While Bitcoin and Ethereum attempt to decentralize financial institutions, Orchid attempts to decentralize virtual private networks (VPNs). If you care about your online privacy, you’ve probably used a VPN before. A VPN is an encrypted connection to another server that changes your IP address, making your internet browsing extremely difficult to trace.
Many centralized VPN companies are prone to hacking and give user information to the government upon request. With Orchid, however, users benefit from a secure decentralized network that no single entity has control over — information cannot be disclosed to anyone. And, Orchid’s servers are decentralized, making it virtually impossible to hack.
Brief History of Orchid
When Orchid was founded in 2017, 1 billion tokens were minted at network launch. Today, there are about 370 million Orchid tokens (OXT) traded publicly. There is no inflation on Orchid but a slight deflation in the form of burning tokens — when the network removes cryptocurrency from its blockchain permanently, commonly in the form of transaction fees.
A very impressive team founded Orchid: Originators Dr. Steven Waterhouse, Jay Freeman and Gustav Simonsson. Well-renowned in the computer science field, Dr. Waterhouse was a partner at Pantera Capital until 2016, Freeman developed Cydia “jailbreak” software and Simonsson helped develop and launch the Ethereum network in 2015.
Since its inception, Orchid has secured investments from several top-tier venture capital firms, including Andreessen Horowitz, Threshold and Sequoia Capital. Orchid raised $48 million in private investments, giving away 16.7% (167 million tokens) as compensation.
How Orchid Works
Orchid’s native cryptocurrency is an ERC-20 token built on Ethereum. This utility token is used to purchase bandwidth on Orchid’s decentralized VPN servers. Alternatively, you can earn Orchid by offering bandwidth to other users.
The Orchid Protocol is a series of smart contracts, which is code that has been uploaded onto Ethereum to perform specific functions. Smart contracts allow for a decentralized network to keep track of bandwidth usage. Unlike traditional VPNs, this allows you to only pay for the bandwidth you use.
How to Buy Orchid (OXT)
- Open an online account.
To buy Orchid you will need to sign up for a cryptocurrency brokerage account that supports OXT. Most people’s go-to exchange to buy Orchid is Coinbase. Once you link your banking information to your account, you’re all set to purchase your OXT.
You’ll need to provide your legal name, address, email, phone number, photo ID and Social Security number to make a crypto brokerage account. Depending on the exchange, however, you’ll need different levels of verification to begin investing.
Also, you can use any crypto brokerage, even if the exchange doesn’t support Orchid, and then send whichever Ethereum token you buy to Uniswap to exchange it for Orchid.
- Buy a wallet.
Once you have your OXT, you need to consider where to store your tokens. Although you could keep your tokens on an exchange, it isn't recommended because it isn’t as secure. Software wallets like Argent and Metamask are good choices for a lot of people, but it’s best to purchase a hardware wallet if you want maximum security.
Hardware wallets are physical devices that store your cryptocurrency offline. Investors who put significant amounts of money into cryptocurrency often turn to hardware wallets to hold their investments.
- Make your purchase.
Once you’ve made a cryptocurrency brokerage account and decided how you’ll store your tokens, you’ll need to make your purchase. Like stocks, you can place your order on most exchanges as either a limit order or a market order. When you place a limit order, you set a price to buy the token at, and your order will only be filled once the market price drops to the price you set your limit order to. Conversely, when you place a market order you buy the token at the current market price of the asset.
It can also be a good idea to average your buy-in price. This means that instead of buying all of your OXT at the same time, you average your buy-in price by purchasing different amounts at different times. This alleviates some risks associated with significant short-term price fluctuations.
Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges
If you aren’t sure where to start your search for the right broker, consider a few of our favorite options below.
Best Crypto Wallets
Browse a few of our favorite online and offline wallet options below to get started.
Best Hardware Wallet: Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Nano S is among the most popular hardware wallets that cryptocurrency investors trust. This small device can hold Bitcoin, Ethereum, ERC-20 tokens and several other cryptocurrencies. Not only does Ledger Nano S store a wide variety of coins but it has great customer service.
Ledger also offers an application to manage your crypto holdings that’s intuitive and easy to use. Moreover, the Ledger Nano S is secured by an offline, encrypted chip and an 8-digit passcode for maximum security.
Best Software Wallet: Coinbase Wallet
Coinbase Wallet is a separate application from the Coinbase exchange and it allows users to own their private keys. This means that you actually own your cryptocurrency that is in your wallet, instead of having a 3rd party hold your assets.
Another benefit to Coinbase Wallet is its great security. Coinbase Wallet lets you manage your private keys and has industry-leading security standards, such as 2-factor authentication.
Trade or Sell Your Cryptocurrency
Soon after your order to purchase OXT is fulfilled, you should see the tokens credited to your exchange account. It’s not recommended you keep Orchid, or any other cryptocurrencies for that matter, on an exchange unless you are actively trading.
If you plan on holding Orchid for the short term, a software wallet, such as Coinbase Wallet, will generally suffice. But if you intend to keep your OXT for the long term or buy a significant amount, use a hardware wallet. If you decide you want to trade your Orchid again, all you need to do is plug in your Ledger Nano S to your laptop and send the tokens to the exchange you’ve made an account with.
Current Crypto Prices
Before purchasing your OXT, you may want to watch the cryptocurrency markets. As a general rule, watching Bitcoin is a good indicator of the general health of the cryptocurrency markets. You can check out some top cryptocurrencies and their prices below to get an idea of how the markets are moving.
The market size for virtual private networks is $25 billion and growing. Yet, Orchid offers a better solution to traditional VPNs and has a market cap of almost $100 million. Not only is Orchid backed by a great team but it also has the support of renowned venture capital firms.
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