The release will give bidders the chance to own a piece of history from the early days of the decentralized internet, with all proceeds going to the Tor Project.
The Tor Project is a non-profit organization conducting research into online privacy and anonymity. The original goal of the project was to stop people’s location or browsing habits from being learnt, be that stopping individuals, corporations, or government agencies.
Owning a piece of history
As is the fame and notoriety of Tor’s onion services, the NFT auction will allow bidders to own a piece of history. For instance, the private cryptographic key used to create Dusk, the earliest Tor onion service, and an art piece generated using this key by artist ixshells.
Executive director of the Tor Project, Isabela Bagueros, said that the project will use proceeds of the auction to improve Tor’s censorship circumvention and privacy tools “so that millions more can access the internet privately and safely.”
Set up over fifteen years ago, the Tor Project has been bringing innovative privacy solutions to the internet since in the form of onion services. These are websites which end in “.onion” and they are exclusively accessed through the Tor network. The first of these websites is known as Dusk, or duskgytldkxiuqc6.onion to give it its technical name.
Since its inception, onion services have been home to everyone and anyone, from the likes of Edward Snowden, media organizations, artists, researchers, and notably cryptocurrency traders.
As reported in April, Edward Snowden was selling an NFT titled “Stay Free.” The NFT, a tokenized copy of a court ruling on the NSA’s mass surveillance program, was being sold on the Foundation platform.