Binance Labs, the incubation venture of Binance exchange, led a seed funding round of $1 million for decentralized privacy-focused HOPR. Apart from Binance Labs, other firms that invested during the seed funding round include Focus Labs, Spark Digital Capital, Caballeros Capital, and Synaitken. BinanceX, an early stage development platform, has also awarded a fellowship to the startup earlier.
HOPR is a privacy centered blockchain startup that incentivizes the data through a token-incentivized mixnet solution.
Gin Chao, Binance's Strategy officer, said that the team at BinanceX and HOPR have been working on this privacy solution for quite some time now. He said:
“The team from BinanceX met HOPR over a year ago at Paris Blockchain Week, and we have got to know the team. We will be making much fewer investments, and these are the sorts of projects we will be focused on, in areas that we feel have a sort of immediate product-market fit.”
HOPR is also set to become a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) under the law in Switzerland and has the right set of tools to become a pioneer in decentralized privacy management. Chao said:
“I think it's the right type of problem to be solving at this time, and HOPR's solution is a great fit in terms of the ethos of blockchain and having an eventual decentralized organization with a token to address the problem.”
HOPR a New Network Layer Protocol For Safe Exchange of Data
Sebastian Bürgel, the co-founder of HOPR, said that their protocol is not another on-chain privacy solution but a network layer protocol similar to Tor, which facilitates a safe exchange of private data. HOPR would incentivize the participants with the native token to enhance the privacy of the network.
In a traditional system, when two systems are communicating with each other, they are confidential to third parties like telcos and internet service providers (ISPs). On the other hand, in the HOPR system, the data moves from one relay node to another, and each receiving node mixes the data with other traffic, and then it is passed on to the next node.
“Anybody can participate and be paid for the service of relaying traffic and thereby creating privacy for you,” said Bürgel. “You are paid in HOPR tokens similar to how miners get paid ETH on Ethereum.”
He further commented on the incentivization of the network participants suggesting right now it's quite challenging to estimate as the network is decentralized so that the network participants would take the final decision. Burgel said:
“We imagine this is going to be a kind of marketplace. I think it should be comparable to a VPN subscription, which is an order of like $10 a month, so for some reasonable usage, it should be in that range.”