We've seen a lot of development trends in the masternode sector. For example, there was a period where many masternodes had their own hosting solution. With the release of platforms like Apollon, Gentarium and GIN, this slowly faded.

Further down the road, we've seen the trend of building a masternode exchange. Platforms like Digital Price and ALQO are working hard on conquering this space. While technically not a masternode, the very successful Crypto Bridge platform deserves a mention here, as it uses decentralized gateways to transfer coins in and out, while using a POS mechanism for their BridgeCoin BCO.

In my opinion, a compelling use-case for masternodes would be a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which may be a very lucrative market as there are currently dozens of providers with millions of customers. When using a VPN, you can be more anonymous on the internet, making it harder to be tracked by governments, advertisers and internet or network providers.

The VPN sector has seen a massive amount of growth over the past years, and estimations show that up to 25% of all internet users have used a VPN in the past month. I expect this number to be a lot higher in the crypto-sector, as many of us value our privacy.

So what is the problem with the current (centralized) VPN market? It's trust: You trust the VPN company to not give away your information to others, and you trust them to not inspect your connections. That's why we need a decentralized open-source solution.

Creating a successful decentralized VPN service can be very complicated, therefore I hope one of the bigger masternode development teams will be working on this. Maybe the PIVX or Horizen team will be able to create this. We even referred to this in our Horizen Interview: "In my opinion, a decentralized VPN service on the Horizen framework would be an excellent use-case and business-opportunity. Have you considered this?".

I am also following the Mysterium Network project closely, as they have been working on a crypto-based VPN for a while. Once released, you will be able to run exit-nodes and earn money, but will they have what it takes to market their product to the public? I think a (high-marketcap) community-based masternode project will have more success in this.

Of course, there are risks and downsides. Would you want to run a VPN exit node where potential criminals and terrorists can access the internet under your name? Let us know your view on decentralized Masternode-based VPN services!

— Tom Dumoni