ITechnology Interviews Networking

ITechnology Interview with Dan Edlebeck, Co-Founder and CEO at Exidio

ITechnology Interview with Dan Edlebeck, Co-Founder and CEO at Exidio

“The Sentinel network is a peer-to-peer network that was bootstrapped by developers around the world that were passionate about creating a more private and secure experience as we navigate the web online.”

Hi Dan, please tell us about your journey into the technology space and how you started at Exidio.

Over the past five years, I have become much more concerned with our individual rights to privacy and security, especially online. I believe my desire to get involved in privacy tech started from my own research into the established institutions we were told we were supposed to trust. I began realizing major media publications were not reporting full stories. I then saw the rise of corruption of big tech, and the lengths to which some entities go with our data to make another dollar. It was really when I looked deeper into the critical information shared by Edward Snowden on the surveillance state that was being amassed by the NSA against citizens’ knowledge that I realized I needed to continue that important work but on my own path.

What is Exidio, and what solutions do you currently offer to enterprise customers?

Exidio is the leader in transparent, end-to-end encrypted VPN technology. Exidio builds beautiful applications empowering consumers and businesses to reclaim their digital privacy and security. Leveraging open-source code and decentralized networks, Exidio is bringing a new paradigm of transparency to the VPN space. Customers can download our application to access websites and stream videos from around the world, reclaim their online security, and free themselves from third-party surveillance. In short, Exidio brings secure access to Web 3.0.

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What does your Ideal Customer Profile look like? Which industries and titles are you currently focusing on?

Our ideal customer is someone who is either already in the VPN industry and is looking to change their biz model and to provide a better and more transparent experience with their customer base by transitioning their network from wholly owned nodes that they are operating and not knowing how customers are able to get their data tracked, to an open sourced peer-to-peer infrastructure, where all the nodes that are offering bandwidths in the network are going directly from individuals and their homes or individuals that are hosting nodes. The benefit for end users is actually earning the revenue being offered to the network.

So it’s firstly the centralized VPN companies that want to pivot their business model. Secondarily would be a company that already exists and has an existing user base that would want to offer an auxiliary service, such as a decentralized VPN to their user base. Then thirdly it’d be any individual or company that wants to start a VPN and they don’t have that as part of their business model but are looking to become a VPN entrepreneur. That’s on the B2B side.

And then on business to consumer direct, our customer profile is anyone looking for supremely enhanced privacy and better security online for their personal life/personal consumer or transactional activities. People who either already have a VPN, or are looking into VPNs and want to know that their experience online is truly end-to-end encrypted, and that they are looking for open-sourced technology and they also are excited about being a part of the open and decentralized web.

PREDICTIONS SERIES 2022

What future do you see for Web3 frameworks? Which businesses would benefit the most from the adoption of Web3.0?

For the web 3.0 I believe there are tons of industries that are going to be leveraging the web 3.0 tech stack, and first and foremost I think as we move more Data natively digital online, and we have experiences like the “metaverse”; as we’re doing more of our human people-to-people interactions–be it commerce, or be it communication, or be it shared experiences, or be it even travel being done in a digitally native form–we are going to be building that metaverse and that digital experience on the open and decentralized web, the web 3.0.

So with that web 3.0 we need the proper framework and the proper infrastructure, and Sentinel falls squarely in the networking or the bandwidth layer of the web 3.0 infrastructure for that tech stack. So businesses that are building in the digital economy –that could be in the financial world, it can be in gaming, it could be in online experiences, it could be in transactions, it could be in market places, all of the companies who are looking to natively build a more robust digital experience for their user base–they are going to be looking into open and decentralized frameworks for how they are going to operate their business and Sentinel is going to be a core part of that with their bandwidth-to-bandwidth marketplace.

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Please tell us about the biggest challenges and opportunities you met in 2021?

One was making a pivot to getting our own native blockchain. That was really exciting but it took a lot of work. We pivoted from having a ERC20 token that was on Ethereum, to the Sentinel network bootstrapping its own native blockchain built on Cosmos.

Another thing was the Sentinel foundation. Going out and raising capital to be well funded going into the future. That included changing the token dynamics of the token supply from ERC20, to pivoting onto its own native token on the Sentinel native blockchain, and that came with some challenges as far as increasing the supply on the existing holders- but doing it in a very responsible and long term approach, while not increasing the circulating supply, but increasing the total supply.

Finally, incorporating some of those features and then applying for them for the Apple store and and Google Play store, and also finding some setbacks and having to negotiate with Apple and Google on how we will be able to make sure we have the products and features that were looking for, while still playing by their rules and making sure the App features the requirements that they necessitate to get listed on their platforms.

In 2021, dVPN management platforms made rapid strides. Could you tell us how you approach these techniques at Exidio?

That’s absolutely true. I think that the growth of decentralized VPN also coincides with the growth of the overall narrative of web 3.0, and open and decentralized networks powering our online experience. A lot of those are pretty esoteric and pretty hard to wrap your mind around, especially for the average consumer that is not really looking into internet infrastructure, but understanding bandwidth, and understanding working with your connection to your internet service provider is a lot more tangible. And a VPN product that you can hold in your hand on your cell phone or on your computer is something a lot more tangible that people can identify with.

So as people understand the emerging web 3.0 tech stack, decentralized bandwidth is a lot more easily understandable for the average consumer. At Exidio that’s really our responsibility: Taking users on that user journey and understanding what tech we are bringing to market, and how they can benefit from it, and how this is something that, while their might be interesting tech in the background, is something that just seamlessly and effortlessly improves quality of life.

Tell us more about your Decentralized and distributed networking solutions. How does it influence Cosmos and Sentinel ecosystems?

The decentralized and distributed networking is something that Exidio won’t take credit for. The Sentinel network is a peer-to-peer network that was bootstrapped by a lot of developers around the world that were passionate about creating a more private and secure experience as we navigate the web online, especially with the rise of challenges with authoritarianism and looking out for ways that we can better safeguard ourselves.

So the Sentinel network is truly a peer-to-peer network and has users around the world who are offering bandwidth. We’ve had over 400,000 people who have downloaded applications on the Sentinel network, so it’s truly a distributed network and COSMOS is a perfect blockchain architecture to be able to support that network. So COSMOS is a layer 1 blockchain with a hub and zone model. So there’s the COSMOS HUB, and then there are all the different zones which are independent native blockchains that connect to the COSMOS hub via the inter-blockchain communications protocol, and with this Hub and Zone model, it makes for a great architecture for the web 3.0 stack where independent blockchains can have all the different needs and customizations that are required for independent web 3.0 protocols to operate under the terms and conditions that they need by having their own independent blockchain, but still having the benefit of composability through the interoperability of the IBC.

So that’s a great architecture for Sentinel, and the Sentinel ecosystem, because node hosts don’t want to necessarily be paid exclusively in the dVPN token, the Sentinel Native token. Some node hosts may want to be paid in a stable coin. Some node hosts may want to only be paid in and only see FIAT at the end of the day, and with the Cosmos IBC, Sentinel has the ability to take any token that is connected to the IBC for payment for individual node hosts and that makes the process seamless. So as the web 3.0 stack continues to get built out, and there are more products and protocols that are building and leveraging the COSMOS IBC, it’s going to make interoperability a lot more seamless as we make that connection.

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We saw how the IT and healthcare industry became one of the biggest decentralized VPN adoption centers in the COVID era. Could you tell us about the future of VPN practices for the healthcare industry? How is it different to serve the healthcare market compared to other B2B markets?

That’s a good question. I think that that’s kind of a moving target. I think that right now, the applications that the Sentinel peer-to-peer bandwidth marketplace is focused on are end-consumers that are more individuals or end consumers that are looking to use decentralized VPN. In the COVID era that has been a blossoming market segment. So more and more people that are working remotely or spending more time online and in public spaces- they are looking for VPNs, and as people look for more VPNs and the VPN industry continues to grow, ppl are starting to think about the products that they are using, and how they can make sure the products they are using are safe and secure for their end usage. So individuals and consumers are looking into the products they are using more than ever, and I think that this is a huge boon, and in doing so they are going to start looking at what some of the challenges are that decentralized VPN industry has, and the opportunities for a more secure and provable end-to-end experience online. That’s why a lot of ppl are coming to decentralized VPNs.

Your predictions for the year 2022- what does your product development roadmap look like for the coming year?

One of the biggest things that Exidio is excited to launch is a decentralized VPN router. So a home based router that will have a multi-function. One will be that it provides a seamless and plug-and-play solution for anyone to offer bandwidth to the network and earn passive income natively by offering their excess bandwidth to the network, and it is easily configurable. The other benefit of this router will be that it has the ability to give off a wifi signal that is end-to-end encrypted. So all of the devices that are connected to that wifi signal will have a private experience online and will be able to route their traffic through whatever IP address the consumer sets their node to be connected to.

I think this is very exciting, and then there are other opportunities for helping other companies white label VPNs on the Sentinel network, as well as opportunities for us to continue to build out products connected to the Sentinel network based on consumer demand and based on specific industries that are emerging that are in need of VPN solutions.

Your thoughts on leveraging AI, Blockchain, analytics, and automation for VPN adoption:

I think that the main thing is going to be understanding consumer needs, not only just end-consumers, but different business industries that will be leveraging more secure and private solutions. Something that will be on the roadmap a bit later in 2022, or possibly in 2023, is private internets. The Sentinel network can support private internets, and this is something that Exidio can bring to market- the ability to have corporations with their own internal files to have those privately and securely accessed through a decentralized peer-to-peer bandwidth marketplace.

So I think that’s another opportunity, but I think understanding emerging technologies and how that connects with VPN will mostly be about analytics about consumer demand and consumer interests and understanding how we can provide products that match those demands.

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Thank you, Dan! That was fun and we hope to see you back on itechnologyseries.com soon.

[To participate in our interview series, please write to us at sghosh@martechseries.com]

Dan is a connector of thought-leaders and doers in the blockchain space, building diverse networks to achieve high-impact goals. With 10 years of experience in business development, marketing, and operations. Dan worked to bring three blockchain projects to market and helped build four cryptocurrency company communities. He has an ambitious vision to make the world a better place, harnessing the capabilities of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Dan earned his MBA at Babson College and his bachelor’s at UW-Madison.

Exidio Logo

As the leader in transparent, end-to-end encrypted VPN technology, Exidio builds beautiful applications empowering consumers and businesses to reclaim their digital privacy and security. Leveraging open-sourced code and decentralized networks, Exidio is bringing a new paradigm of transparency to the VPN space. Download our application to access websites and stream videos from around the world, reclaim your online security, and free yourself from third-party surveillance. Exidio – Bringing Secure Access to Web 3.0

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