Since its creation, internet users have raised concerns about online privacy and the type of data that might be collected. These concerns have proliferated with the emergence of smartphones and web apps, particularly with the emergence of data as a revenue source. In order to shield themselves from such privacy concerns, users are turning to technologies like VPNs. The VPN market had a value of $25 billion in 2019 with estimates of it reaching $75 billion by 2027, largely because of continued security and privacy concerns.
While VPNs can help users to protect their privacy against websites, there’s a demographic that is left out in the cold: those who operate websites. Because websites contain sensitive information, they are often the target of malicious attacks. But website owners also have privacy concerns and often want to remain anonymous. While the idea of someone wanting to anonymously run a website might make you think they are engaging in illegal activity, there are plenty of legitimate reasons to want to remain anonymous. To begin with, there are free speech reasons. A prime example here is whistleblowers who are exposing sensitive information. Likewise, journalists may want to protect their identities, particularly if they are covering controversial topics. Finally, for any number of reasons, legitimate businesses and individuals also can become the victims of such attacks and thus want to maintain their privacy.
As a result of these privacy concerns, web hosts have begun offering anonymous hosting services to users by not requiring personal information to start a website. But one glaring privacy gap remains: customers still need to be able to pay for the web hosting services and thus need to provide payment information. Because of different rules around payment processing and privacy, many website operators are moving to offshore web hosting companies. But if you’re a domestic web hosting company, the emergence of cryptocurrencies offers a means of competing with offshore web hosts while assuring customers of their anonymity.
While banks and credit card companies certainly don’t aim to expose customer information, they do require it to verify accounts and purchases through third-party websites. As with any such third-party site, web hosting services require personal information to process payments, and this information might be retained on their servers. This can expose the identity of website operators. Payment information on its own is sensitive material and those purchasing web hosting services certainly don’t want their credit card or bank account numbers being breached. But payment information can also contain personal information, including the name and home address of the person operating the website.
Given that ensuring privacy is one of the very reasons that it was created, cryptocurrency offers a solution to these problems. Crypto is a digital, peer-to-peer currency that does not require third-party verification. It is digital cash that can be handed directly from customer to vendor. The benefit here is that no personal information needs to be exchanged in order to pay with crypto. Customers do not need to provide bank or credit numbers, or the addresses required to verify these accounts. Instead, a customer merely has to exchange a public key with the vendor, who then receives an encrypted crypto transfer to their account. This removes the need to provide any personally identifiable information including the names associated with those accounts.
Despite its possibilities for assuring anonymous web hosting, crypto payments can raise concerns for both vendors and customers. Vendors are usually wary of using it for two reasons:
For customers, crypto payment raises concerns about privacy and security because of the payment processors vendors use. To begin with, many payment processors require website redirects. This raises immediate fraud concerns if the customer is not familiar with the third-party payment site. Additionally, they may be required to scan their phone or a QR code for payment. When privacy is a concern, this can ring the alarm bells for a customer who doesn’t want any identifiable features entering the system.
Leveraging the power of cryptocurrency to ensure anonymous web hosting services requires powerful blockchain technology that can assure both vendors and customers that everything is legal and secure while also providing ease of use. RocketFuel’s cutting edge blockchain technology offers these assurances.
In terms of vendor concerns, RocketFuel is a publicly traded company that assures legal payment processing. Moreover, with its Price Settlement Guarantee, RocketFuel is the only crypto payment solution provider that guarantees the price of products so that vendors are not short-changed because of fluctuations in crypto markets. As soon as a customer completes their purchase, RocketFuel locks in the price at that exchange rate thus guaranteeing vendors receive the full price of their services.
At the same time, RocketFuel offers a secure, seamlessly integrated payment interface that can promise privacy and security for customers. First, it connects directly to a vendor’s website through a plugin and then provides an easy-to-use dropdown menu for customers to transfer their crypto for payment. Because they don’t have to leave the website, customers know that this remains a one-on-one relationship without any intermediaries and without the potential for fraud – a quality assurance that very few crypto processors provide. Likewise, RocketFuel doesn’t require customers to scan their phone or a QR code. Instead, it has a smooth interface with direct tie-ins to all of the major crypto exchanges and currencies and customers can pay directly from their crypto wallet.