In the pursuit of seeking clarity, knowledge, and understanding behind this yet-to-mature cryptocurrency market - we are approaching various altcoins (organizations, foundations, companies, and businesses) in order to learn more about what they do, and the people behind the projects. We believe in empowering Altcoin investors and enthusiasts with more information in order to better navigate the crypto-market, and in turn make a more educated financial decision.
I am honored to have Dr. Steven Waterhouse, also known as Seven, who has agreed to put some time aside to answer some questions about Orchid (OXT). Dr. Waterhouse is the Co-Founder and CEO at Orchid.
Thank you for the time you’ve put aside to answer some questions regarding Orchid. To start off, why don’t you tell the readers where you are from, what were you doing prior to being involved in cryptocurrency, and how did you get involved/start Orchid?
"I’m Dr. Steven Waterhouse, the CEO and Co-founder of Orchid. Before starting Orchid, I served as a partner at blockchain-focused venture Pantera Capital from its inception in 2013 through July 2016 and worked at Fortress Investment Group, where I founded the Digital Currency Fund with Mike Novogratz and Pete Briger."
"After I completed my PhD in Engineering from Cambridge, I was a Co-founder and CTO of RPX (Nasdaq: RPXC) and served as Director of the Honeycomb product group at Sun Microsystems, one of the first computer and software technology companies to evolve during the dot com era."
What’s the story behind Orchid?
"Orchid was founded in 2017 to help restore the open and accessible internet for everyone. The original Web 1.0 internet opened up an unlimited world of information that users were invited to explore freely. As the internet developed that freedom became restricted by business models that incentivized watching and tracking users in order to sell their data. Governments were even able to limit what people could see.
Orchid’s purpose is to build the new era of decentralized Web 3.0 so users will be able to explore the internet freely again, safely."
How would you explain what Orchid to a non technical individual?
"Orchid is a tool that allows users to explore the Internet privately.
Normally everything you do online is tracked, and your activities are visible to advertisers, search engines, ISPs, and more. 'Incognito mode' does little to protect you, and many VPNs themselves track and sell users’ data.
Orchid offers a different kind of VPN protection. By aggregating VPN service providers from all around the world, and letting anyone provide VPN service, Orchid offers users a one-stop-shop to get connected with VPN service that works for your location and purpose. By configuring a route with multiple “hops”, users can add extra privacy, since no single VPN service provider will see the full picture of your online activities - kind of like putting a sensitive document through the shredder."
How is Orchid helping the internet (Web 3.0) restore open source and accessible Internet for everyone?
"Our recent launch in the Apple App Store marks a huge step forward for bringing a free, accessible Internet to people all over the world.
Instead of having to understand cryptocurrency in order to access our VPN network, users can now interact with crypto in the background by simply making an in-app purchase of crypto-backed credits using Apple Pay. Now all someone needs to do is download the app, select the amount of credits they’d like to buy and they can immediately begin hopping around the Orchid network of VPN bandwidth."
How are decisions made on which direction Orchid should go?
"Orchid is a company with offices in San Francisco and Berlin, and amazing team members all around the world.
We make business decisions together based on our roles and areas of expertise, as you would see at most venture-backed startups. Our software is open-source, and we welcome contributions from the community and collaboration as we build together."
With over 5,000 cryptocurrencies, who are your main competitors?
"Orchid is a software company that offers a VPN product that can be accessed using OXT.
We see other high-quality startups in the blockchain space as potential collaborators."
Is Orchid Free to use?
"Orchid is free to download, but in order to access the Orchid network of private bandwidth, users must either bring their own OXT from outside wallets or make in-app purchases of OXT-backed credits."
If I wanted to use Orchid for personal use - what would be the process to get it going? Would it be the same steps if I wanted to use it within my organization/business?
"All you have to do is download Orchid for MacOS or iPhone or Android, purchase some OXT credits and begin hopping.
The same steps would apply at any organization/business."
What significant plans, projects, or activities are planned within the next five years for Orchid?
"At Orchid we care about being responsive to current events.
For example, we fast-tracked our desktop release during the covid-19 pandemic while people are working from home and using desktops more. We will continue to be nimble and responsive rather than announcing concrete five-year plans.
However, expect to see continuous improvements to make our product better and easier to use, and Orchid entering new markets around the world where people want privacy."
If someone has never heard of Orchid before this interview, and they wanted to get involved within the Orchid community after reading your responses - where would you recommend them to go?
"We’ve got plenty of places to learn more and get involved in the project.
I’d recommend visiting our website and blog at Orchid.com/blog, checking out the many AMAs we’ve done on Reddit and following the project on Twitter (@OrchidProtocol), Medium, and Telegram. They should also download the app for MacOS/iPhone/Android."
Anything else that you would like to share with the Altcoin community?
"Internet privacy is a human right that we should all be concerned with protecting.
Cryptocurrency and Blockchain have given us amazing tools to help preserve that right and we are proud of the work we’ve done at Orchid to advance that belief.
I highly encourage anyone reading this to start protecting your privacy right away using the Orchid app. You no longer need a crypto wallet to access the network, so once you download the app just use Apple Pay/Google Play (android) to make an in-app purchase of the crypto-backed credits (OXT) needed to access our private network of VPN bandwidth."
Dr. Steven Waterhouse