Deeper is committed to providing Web 3.0 infrastructure and gateway access for interacting with Web 3.0 content. The project has been accepted into Parity’s Substrate Builder Program and is currently applying for a W3F Grant.
In this interview with PolkaWorld, we invited Russell, CEO of Deeper, to talk to us about how Deeper plans to bring more people into the Web 3.0 era. “With excellent products as the entrance, users can switch to Web 3.0 painlessly”
PW: Please briefly introduce what does Deeper do?
Deeper is dedicated to providing Web 3.0 infrastructure and gateway access for interacting with Web 3.0 content. Our flagship product is called Deeper Connect, and its security protection, privacy protection, and network acceleration functions can significantly enhance users’ Internet experience. At the same time, each Deeper Connect device is also a network node and a service portal that runs 24/7 hours in the Polkadot Web 3.0 network.
PW: What do you think is the substantial technological innovation needed for Web3.0 to go from concept to reality?
I personally think that the biggest problem with Web3.0 now is not a technological innovation from 0 to 1, but market awareness and user adoption from 1 to n. Namely, how to quickly expand Web3.0 ecosystem and attract more and more users of Web2.0 to enter.
Here I give an example of the successful rise of the mobile Internet industry:
In the early days of the iPhone’s emergence, most users regarded the iPhone simply as a fashion phone with an excellent user experience. The application scenarios were also limited to traditional phone calls, sending and receiving emails, and some cool games. But the potential of the iPhone is much more than that. Its powerful hardware and software platform has brought unprecedented opportunities for third-party developers. The App Store has gradually expanded to included more and more third-party applications, opening up mobile Internet for users; smart phones have acted as the entrance to mobile Internet. This has formed a positive feedback loop: smart phones have brought a large number of users to the mobile Internet, and various killer applications on mobile have prompted more feature phone users to adopt smart phones. Another thing to note is that the upgrade of the entire Internet industry is a very smooth process. The exponential growth process of the mobile Internet industry from 1 to n is perfected on the basis of the continuous improvement of user experience. The exponential growth of the mobile Internet industry has not only made Apple the world’s first trillion-dollar market capitalization company, but also opened up emerging industries such as mobile social networking, mobile payment, and the sharing economy, creating value in the trillions of dollars.
PW: What is the value of Deeper to users?
Deeper’s goal is to provide a product experience similar to the iPhone, starting from the user’s core needs by improving users’ Internet experience and gradually pulling them into the Web3.0 ecosystem. The standout feature of our product is its plug-and-play design. Users don’t need any network knowledge and blockchain background. As long as it is plugged in between the modem and the router, one can benefit from the network security and privacy protection that our product brings. We did a product pre-sale activity on Indiegogo this year. In two months, we achieved 650,000 US dollars in sales, which exceeded 99.9% of projects on Indiegogo. At the same time, we were selected as Indiegogo’s most popular products. Are our products as good as I said? You can Google it. There are many positive reviews on the Internet, and readers can judge for themselves.
PW: How does Deeper’s products achieve privacy and security functions, what is the principle behind it?
Let me talk about security first. When we surf the Internet at home, we will pass through a general exit. Mobile phones, computers and other equipment in the home are all connected to a WiFi router first, and then connected out through the broadband at home. As a firewall hardware product, we work in the export position. When you go online, the traffic goes out to the Internet, or when you come from the Internet, put our products there to work, that is, analyze all the traffic in and out of your home.
After the traffic analysis is completed, some functions can be implemented, such as security functions. We can prevent others from scanning your home network. In fact, everyone’s home network is open to the Internet, which is equivalent to your door being open, because there is no way to communicate with others without opening this door. With Deeper’s equipment, it is equivalent to a filtered window that allows fresh air to come in, but flies and mosquitoes cannot come in. We can stop many malicious attacks on you. Because what we are doing is an enterprise-level firewall, which is a comprehensive protection. It used to be very expensive hardware. Now we can put it on a small device. This is our technical advantage.
Then there is privacy protection. The privacy protection we provide includes several layers, such as preventing online behavior records, IP address protection, etc.
In addition to flies and mosquitoes, there are some things that look normal. For example, if you visit a normal webpage, there are some elements on the webpage that you can’t see. It will secretly record your surfing behavior and send it to the server to advertise. Operators can then learn about your online behavior and push advertisements to you. You cannot think of it as a virus or malicious attack. This business model is tacitly approved in law, but it actually violates the interests of many consumers, violates your privacy, and even violates your data sovereignty. Our products can also filter out things that pretend to be normal visits.
In addition, some people will visit some websites, but they do not want to expose their IP address. At this time, because our Deeper Connect devices are all connected to each other, users can connect to, for example, a foreign device at their home. They are all encrypted, and no one else can see his communication. Then he goes to visit the website through that device so that no one else knows that he is visiting.
Each of our devices is both a client and a server. I can use other people’s bandwidth, and others can also use my bandwidth. The data traffic in the network is encrypted, and the IP address is also random. Don’t worry about others knowing what I’m doing. And we only provide products, not services, these equipment hardware is not in our hands, we have no way to steal user data, so we can truly protect user privacy.
PW: What is your plan for the next 3~5 years?
The first is a commercial plan. The layout of 1 million nodes will be achieved within three years, and 100 million nodes will be achieved within 5 years.
Business planning must be done with technical support. Technically, the first is that we have to reduce the cost of the product’s hardware by 5 to 10 times. Although the cost is actually very low after these 5 generations of iterations, in the future, we will make a free hardware model and reduce the cost of hardware to less than $5 so that we can quickly gain market share. We have already researched that by designing our own ASIC chip, this cost can be achieved, and related research and development are already underway.
How can the company not go bankrupt when the hardware is free? This is about our business model of profiting from services.
The first model is that we can charge for network security services. Users only need to pay a month’s service fee and we can recover the cost because our hardware costs are kept low.
The second mode is that our devices are sharing traffic with each other, and we will charge at the rate of the sharing economy. Just like Uber’s philosophy is that it does not need to own a car to provide services to charge, but it will charge a 25% platform fee. When sharing traffic, if you share more traffic, you earn more tokens. For example, we charge a 10% platform fee as income. After the network is rolled out, tokens are more valuable, and everyone’s desire to share traffic becomes stronger. This is a positive cycle.
The third business model is to profit as a web3.0 infrastructure service provider. Unlike most projects, our product is based on tangible hardware. Everyone hopes that Web3.0 will subvert Web2.0, but the reality is that many projects have hundreds or even dozens of cloud nodes running services there, and then they can magically subvert Web2.0? Everyone should know that the infrastructure of Web2.0 is counted in billions, which includes operators, cloud computing vendors, and so on. Without quantitative change, how can we talk about qualitative change?
Our product will be quickly promoted to hundreds of millions of users through a free model, and each product is a node that can provide basic services. Some good projects in the Polkadot ecosystem may have technology and code, but there is not enough decentralized infrastructure to run. When they need storage services, network services or computing services, Deeper and Deeper users can Provide them.
PW: Can you tell us about the Deeper team?
Our team has 20 full-time people, plus about 30 part-time people. Among them, the engineers are all full-time, 15 people, mainly distributed in Silicon Valley, Vancouver and China in the United States. Some do operating system development, hardware design, and blockchain.
PW: Why did you choose Substrate for the development of blockchain?
We actually studied two solutions together at the beginning, one is based on the Substrate framework and the other is based on the consensus algorithm of Libra. After about a month or two of comparisons, I felt that Substrate has a great advantage, so I made the decision to devote myself to the development of Substrate.
We contacted Substrate very early. We started following Substrate in April 2018, but Substrate was not very mature at that time. If we want to run a smart contract on it, we don’t support it. For example, when we go to the community to ask for something, they also say that we don’t have it now, so we have been studying and watching.
And this year, the blockchain part of our product has been designed, and it needs to be implemented. It happens Substrate has matured a lot from two years ago. Substrate 2.0 was officially released. The quality of the code and all aspects have been greatly improved. We have done various tests and found that it is very good. Some of the functions we are going to do are soon successfully implemented on it. We joined soon after passing the code review of the Substrate Builder Program.
PW: What value does Deeper have to Polkadot and other projects in the ecosystem?
From a business perspective, as I talked about in the mobile Internet example, the iPhone represented by smartphones is actually the user’s portal to the mobile Internet, providing a massive user base for the exponential growth of the mobile Internet. Similarly, Deeper Connect is a home gateway product. Everyone at home and all devices need to go online through this device. It is an advantageous entry point. The biggest feature of Deeper Connect is that it can attract a large number of Web2.0 users, and then let them join the Web3.0 ecosystem seamlessly. The audience of most blockchain projects is limited to the blockchain community that accounts for only one-thousandth of the number of Internet users in the world, and the user group for Deeper is all Internet users, which can bring freshness to the development of Web3.0 blood.
From a technical perspective, our Deeper Chain is implemented using Substrate. Deeper Connect can not only connect to Deeper Chain, but also connect to any other valuable public chain in the Polkadot ecosystem. Through simple development, a user interface for other public chain dApps can be provided. Deeper Connect is a carrier of dApp Store. In the future, we will also support the plug-in mode and provide third-party developers with plug-in development APIs. Third-party developers can add the developed dApp plug-in can be directly placed in the Deeper dApp Store. The developers of these application-type public chains have since eliminated the work of acquiring users from scratch and developing a public chain client from scratch. In addition, the management background of our device integrates the function of a hardware wallet. Users can directly use the DPR token or other tokens in their wallets in these third-party dApps in the background. At the same time, Deeper Connect has the security function of an enterprise-level firewall, which also provides a strong security guarantee for users’ digital assets in the process of storage and use.
In short, the value of Deeper to the Polkadot Web3.0 ecosystem is in its ability to provide a decentralized network infrastructure and attract more users to other valuable projects in the Polkadot ecosystem.
PW: Are there any plans to bid for parachains in the future?
We have plans to bid, but the specific time frame needs to be determined according to the development of the project.