Token Economy

With the extensive growth and expansion of the MASQ Protocol throughout the last 3 years, below is a refreshed summary of the MASQ Utility Token and utility framework

Introduction

The MASQ Protocol is a peer to peer mesh network communications protocol, incorporating the MASQ utility token as a means of enabling and incentivising functionalities in the MASQ ecosystem.

This forms what is referred to as the MASQ Network (a ‘mesh network’ model) which offers a censorship-resistant, private and decentralized data transport layer for HTTP/S communications between peers. This provides an extensive set of use-cases worldwide as data is transported between users and their applications, websites, communication softwares, email, and decentralized-applications (dapps). By delivering this through an open-source peer to peer mesh network, users living anywhere in the world can connect to the MASQ Network using the MASQ Protocol and access content across traditional Internet infrastructure, having it relayed and retrieved by other peer Nodes across different geo-locations.

This document outlines the core aspects of the MASQ utility token, explains it's inception and provides clarity on the use-case for $MASQ as the utility token that powers the decentralized peer community of users across the MASQ mesh network (also referred to as a dMeshVPN)

Core aspects outlined:

  • Ecosystem Utility Token Mechanics

  • Token Distribution

  • Protocol Liquidity

  • Dune Dashboard


Ecosystem Utility Token Mechanics

Upon the deployment of the smart contract, the MASQ utility token ($MASQ) had two inherent token utilities - Peer Incentive and Network Defence utilities. It then expanded into broader utility functions as the ecosystem evolved with the development of the MASQ Browser app software.

  1. Peer Incentive Utility

  2. Network Defence utility

  3. MASQ web3 privacy browser

  4. MASQ Browser Premium

Protocol Inception

Once the smart contract was deployed on Ethereum mainnet, any user was able to use the MASQ Network by accessing the open source MASQNode software and utilizing the utility tokens for peer to peer mesh networking. Active users of the MASQ protocol are referred to as ‘MASQ Nodes’ within the mesh network.

In 2021, after a community governance Snapshot, MASQ utility token was bridged onto Polygon network to provide another blockchain option for users to access and run mesh networks using the MASQ Protocol.

page$MASQ Utility ERC20

Peer Incentive Utility

Underpinning the MASQ Protocol are the mechanisms for the peer to peer transport of data - essentially a trustless and pseudo-anonymous method of allowing users to share their bandwidth.

Blockchain technology provides the foundational aspects to secure this trustless transfer for service between protocol users, as payables and receivables between peers can be verified as executed transactions on the distributed ledger of the public blockchain.

Quite simply, MASQ users providing routing and exit services (called serving Nodes) using the MASQ protocol will receive utility tokens directly from other MASQ Node users who are requesting data content (called consuming Nodes) across the MASQ mesh network.

In this way, the MASQ utility token plays a critical role as the transfer mechanism which incentivizes users to share their bandwidth to other peer users across the worldwide mesh network.

Network Defence utility

In any decentralized peer network, there is an attack surface that could allow bad actors or malicious users to game the system, or attempt to overrun and destroy the integrity of network.

Most modern blockchains that exist today use a common and well trusted defence by enforcing an inherent cost to perform an action on the network- a gas mechanism - which creates a minimum cost to attempt a transaction which is to be added in the next block on the distributed ledger.

In this way, the MASQ utility token acts a layer of defence for bot swarms, Distributed-Denial-of-Service attacks and malicious users, by requiring there to be a cost to request data on the MASQ Network from other peers.

If a MASQ user falls delinquent on it’s balances due to peers, it will be banned by other MASQ Nodes connected to it after a specific balance threshold. A MASQ user would also be banned by peers if it is identified as performing malicious actions on the mesh network.

Disclaimer:

The MASQ utility token value is not linked directly to the protocol core functionality of mesh network itself - the perceived value of MASQ utility tokens could approach or reach zero while the utility token still independently satisfies it’s purpose as the protocol mechanism that powers the peer-to-peer mesh network data transport.

MASQ web3 privacy browser (”MASQ Browser App”)

To provide everyday benefits beyond the privacy provided by the mesh network operating on the MASQ Protocol, the MASQ web3 privacy browser app has been developed to offer a familiar browser experience where every layer of the software stack aims to be decentralized. This creates an unique opportunity for users to be onboarded into the world of web3, where the dynamics of being both a user and valuable network infra-provider can be explored to the fullest.

Through community development and testing of the MASQ web3 browser software (known as the “MASQ browser app”), the MASQ utility token also serves as a means of access to the early beta stages of the MASQ Browser app. This allows any user worldwide to verify their ownership of utility tokens and gain early access to use the MASQ Browser app in the development stages, which importantly assists the MASQ protocol developers in testing and refining it for public adoption.

MASQ Browser Premium

Within the MASQ Browser app, a suite of unique and powerful Premium features will be available for users to enjoy further browser customizations, richer user experiences and enhanced privacy settings. These MASQ Premium features are accessible only for users who hold higher levels of the MASQ utility token when the Premium levels are enforced later in development versions.

These features include:

  • Enhanced Ad-Blocking

  • History Destruction (only 2 pages forward and backward are stored in history)

  • Node Hop count selection

  • Country Jump feature

  • Customisation of MASQ Spaces + Widgets (MASQ-OS)

  • Enhanced web3 plugin partner options, including custom themes and additional privacy options for decentralized Storage and decentralized Chat

  • Ability to activate serving mode from the browser, so your bandwidth is shared to the mesh network

  • ‘Open browsing feature’ to use all the MASQ browser functionality without requiring connection to the MASQ mesh network

Further Ecosystem Utility for MASQ utility tokens

As the MASQ Protocol matures, the MASQ utility token will serve other functions in the future, including governance capabilities, access to community curated tooling, software test phases, ecosystem partnership benefits and ecosystem marketing dynamics. This is not an exhaustive list, but as these dynamics evolve and are employed, they will be announced and widely published for MASQ protocol users who will be able to utilize them freely.

The MASQ Protocol core team strongly emphasizes decentralization in as much as possible, therefore most of the further utility functions will have a primary focus in being permissionless and open-access - this means that regardless of who or where the user is accessing the MASQ Protocol and ecosystem, they will simply need to prove ownership of their utility tokens to access the various utility aspects that exist in the MASQ ecosystem.


Token Distribution

The initial MASQ ERC-20 smart contract was deployed on 4th Feb 2020, and followed with an airdrop on the Ethereum network, with gas costs funded by community donations. This airdrop to over 25,000 wallets was executed as a distribution method to allow the open-source MASQ protocol software to be used immediately by a significant user base while in it’s open development stage - the MASQ protocol software is open source and available today and can be viewed on the official MASQ GitHub.

There has been no Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and no Venture Capital (VC) or Angel investors.

After a period of professional advice and industry analysis, an updated token allocation outline was finalized and announced in Oct 2020. This included a public and open ‘v2’ token swap to allow public airdrop recipients to have a scaled supply which would allow sustainable conditions for ongoing development and bootstrapping a public Liquidity Pool on a decentralized exchange. This was a necessary action to ensure open access is possible for all public users worldwide to acquire MASQ utility tokens in a permissionless way, and operate MASQ Nodes using the MASQ protocol.

The contributing core team, developers and extended community team members are all provided MASQ tokens for their contributions.

Allocations

summarized for completeness

Public Airdrop Swap Pool partial burn

2,754,528

Initial Advisors Pool

6,000,000

Protocol Ecosystem

22,193,453

Founding Committee

9,000,000

Further Adviser Pool burned (see points below)

-1,000,000

Unclaimed Swap Pool burned (see points below)

-1,447,981

Final Total Supply

37,500,000

Important Points

Protocol Ecosystem Tokens:

All non-circulating Protocol tokens (figure in bold above totalling 22,193,453) have been allocated to different areas of the project.

Below is a summary of total allocation of non-circulating tokens from inception:

  • Developers 53%

  • Marketing & Liquidity 40%

  • Initial Ecosystem Rewards 7%

These amounts are used as an operational guide, and are subject to change depending on market cycles, development and protocol growth conditions, and with protocol development being the most critical allocation area.

Allocation Releases

Allocated tokens were moved from the MASQ utility token contract deployer wallet into SAFE (multisig) wallets throughout the release periods - this was done to accurately track token movements of circulating and non-circulating supply with verified public trackers (such as Coinmarketcap and CoinGecko).

SAFE wallets (multisig) are managed with at least 2 out of 3 core team signer policy, with the SAFE wallets being upgraded to accommodate 3 out of 4-5 signers for increased security and robustness.

For visibility these Safe wallets are listed below

Protocol Ecosystem Release Summary

Upon contract deployment — 5,500,000 tokens

Balance released to SAFE multisig thereafter across period of 15 months

Protocol Ecosystem Multisig:

https://etherscan.io/address/0xAd5e3fab1e3e2636057aB30923BF6976377F33A6

Committee Release Summary**

Upon minting — 1,400,000 tokens

Balances released to members thereafter across period of 9 months

Committee Multisig:

https://etherscan.io/address/0xaB8476186C0b8b1d1D8209d7C55893dAcFBE1fC7

**Throughout 2021-2022, several committee members privately pledged a total of 1,000,000 $MASQ of their allocated tokens back to the protocol - they have remained locked in the Committee multisig for visibility across the original published distribution plan.

Allocation of these across the MASQ Protocol will be announced publicly after a high-level analysis of various factors.


Protocol Liquidity

In Nov 2020, MASQ’s initial adviser independently coordinated the very first Liquidity Pool (LP) on Linkswap (relaunched as VarenX) through the community - this bootstrapped the first decentralized pool for the open community to acquire the MASQ utility token to operate across the MASQ Protocol.

Since then, the MASQ Protocol team has provisioned various decentralized exchange (DEX) liquidity pools, owned under masq.eth:

(accurate at time of April 2024)

NetworkDEXAsset Pair/sLP Token Contract

Ethereum

Uniswap v3

MASQ/ETH

Polygon

Quickswap v3 (Algebra)

MASQ/WMATIC

Any major changes to liquidity pools are announced publicly to community, shortly after execution.

Protocol Wallets

The MASQ Protocol team uses several multisig SAFE wallets and hot wallets to conduct daily operations.

NamePurposeAddressChain

Protocol Treasury Multisig (SAFE)

Holding treasury assets and facilitating non-MASQ payments to 3rd party services

0x1ECF9A465426bc7f49A9FA3f9AeB048BA80D9c38

Ethereum

Protocol Operations Multisig (SAFE)

Used to pay for Operations, Development, Community and Admin functions on Polygon

0x19C730E8AC0ABD00Cdf0B8d09778605454f8306b

Polygon

Ecosystem Community Fund (SAFE) (v1)

Ecosystem Accelerator funding for Community & Developer Grants

0xfeC39562C3831EAc01eBCE3515E111d10e49a292

Polygon
Inactive Protocol Wallets
  • Prior Treasury (SAFE) (deprecated on ETH) 0x88AF647d0DeFB34C1bae1a62Bea4b74969f60fA5

  • Protocol Operations (SAFE) (deprecated on ETH) 0x3C9a4785B16d33AC8033aE6973392724736009e1

  • Operations Hot wallet (deprecated on ETH) 0xA868a4CFD702211B68cc0DBC795863C92C609304

  • Community Management Multisig (SAFE) (deprecated on Polygon) 0x432Eb6DF6AC5F4B8884f12F7095477Dfd00A69A6


Dune Dashboard

To provide visibility and accurate on-chain data for the MASQ utility token and the protocol allocations, a Dune dashboard has been created professionally to provide analytics.

MASQ Dune Dashboard

These analytics include decentralized exchange metrics that are queried on both Ethereum and Polygon.

In future, this Dashboard will also be used to analyze network growth of the mainnet MASQ Network launch and the user-adoption rates, since anonymous token movements are the only 'semi-transparent' aspect of MASQ user activity that can be inspected! (and that's a good thing, since zero MASQ user-data is ever collected)

The MASQ core team is in contact with the leading public blockchain explorer platforms, to ensure that the accurate on-chain supply metrics are updated and used for the highest level of accuracy and transparency.

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