Decentralized VPN Sees Increased Use in Nigeria Amid #EndSars Protests

Published on by Coindesk | Published on

Mysterium, a decentralized VPN, is trying to reach crypto users in parts of the world that grapple with actual and potential internet censorship.

The decentralized virtual private network Mysterium is seeing an increase in users in Nigeria over the last few weeks as protests have roiled the African country.

The user increase seen by Mysterium comes at a time when concerns over a partial shutdown of the internet in Nigeria has given rise to more interest in VPNs overall.

"I believe VPN use has increased in part due to the #EndSARS protest. Recently, more people saw the need to use VPN in Nigeria for safety on social media, Twitter especially."

Mysterium is a decentralized VPN, meaning it's not controlled by a central company.

Mysterium's decentralized architecture means that, by design, it cannot log users' activity, and is resistant to being shut down.

Mysterium's native token is MYST. As a dapp, Mysterium needed a token, and while the company originally allowed people to pay in ether, they had to switch plans as ETH's transaction fees rose.

Gabriel Olatunji came to Mysterium in a more streamlined way - to watch one of his favorite shows that was not available in Nigeria, "The Tudors." He moved over from another VPN after he found it was blocking certain IPs."Initially, there were issues with the service, especially random disconnections, but the issues have been resolved with the new updates," he said.

Olatunji sees the increase in VPN use as directly linked to the #EndSARS protests, in part because since the onset of protests there have been concerns the government would "Pull the plug" on parts of the internet.

Considered a tech hub with a young population and a rising aptitude for cryptocurrencies, countries like Nigeria are the kinds of areas Mysterium wants to support, and where it sees itself as a useful tool.