to others. Additionally, MASQ empowers users with lower-end hardware to share their internet connection and earn tokens, without the need for expensive GPU’s, fostering a more inclusive digital economy. By providing these opportunities, MASQ not only strengthens privacy and security but also promotes economic participation, contributing to the public’s well-being. This collective benefit ensures that privacy and digital equity are accessible to everyone, reinforcing a safer and more equitable internet for all users.

14 Likes

MASQ Browser is supported across platforms like MacOS, Linux, and Windows, ensuring seamless operation across diverse operating systems. :desktop_computer:

There is no need to compromise, just use MASQ!

12 Likes

The MASQ browser is a very unique project. I love the all privacy feature embedded in it. The team are doing excellent work in making sure it’s a success.

If you’re see this and doubting, I strongly advise you to try it out. It’s absolutely one of the fastest growing browser and utility.

Privacy search, DVPN feature, Dapps and so on. Good on team.

13 Likes

MASQ is an amazing privacy project the world needs!

An incentivized multi-hop DVPN, open to all.
Open source and cross-platform.
I fell in love with this project shortly after discovering it a few years back.
I truly believe MASQ has the potential to make a free and private internet the way it was meant to be.

11 Likes

MASQ helps to protect freedom of expression and privacy. Free access to information without political or geographical restrictions is important to ensure, among other things, that the world’s democracies remain defensible and truly democratic. MASQ frees the Internet from the barriers of those who believe they can lock up information “for the good” of the people. The MASQ Core Node, which carries the protocol of the MASQ Network developed from scratch, is freely available as source code on Github. The development and core of this software is therefore open for anyone to analyze and review. MASQ is often advertised as dVPN. But I think it is much better than what dVPNs do thanks to its unique and novel protocol. Because once all the developers’ goals are achieved, it will swim invisibly in the encrypted data stream of the general internet and will therefore be harder to detect and block than VPNs (or not at all) by censorship-minded actors.

11 Likes

Masq is the only solution for a free and fair internet for everyone!!

9 Likes

MASQ IS GOING TO CHANGE ANONYMOUS BROWSING.
No more boundaries.

9 Likes

Pretty Much, It’s awesome building something that’s not beholden to Companies/Governments or VC’s with backing to Big Data Collection firms. It may take longer, but we’ve nearly got there.

9 Likes

The Beta Version is certainly doing that, and there are IRL use cases where MASQ is even being used by small businesses right now.

8 Likes

Great to see MASQ here. Probably one of the most under the radar project in the crypto space. They have been at it 24/7 for as long as I can remember, through good and tough times with 0 funding, these people have blasted through.
Looking forward to have it save so many people’s privacy as this is perhaps the best in that regard!

10 Likes

So are we. /MASQto1millionusers :wink:

7 Likes

This project is already allowing people in censored countries to finally be able to get info their own country hides from them

11 Likes

As a long-time member of the MASQ community since day one, I am continually impressed by the project’s dedication to providing a privacy-focused, decentralized browsing solution. MASQ’s innovative approach, which eliminates the need for traditional VPN or Tor technologies, ensures no tracking, no central servers, and no sign-ups, thereby promoting truly private and borderless browsing. The open-source nature and user-powered design make it a robust alternative for privacy advocates. It’s truly remarkable to see how the MASQ team, supported purely by community contributions, has developed such a valuable tool. Kudos to the team for their dedication to enhancing digital privacy and freedom. Cant wait for mainnet release which is soon! Keep up the great work! :grinning:

10 Likes

Masq is a game changer in the way of dvpn with a very slick browser UI. The team has been working on it for years and still has a lot of features in the pipeline. One beautiful thing about masq is it’s so well put together and simple that even you grandma can set it up and browsing privately and securely in about 5 minutes. There is nothing else like this on the market and believe that it will be a major disrupter in the VPN and web 3 market.

8 Likes

I have been following MASQ since November 2022. It is an under the radar project with true DePIN utility. The team is building an all in one VPN and browser with 3 LAYERS of privacy protection. With a super sleek UX, it is one of the last bastions of true privacy on the internet.

8 Likes

Masq is a public good project indeed

7 Likes

There is no better example of For The Public Good than MASQ. Their beta software is currently allowing people in Russia and other countries to access censored websites. The software provides hope that we can establish a truly free decentralized internet the way it was originally intended- without government censorship, without corporate data scraping, without limitations. MASQ software also is designed to bring all Web 3.0 projects under one connected work space using one decentralized network and is setting itself up to be the preferred web browser of the future. Privacy for the common good. Freedom from censorship for the common good. A new internet run for and by the people for the common good.

9 Likes

It has been allowing that for a longer while now since testing is free. But full release is around the corner and then you will need MASQ tokens. Demand will be huge!

5 Likes