Would it fascinate you if you would stumble upon a decentralized peer-to-peer ecosystem that consists of instant secure messenger, mail system, mineable cryptocurrency, file storage and a built-in browser ?
If any of the above mentioned aspects and the video you just watched got your attention, you are in for a great treat today. Keep on reading because you will be impressed with what I am going to share.
Email with Digital Utopian Claims
It started with an ordinary outreach email , where the media firm was asking for advertisement of their ‘Program’ , but when I read through the email and the claims it made I was certain that either its another scam or something really big (i was bit inclined towards the scam thing) , quoting text from email
We spent more than five years secretly working on its development. At the moment, it is at a beta stage and we are ready to introduce it to the community. With your help, we would like to invite as many beta testers and specialists in this sphere as possible to take part in the testing of our product. You can also help us to inform the community about the launch of our beta testing and to tell people about our unique solution.
30MilesNorth PR Firm further outsourced their campaign to another marketing firm while ‘CryptoHill.io’ didn’t even bother to get back to me when I replied to the email. Not a good start.
Update: CryptoHill contacted and outsourced 30MileNorth and not the other way.
Little I knew that my opinions would change when would visit their beta portal and as I started digging , I found the concept intriguing with potential and an actual ‘working’ beta product for us to take out for a ride.
Utopia – Anti 1984 Ecosystem
Utopia is a decentralized peer-to-peer network, With Utopia you can send instant text and voice messages, transfer files, create group chats and channels, send emails and conduct a private discussion. Currently Utopia is an application for Windows, iOS and Linux which offers all the features within one application. Utopia users get on their ‘Utopia ecosystem‘ as the application also provides a built-in Idyll browser to view websites within Utopia peer-to-peer network . Utopia comes with a Cryptocurrency which is called ‘Crypton‘ and is Proof-of-Stake. uWallet allows you to store,transfer your Crypton(CRP) or even create vouchers and credit cards, Utopia Network includes Utopia Name System (UNS) which is a decentralized registry of names that are impossible to expropriate, freeze or corrupt by 3rd-party as no one has control over the system rather its self-governed by rules set in place which are applicable to everyone. After you join Utopia you may wanna drop by our Hackology channel, which you can search in the Channel Manager
Register yourself as a Beta Tester, Contributor or a Promoter. Each category gets to enjoy the ecosystem while the rewards vary (reward system will be explained shortly).
Utopia ecosystem is a culmination of multi-year effort by a group of technology enthusiasts dedicated to freedom of self-expression and privacy. We call ourselves a 1984 Group. Among us there are top-notch professionals in almost every IT field, such as cryptographic, software, networking engineers and many more. This has been a long and challenging journey. After all this had never been done before! Finally, we present an ecosystem that will change the way World communicates and handles financial transactions.
Utopia brief taken from their official website. Mentioning ‘financial transactions’ makes one wonder that Bitcoin was also disrupting the conventional financial system
Lets Explore Utopia and all the features in detail. please note as this is a beta application many of the features might change in future or some even get removed.
Each user participates in transmission of network data but only the recipient can decrypt the data. Advanced encryption ensures interception-proof communication channel to all Utopia users. All communication is secure and protected by Curve25519 high-speed elliptic curve cryptography while local storage is encrypted by 256-bit AES. Big Brother is no longer watching you!
Once you register on the Beta Portal you have to download Utopia Application. After installing the application you will be given a Hardware ID and a Private Key, these keys are required to activate your beta license which can be done from the Activation Page. Please keep in mind that your beta portal website login credentials are not linked with Utopia Application and you can have a different username for the app and the website. Once you activate the license your utopia account will be tied with your beta portal account. A step by step procedure for easy understanding of the activation procedure:
- Register at Utopia Beta Portal
- Download Utopia software
- Install the program by following simple instructions on installation wizard
- Run Utopia and Create your account. You will be provided with Public Key and Hardware ID. Those are needed to activate your Utopia software
- Login to your account
- Click on JOIN BETA
- Agree to the Rules and click SUBMIT
- Click on NEW ACTIVATION and Enter Public Key and Hardware ID
- Click ADD
- Now your Utopia is activated and you are ready to test it
- Find me in #Hackology Channel
Utopia is a feature-rich platform that is specifically designed to protect privacy of communication, confidentiality and security of personal data. It was created for privacy-conscious public who believe that privacy is paramount. Utopia is a decentralized network, with no central server involved in data transmission or storage. The network is supported by people who use it’s many high quality features.
The first glimpse we get of the application is at the Dashboard which has navigational menu for easy access to all of its many features for us to explore, use and report bugs while it is in beta testing phase.
uMail (Utopia Mail)
uMail is a secure alternative to classic e-mail. uMail can be sent to Utopia users that are in your contact list for now. uMail has all functionality of email localized to Utopia ecosystem. No servers are used for mail transmission or storage. uMail account, that is created by default when you join the Utopia network, enables unlimited messaging and attachment storage. Utopia ecosystem encryption guarantees the security of mail transmission and storage. Your uMail, as an internal part of Utopia, cannot be blocked or seized.
All those who value their data privacy would find this useful including activists and journalists knowing that their data is going straight to the designated user and no 3rd party can intercept their data. Currently the limit set for the attachments is 100 MB but as per the team it may be increased in future.
uWallet (Utopia Wallet)
All financial functionality can be found in Utopia built-in uWallet. uWallet allows you to make and accept payments denominated in Utopia cryptocurrency ‘Crypton‘, accept payments at your website, pay by Crypto Cards without revealing your Identity or bill fellow Utopia users for your services. With uWallet you can store value in Cryptons, receive mining rewards, use uVouchers, request payments and accept payments using the built-in API.
All of this while you remain anonymous. All payments are instant and cannot be reversed. Decentralized nature of Utopia ensures that your balance cannot be expropriated.
Utopia Mining – Crypton
Utopia has an inbuilt cryptocurrency called Crypton (CRP), which is proof-of-stake therefore a modest machine can also be used to mine cryptons through the GUI based Utopia application or with terminal based Mining bot which comes with the application.
Utopia rewards users that support the ecosystem through Mining by emission of new Cryptons. When you run your Utopia software or bot you will receive your share of collective reward. Mining does not slow your computer down and is environmentally friendly. You may also run a number of bots at several servers or computers to multiply the Crypton mining speed.
uNS (Utopia Naming System)
Utopia has introduced uNS (Utopia Naming System) which is a unique naming system and independent from the conventional Domain Naming System. DNS is subject to pressure and censorship from less than prefect international laws. Domains can be revoked or suspended due to multiple reasons, such as non-response to WhoIS inquiry or other register policies, non-payment, government actions and so on.
uNS, in contrast, is a truly decentralized non-censored registry hosted by Utopia Network participants with no expiration dates, renewal fees, suspensions and revocations. There is only one rule: First come, First served.
uNS registered name should be unique. You may register as many uNS registered names as you want while registration is not free and costs are paid in crypton:
- Single letter uNS costs 1000 CRP
- Two letter uNS costs 500 CRP
- Three letter uNS costs 5 CRP
- Four letter or more costs 0.1 CRP
Making Groups, Adding users, Chatting and Emailing, Sending Mails and Mining Cryptons might be the highlights but Utopia claims to be an ecosystem therefore they had to incorporate many more features so that users of Utopia ecosystem do not feel the need to go out of the system. List of other useful features within the Utopia Application are listed
- Packet Forwarding : uNS Manager lists option of ‘Packet Forwarding’ which is an internal system allowing any utopian user to host a website which can be accessed by the Idyll browser, the naming system of the website is explained above, if you register hackology uNS you can make a website and it will open when you visit http://hackology/ and that is it. This option allows to tunnel any kind of data between users in ecosystem, making possible to host different types of resources including websites inside Utopia Network. At the time of writing few fellow Utopia users made Utopia sites which can be accessed at utopia://trade/ and at utopia://crystalforest etc. If you have ported your site to Utopia let me know so I may add it here aswell. I am ported some of my sites to Utopia aswell, utopia://blog.drhack.net , utopia://paste.drhack.net, utopia://drhack.net can all be accessed in Idyl Browser inside utopia.
- File Manager : All files which are sent or received in Utopia can be accessed from the builtin file manager which also includes an image viewer. As of now the file transfers are limited to 100MB.
- Voice Notes : Utopia also supports sending and receiving of Voice messages which you can send to those who are added with you.
- Dark Theme : The program comes in standard theme but how can they miss out a Dark Theme for the privacy savvy ? Users can opt for dark theme by going to Tools > Settings > Interface and selecting the ‘Dark Space‘ theme
- Utopia API : Utopia comes with a comprehensive API for users to incorporate in their own projects. For instance, using API you can accept payments denominated in Crypton at your website, automatically manage your channels, send instant messages and much more. To get started once you enable the API you can also access the API documentation.
- Network Fee Structure : Utopia provides us with an option to view all the network enforced fee and they are updated live on the network as the fee structure changes, thus one can stay updated with the current fee structure. You can access the Network Fee from uWallet > Treasury Data > Network Fee
- Game : Utopia also supports in-app games which can be played in multiplayer, as of writing there is a working Chess game.
- File Storage / Hosting : A team user nickname 1984 in Utopia Chat Lobby mentioned that as of now there is no File storage. But In future Utopia will have some kind of music and video streaming online services, decentralized file, image and blog hosting. The reserved amount of RAM for mining ‘ll be used as cache for the whole network. For example 1,300,000 online users with current RAM allocation will provide about 1 Petabyte of raw storage for caching purposes.
Utopia Reward System
Utopia is providing a very lucrative reward system, where Beta Testers, Contributors & Promoters all can join the beta portal and help test and find bugs which in return gets you ‘pts‘ where 1 pt equals to 1 USD which are paid in BTC.
We truly believe that your participation has to be exciting and mutually beneficial. Utopia Beta Program rewards your enthusiasm, commitment and dedication. No matter what is your skill set you will find an opportunity to contribute to Utopia P2P Project development.
At the time of writing I have already cashed out $560 and transferred them to my own bitcoin wallet. I can vouch that if you have the eye to spot bugs it is a good place to help them and in return get paid. Uptil now Utopia team has paid out $7683 to beta testers which is a decent figure keeping in view that they launched 35 days back and still 2 months of beta testing period is left.
If you are not a bug finding sort you can still help and give them suggestions and ideas on how to improve their application or go ahead and share this on social media pages and get paid for being a ‘promoter’. Withdrawals are done manually and as per the rule it can take up-to 48 hours, but I have noticed that within an hour or so they release the funds.
Do Earn but DONT SPAM they have mentioned categorically that have zero spam tolerance
Who Owns Utopia
Creators of Utopia plan to stay anonymous as they have stated in the help documents
Utopia has been developed by a group of networking technology enthusiasts over the last 5 years. To eliminate any impact on the project, developers of Utopia will forever remain anonymous. We will not be able to alter the algorithms of the ecosystem once it has been launched.
It is currently not known how they will not be able to alter the algorithms once the platform moves out of Beta, that we will know once it is launched
There is limited we know right now about Utopia team. We know that u.is is the domain and they are hosting it on 1984.is while *.is is TLD for Iceland. Web hosting company 1984 and Utopia both launched almost together therefore it can be said that the web hosting company was made solely for the purpose of hosting Utopia website project. Some details from Whois of u.is domain shows that the domain was registered back in 2010, which might give credibility to their claims of 5-6 years of development. On the other hand u.is domain was also offering hosting services at one point where one can see mentions of a ‘Umbra System‘. I will leave all this for someone else to do research on as the point is not to find out who wants to stay hidden. But to point out that for how long one can stay hidden ?
Domain : u.is ( 18.104.22.168 ) Registrant name 1984 GROUP LP Address 18/2 Royston Mains Street City/Municipality Edinbourg Postal code EH51LB Country GB Registered 28. July 2010 Expires 28. July 2024 Last change 24. June 2019
Whois information of the Webhosting domain 1984.is :
Domain 1984.is Registrant name 1984 ehf. Address P.O. Box 126 City/Municipality Reykjavík Postal code 121 Country IS Phone +354 546 1984 Registered 15. May 2006 Expires 15. May 2022 Last change 5. November 2018
1984hosting.com is also a mirror of 1984.is thus is linked with the 1984 Group LP.
No one knows ‘for now’ who is behind the project Utopia and the intentions to hide the identities might seem like a good idea aswell. It would allow creators to work without any pressure or involvement in their project and they can keep it safe and secure for everyone.
Trust Utopia or NOT
Utopia might be very good project but it does give birth to some questions.
- Anonymous Creators : Here is an example, Utopia was created by a group of LEA’s to cater for a particular drug mafia and they made an app for it and will let it float and gain credibility and as we don’t know who made the App we have no idea to know what the ‘real’ intent was.
- Closed Source : Lets not disclose the owners but why would the App source be closed ? Ok Fine it is not infected with malware but how can the community trust a closed source eco-system ? How can we take their word for it ?
- Forced Alteration : Another scenario is that we don’t know but somehow the founders of the application are exposed at some level and are being forced to enter backdoor into the software what indications will we have that it is still pure ?
- Long Way to Go : Utopia will be out of Beta by October 2019 , there are alot of things which the team is actively addressing and improving. Many of the queries will also be answered by then aswell and having an alternative in this era is a great thing. An alternative which is not monitored and controlled and promises to give us the privacy of our data which we deserve and is our right.
- Peers Control : In later stages the peer count might increase to give stability to the system but blocking network peers by an ISP could result in disrupting the ecosystem, as of now we have 8-14 peers to which our Utopia network connects and the transmission although encrypted goes to these IP addresses which are in clear plain-text. As the network is closed source, only those peers can be add to the network which are selected by Utopia Team thus the process would require constant involvement of the team to keep the network running and stabilized. What Software is run on the Peers ? No one knows answer to that until one day someone exploits a system running the network-peer-control-system.
Utopia Team Responds
I asked the queries from Utopia to get their feedback, I raised the same questions which I have stated above, carry on to read their response
- Anonymous Creators : I have to say that given the scope and nature of the project, disclosing the identity of creators is not really an option. Think about it, Utopia ecosystem is literally a game changer in secure communication. There is no need to worry about censorship, surveillance, deanonymization and so on. The software is destined to make an impact and that impact comes with unpredictable consequences. We simply do not want our team to be subjected to any kind of pressure.
- Closed Source : We may disclose certain parts of code, specifically related to communication and encryption. However, decentralized protocol will not be released. Utopia is a very knowledge intensive software. A lot of time, effort and resources went into this product and we do not want to share all of our know-how as it will result in forks which in turn may result in instability of our main network. Fork will lead to division of the community, while our intention is unification of community of like-minded individuals. The bottom line here is that a lot of software is closed source and this does not hurt them a bit.
- Forced Alteration : In addition to the Anonymous Creators point, we can implement a warrant canary and place it right into About section of software.
- Community Trust Options : On Anonymous Founders and Source Code, we will try to think about other ideas that will assure community to trust Utopia.
- Peer Control : Peers are people who use Utopia and mining bots. Obviously they are the key to network stability and performance as they provide connectivity i.e. they participate in data transmission in encrypted mode. The reason why we implemented such an unusual mining model, is that we want to motivate and reward users to stay
online/keep bots online hence provide a lot of routing options. If a peer is disconnected, Utopia client will automatically connect to another peer and so on.
- Crypton on External Crypto Exchanges : The decision to list Crypton is the discretion of the exchanges. However, we plan to implement our own built-in exchange.
- Why Crypton : Crypton is meant to serve as means of payment within Utopia. It is fast and convenient to use. The fees collected will go towards maintaining the network and is a way to control total amount of Cryptons in circulation. Mining, by definition, is emission. Fees, on the other hand, is a way to compensate for this emission by extracting the Cryptons from circulation.
A community on Reddit is present with information and progress as made by the utopia team, which would be a good place to keep tabs on to see where and how the project is doing and at times. You can join the community at r/Utopia1984. The community is not run by the team but by beta testers who have been part of the Utopia testing since it was launched.
I am impressed by Utopia ecosystem and we should let such systems mature so that they can reach their true potential because I truly believe we need a system were our privacy and our data can stay truly ours, a system where my messages are delivered and read by the recipient I intend sending too, a system where my identity stays private as long as I want it. As of now internet is changing into a place where our identity and our privacy is sold to make other companies profit, profits are done by selling us off. Many say that they do not mind if their data is sold off – It is a matter of time those will also realize the hard way that how much it costs when you are being sold off. Join Utopia, Become a Tester and be part of something unique.