Obsidian – A Cryptocurrency and Platform for Secure Anonymous Communication

Executive Summary


This article explains the motivation for the Obsidian project, its technical structure and the possible roles for the platform's native ODN coin/token.


The vision for the Obsidian project was outlined in the White Paper published on 4th September 2017, version 3.1. Outlined in that document is the central philosophy underpinning Obsidian; unrivalled private communication through the combination of a secure messenger application with a cryptographic coin enabling a decentralised communication network. Such a platform will enforce resilience against attacks on its communication network through a community of decentralised nodes, hosted by anyone, participants receiving Obsidian coins in return. Such a communications protocol is owned and operated by no single entity, but by many individuals located globally, in the same fashion as bitcoin miners, thereby rendering host attacks ineffective. Moreover, such a protocol makes the collection of communications meta-data impossible from one central point; it becomes very hard to establish who is talking to whom given the distributed nature of the platform.

ODN utility


ODN     =
ODN utility as a Bitcoin-like Cryptocurrency
ODN utility through app/platform usage

Obsidian networks

The similarity between the bitcoin mining rewards offered to bitcoin miners, and Obsidian ‘transmission’ rewards for relaying messages, should immediately be apparent. The bitcoin network is sustained, and more specifically financed by the block rewards the miners receive. The Obsidian messaging network is set to consist of ‘messaging nodes’, that analogously receive rewards for processing communication workloads. In addition to that, Obsidian is a Proof-of-Stake coin, that comes also with its blockchain network, which is the exact counterpart to the Bitcoin network, the only difference being that the globally distributed blockchain nodes receive a ‘staking reward’ (of 20 ODN per block) instead of the mining reward. So, Obsidian is based on the same principles Satoshi invented for Bitcoin, but in contrast to Bitcoin, Obsidian features two networks, one for block replication and one for message transport, but both could be sustained with the ODN currency, to motivate people to run Obsidian messaging and/or Obsidian blockchain nodes.


Two pillars of value of ODN

The Obsidian ODN cryptocurrency has therefore at least two independent functions. The first function, like with Bitcoin, is the social contract that people agree the coin has a certain value so that it can be exchanged for something else ('the buy coffee scenario'). This function is based on the properties of the Bitcoin or Obsidian brand and the values that come with it, their degree of publicity and places of acceptance and supported by the coins scarcity.

Furthermore, Obsidian has an additional potential use – its special (yet to be defined) use within the Obsidian messaging platform. E.g., the Obsidian messaging app could require storing ODN coins inside the app to unlock certain app features.