Upgrading from Oxen Network to Session Network
February 06, 2024 / Alex Linton
From top to bottom, Session is built on crypto. Crypto as in encryption, and crypto as in cryptocurrency. Crypto is what makes Session…Session.
For the last four years, Session has been running on the Oxen Service Node Network. In 2024, we’re upgrading to the Session Network.
Wait! What’s the Oxen Service Node Network?
As you probably know, Session is decentralised. There are currently over 2,000 servers around the world working together to deliver your messages. Each one of these servers is an Oxen Service Node, and together they make up the Oxen Service Node Network. These are specialised servers that stake OXEN cryptocurrency to register on the network; and nodes receive OXEN rewards for performing particular services — like routing Session messages. There are multiple reasons we chose to use a cryptocurrency network for Session’s infrastructure, like Sybil resistance, but I’ll explain all of this in more detail below as we discuss the Session Network. 👇
When is this upgrade happening?
Nothing has changed yet. We are in the very beginning stages of creating the building blocks that will make up the Session Network. There is a lot of work required before any big changes are made, but we want to give the Session community plenty of heads up before the network transitions across.
The Session Network
The Session Network is a new decentralised network with the purpose of supporting and amplifying Session. This change makes it easier for newcomers to understand Session's design, makes operating a node in the network simpler than ever, and unlocks new integrations with useful web3 technologies.
Unity under Session
Session has grown a lot in the last year and a half, and we started to notice a trend as more and more new faces appeared in our community— it is hard to understand how Session is related to Oxen and the Oxen Service Node Network. Whether people were coming from crypto or non-crypto backgrounds, the connection proved confusing to all sorts.
Unifying the network, cryptocurrency, and application under the Session brand makes it a lot easier for greenhorns and old timers alike to quickly understand and explain the Session ecosystem.
Creating Session Token
The Session Network will be backed by a brand new token — Session Token. This token acts as the basis for the Session Network: securing Session Nodes and rewarding them for the services they provide to users . Unlike the old Oxen cryptocurrency, Session Token will be built using an Ethereum-compatible token. Behind the scenes, this opens the door for the Session ecosystem to leverage some of the best work being done in web3, as well as lighting a path towards paid power features which can feed directly back to the network, helping secure Session’s sustainability long into the future.
Some things that Session Token is not: it is not needed to use Session — ever. All core features of Session will remain free and available to the people who need it. Notably, Session Token is also not a privacy coin — but that doesn’t mean that Session is less private.
Privacy coins, such as Oxen, are a special kind of cryptocurrency designed to conceal transaction details and wallet identities. However, Oxen encountered significant challenges when it came to adoption, particularly among people less familiar with cryptocurrencies. Its potential for ensuring transaction privacy remained largely untapped, which weakened the practical level of privacy it could offer . In contrast, while Session Token is not inherently a privacy coin, it maintains a comparable level of practical privacy for its users, mirroring the levels that Oxen achieved (given its low usage). Moreover, the integration with Ethereum opens avenues for leveraging its evolving suite of on-chain, privacy-preserving protocols. These protocols, accessible without special permissions, offer users of Session Token additional options to further enhance their privacy.
Growing Session’s network
Thanks to the new Session Token, joining and contributing to the Session Network is going to be easier and more accessible than ever before.
In the past, obtaining, using, and staking Oxen was quite difficult — but doing these same tasks with Session Token will be doable in a handful of minutes, all through intuitive web portals that absolutely anyone can use.
Additionally, any Session Tokens that are used to access in-app power features will programmatically funnel back to the network, with minimal intervention from the OPTF or any other intermediaries — adding transparency and removing trust requirements.
All of this builds towards a stronger, larger, and more robust network — the Session Network. This is great news for Session users, as the good performance of the network directly improves your experience every time you use Session.
The path forward
This is a moment for all the parts of the Session ecosystem to come together under the one name: Session. Session Token and the Session Network under the Session name will make everything much easier to understand and open the door for more people to join our private messaging movement.
We are entirely committed to the privacy of our users. Together we are flipping the script on the data economy of the modern world, putting the control and ownership of your personal data back in the hands of the person it belongs to…you.
Overall, Session Token creates a future for Session that is more sustainable, more decentralised, and more transparent.
Let’s send it.
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