Undergrad Research Question Regarding Startup Costs
First of I am new to this forum so apologies if this is posted in the wrong place.
I’m currently a Business Information Technology student, researching how viable a privacy-by-design hosting service would be, currently I’m in contact with several cryptographers to find out whether this is can technically be done.
I have been looking at costing recently and found surprisingly little information on both the web and university databases. Would anyone on here be able to provide a rough idea of start up costs, basing the size of the company on “HostingUK dot net” . What would be recommended buying vs leasing. As its research there isn’t a budget, however I would like to try to stick to the example provided above.
I know this is a very vague question and I apologise for that!
You'd need to accept an anonymous payment method such as Bitcoin and would probably be hosting TOR sites. This is a very niche market and most users who are that concerned about privacy are frequently performing illegal activities. This is very possible to do and budget depends on the scale of the operation (will tend to be small due to how niche this is).
It's probably not a question of how strongly stuff is encrypted (after all, you're hosting websites that are meant for anyone with the URL to be able to view) but rather how much anonymity you can offer your client (plausible deniability from being the administrator of that website, etc). In that case I don't think a cryptographer would be of help to you, as what a cryptographer specializes in is how to secure the data stored on disk (useful for things like email where only one person is meant to have access, but not as much for sites where anyone with the URL has access).
Your cost difference from the usual hosts will mainly be on legalities and accepting payments.
Definitely agree with what the others have said. The startup costs will be essentially the same as any hosting company, but it largely depends on your goals and the services you will be offering to your clients.
Without a doubt, Bitcoin would be your main form of payment.