I2P: network reliability is on the radar of the academic community

We continue our series on I2P anonymous Internet technology. The first interview was devoted to the specifics of the technology and the current state of the global community.

Today our guest is an academic researcher and cybersecurity specialist from Switzerland, Philipp. In his scientific work, he explores the specifics of anonymization of the I2P test network, and the application of the technology to create an exchange network diva.exchange. What results Philipp came to in his research and why “darknet” is not evil in itself – read in our new interview.

DIVA: Philipp, good afternoon. Please tell us a little bit about yourself, about your professional interests.

Philipp: My name is Philipp, I am 25 years old. I currently work in a security operations center where I do cybersecurity analytics, and systems engineering, mostly with open-source software. I know anonymous internet technologies such as TOR.

DIVA: Philipp, you are known as the author of a study on I2P anonymous internet technology. Please tell us why you chose such a topic for your academic research. What was your academic interest?

Philipp: For my graduate research, I was looking for a practical topic with the possibility of doing a technology project. At my university, there was a pool of possible topics that could be chosen for research. And I saw a project from diva.exchange on the topic of I2P, and I also saw that there was already work done earlier by other students at the university. For me, this topic was very interesting, because, being interested in anonymous internet technologies, such as TOR, I didn’t know anything about I2P. And since I2P technology sounded interesting and the project looked interesting, I chose it.

DIVA: I2P technology is well-known in the professional community. It is used – in different phases of development – in such well-known products as Bitcoin, BitTorrent, and the Monero cryptocurrency. Can you tell us what role diva.exchange played in your research?

Philipp: diva.exchange played a key role in my research – I investigated I2P technology through the work of diva.exchange. During the research, I also had a lot of contact with the founder of diva.exchange Konrad Bächler. He was one of the main contributors to the whole project and he helped me with many things, from technical issues to how I could get in touch with the important people in the project.

DIVA: Philipp, the research was conducted at the Lucerne University of Applied Science (HSLU), right? What is the role of the HSLU in your research?

Philipp: Well, not only Konrad and I were involved in the project, but also a professor from my university. He was less involved in the technical side of the project, but more in the academic side of the research: the research design, formulating the research problems and questions, and giving me advice. In general, I had all the information and support I needed at every stage of my work.

DIVA: Has your research been published and can the public read it?

Philipp: Yes, of course. It is currently already available on the diva.exchange repository on GitHub, in the section where they add those works that were done by students.

DIVA: Philipp, what do you think are the key findings (discoveries) of your research?

Philipp: So, let me elaborate: the study looked at the idea of anonymization on the I2P network, or the potential use of diva.exchange, which uses the I2P network to anonymize. This was based on previous research at HSLU. And I wanted to practically test this finding, on how to anonymize users. To do that, I delved into the implementation of I2P how I2P works, and how I would test something like this. In my research, I set up a test I2P network in Kubernetes to figure out how these nodes work together, how an attack could be carried out, or how someone could anonymize them.

The only thing I can call a finding or something that helped the community in a broader sense is that I reported a minor bug in I2Pd concerning a configuration flag that wasn’t fully implemented, hindering setup in a lab environment. It didn’t pose any security risks and was primarily relevant to my work with the test network. That’s, I would say, a small contribution, but otherwise, you could say that I laid a small foundation for how someone can create test networks in a containerized environment for Kubernetes.

DIVA: Still if we look at your work from a public interest perspective. What do you think is the public benefit of your research?

Philipp: It depends on how you look at it. I have scripts and automation that someone can very easily set up this test network and work with it. And I can say that this could be useful for future researchers or people who want to test this or work on something in I2P. Perhaps they require a controlled environment to simulate scenarios that may not occur naturally, allowing them to anticipate potential outcomes that are otherwise unobservable in real-world conditions. I made my research publicly available. A few interested people and I exchanged views and tweeted about it. I’ve also gotten some one-on-one feedback.

DIVA: Philipp, now this is going to be a tough question. But it is interesting for both professionals and newcomers. Please tell us about the threats in the I2P network. Is it possible to use it as a crime tool?

Philipp: Overlay networks that provide anonymity can be used in this sense. We have to recognize that a certain category of people, attackers, can use the anonymity of various networks, including I2P, for their criminal activities.

But the question is, does the technology per se facilitate crime? I don’t know. I think that right now if we turn to I2P, the community is very small. And members of the community are interested in privacy and technology.

DIVA: Yes, for example, the issue of trust. It is closely related to security.

Philipp: I’m a technical person, and I was looking at it more from a technical perspective. However, the I2P community is discussing different threats, also non-technical ones. But it’s difficult for non-technical people because as you mentioned, all these applications are put in this corner with the darknet.

DIVA: One last question, Philipp. Do you consider yourself part of the I2P community?  What does it mean to you personally to be part of this global process?

Philipp: Before the project started I didn’t know about I2P, and after the project is finished I know a lot about it. I probably still check in on the I2P subreddit a few times, but I don’t come in contact with it. 


The non-profit association diva.exchange, Switzerland, uses a barrier-free and collaborative approach to create free banking technology for everyone. Open-source technology ensures the privacy of all participants in the financial system of the future. The blockchain-based system is fully distributed. Everyone can participate in diva.exchange.

Diva.exchange is committed to the belief that only commercially free technology can reliably protect user privacy.

Collaboration with the scientific community plays an important role in the development of diva.exchange. The results of diva.exchange research are constantly being validated by academic institutions and publicly presented at specialized conferences.


All technical information is available at: https://github.com/diva-exchange/

I2P beginner’s guide and installation guide:https://www.diva.exchange/en/privacy/introduction-to-i2p-your-own-internet-secure-private-and-free/

All videos are here: https://odysee.com/@diva.exchange:d/

Introduction to I2P: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I2P

Testnet of diva.exchange: https://testnet.diva.exchange


Twitter: https://twitter.com/@DigitalValueX

Mastodon: https://social.diva.exchange/@social

If you still have questions you can always find us on Telegram: https://t.me/diva_exchange_chat_de (in English, German, or Russian)