Designed to decentralize the internet, Substratum ($SUB) aims to allow everyone to access all information on the web, without restriction from corporate or government control. To further reduce centralized control, Substratum Nodes will not only securely mask and route traffic, but also be able to host content, disrupting the ability for ISPs to slow or block traffic (1).


  • Running a node earns Substrate
  • Open and transparent
  • Removes government and corporate ability to censor content
  • Masks traffic as traditional encrypted data


  • Not currently open-sourced
  • The stronger the privacy, the slower the speed

Deeper Dive

The Substratum Network is being developed to support net neutrality by changing the way we interact with the internet. Currently, data on the internet needs to pass through designated access points, such as hubs and servers. This creates a choke point that can be targeted for attacks to gain user information. This also allows ISPs, Corporations, and Governments the ability to block or restrict access to certain content (1, 2).

With Substratum Nodes, traffic flows through the Sub Net, rather than the traditional routes. This allows unrestricted access via the CORES Clandestine Routing Protocol. In addition to acting as relays, the nodes also allow users to host data, earning Substrate for the bandwidth, CPU, and storage provided to the network (2, 5).

Running a Substratum Node replaces the DNS server, allowing it to control how to route network traffic rather than your ISP. The node seamlessly passes data from any application that uses the TCP Stack, such as web browsers, FTP, and email clients to the Sub Net (2, 4).

While each node is aware of every other node on the network, they only know the IP addresses of 3 nearby nodes. Depending on how secure and anonymous you want your connection to be, the node will plan the route between the Originator Node and the Exit Node with any number of Relay Nodes in between (5).

The Originator Node receives the request from the client application and plans a route accordingly. It encrypts individual instructions for each node on the route into the CORES package and sends it on its way.

After the Relay Node receives the package, it deciphers its instructions, replacing them with garbage to maintain package size. It then sends it on to the node that it has the IP for (4, 5).

When the CORES package arrives at the designated Exit Node, its instructions include ‘the payload,’ or the original request from the client application. Using a Proxy Client, the node reaches out to the internet to complete the request. If the instruction was to get a request, such as “load,” the node would take the response the Proxy Client received and encrypt it so only the Originator Node can read it, before placing it into the CORES package and sending it to the next node on the list. The route back can be completely different to add to the anonymity.

After the Originator Node receives the package, it decodes it and sends it to the Proxy Server where your web browser is connected to, and in this case, displays the Hyped on Crypto landing page (5).

Along with being a payment for services on the Sub Net, Substrate can also be used for traditional goods and services on the network. Sub can be broken into atoms, down to two decimal places (to aid in ease of adoption) and has a total supply of 476,000,000 (2).

Key Terms in the Whitepaper include:

  • SubstratumBridge
  • SubstratumDNS
  • Developer Toolkit

Substratum does not have a roadmap, but rather keeps the community updated through weekly Q&A videos on YouTube. They have recently completed the closed beta and received great feedback on all 3 OS versions. The open beta will begin soon, as well as updates to the website (3).

Key Items in Substratum’s near future:

  • Open Beta Soon
  • Blog Updates
  • Open-Source Docs Being Finalized

Substratum is set to have a mini-documentary on CNN’s Success Files on April 26, 2018, though they are still awaiting confirmation. It will also be airing 400 times across the region. An extended version will be posted after it airs on CNN (3).

In summary, Substratum was designed to provide the security and anonymity of Tor and I2P, without all the complications. Substratum hopes to truly decentralize the internet, so anyone can explore it without censorship. With Net Neutrality coming to an end, and increasing regulations from governments, demand for privacy is on the rise. If the team continues to reach the goals they set, Substratum will be worth keeping on your radar.


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Contributed by Charlie Blankenship.  

Find Charlie on Discord: WanderingBeing#3710
Twitter: @wandering_being