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Nym protocol

The Nym network is a decentralized and incentivized infrastructure to provision privacy to a broad range of message-based applications and services. The core component of Nym is a mixnet that protects network traffic metadata for applications, providing communication privacy superior to both VPNs and Tor against global adversaries that can watch the entire internet.
Combining a decentralized mixnet and a credential system, Nym weaves token-based incentives into the ecosystem it enables, delivering privacy that is both sustainable and scalable. Nym fills in the missing pieces of the cryptographic revolution necessary to end mass surveillance[7].
Nodes in the mixnet are rewarded via a novel proof of mixing scheme[6] that proves that mix nodes are providing a high quality of service. Rewards given by NYM tokens allow anyone to join the Nym network and enable a sustainable economic model for privacy. NYM tokens can be transformed into anonymous credentials that allow users to privately prove their "right to use" services in a decentralized and verifiable manner.
The Nym network can serve as the foundation for a vast range of privacy-enhanced applications that defend the fundamental freedoms of people across the globe against traffic analysis by powerful adversaries.

Nym team

wiki

Harry Halpin[18] - CEO and Chairman of Scientific Board, Dave Hrycyszyn[19] - Chief Technology Officer, Claudia Diaz - Chief Scientist, Ania Piotrowska[20] - Head of Research, Jess Hrycyszyn[21] - Chief Product Officer, Alexis Roussel[22] - Chief Operating Officer, Jaya Klara Brekke - Chief Strategy Officer, Chelsea Manning[23] - Security and Public Relations, Andrei Serjantov - Chief Financial Officer, and others.

The problem Nym solves

Today, data about every intimate aspect of our lives is concentrated in the hands of a few corporations. Government agencies harvest it without our knowledge or permission. This is destroying trust in the internet, stifling innovation, and exposing millions to privacy breaches and identity theft.
Existing end-to-end encryption models can protect the content of your communications data—but they do not protect the metadata about whom you are communicating with and when. No current system can protect you against traffic analysis at scale.
Nym protects both content and metadata, keeping the relationship unlinkable between client devices at one end and service transactions at the other. Nym’s fundamental innovation is a holistic, open-source, decentralized, permissionless, and incentivized network: a secure foundation on which developers can build applications that can anonymize metadata both at the level of network traffic and at the level of applications. Nym is designed to transmit data without access to or knowledge of the source, location or content of that data by the network or its participants.

Nym components

Nym Mixnet

Nym Mixnet is a multi-purpose mixnet that prevents traffic analysis by an adversary capable of watching the entire network, including the NSA.


The Nym mixnet is a decentralised network of computers arranged in 3 layers.  Your communication traffic is sent through it wrapped in multiple layers of encryption using SPHINX packet format which makes every piece of data passing through the mixnet look exactly the same. In each layer of the mixnet, your internet traffic is mixed with other people’s traffic, and the metadata that uniquely identifies your communications ie. your IP address, timing and destination is obfuscated. This means that your messages are “lost in the crowd” and not only the content but also the meta-data of your messages is protected and your communications are private. There is a saying amongst privacy crowds that says “Privacy loves company”, which is what a mixnet provides; the more data is mixed together the more private everyone’s data is.

Nym Token (NYM)

Nym Token (NYM) is a utility token, which incentivizes privacy and is used to make mixnet decentralized, sustainable and resilient[4]. Total supply is 1,000,000,000. Market Cap is $29,880,249 as of December 2, 2022[5]. The value of the NYM token will eventually be tied to the global demand and need for privacy, which is only increasing as the internet expands into more and more areas. The NYM token decentralizes the system via proof-of-stake; it can enable the functioning of the system via distributing rewards in exchange for provisioning privacy-enhanced communication. Nym tokens provide credentialed access to privacy-enhanced and uncensored internet communication for a unit of time. The NYM token is a voucher for these credentials and is used to pay for network operations. For example, tokens will be used to reward those who provide services for the Nym network, such as operating a mix-node or validators for the Nym blockchain. Tokenization provides the foundation for an alternative to the surveillance-based economic models that dominate today’s internet.

Nym Credentials

Nym Credentials allow 3rd party apps to anonymize any arbitrary ‘key : value’ pairs, so users can privately reveal part or all of their data at their discretion for any necessary compliance and authentication.
Nym credentials solve the problem of privacy-enhanced authentication amongst a decentralized open-ended ecosystem of services. Many blockchain systems offer decentralized services, but at the cost of revealing all transactions in a public ledger, which is clearly not suitable for high-value transactions involving personal data. Nym credentials deploy anonymous authentication credentials as an identity system that maintains user privacy. Due to the validators being decentralized, the system is compatible with blockchain-based systems. Tokens can be used to show the "right to access" privacy-enhanced services. Nym validators transform these tokens into Nym credentials that validated publicly in a decentralized manner via a modified Coconut signature scheme capable of the open-ended embedding arbitrary attributes[1].
Nym credentials serve as a privacy-enhanced and decentralized alternative to OAuth-based systems like Facebook Login and Google Sign-In, while sharing even less data on-chain than W3C DIDs. In effect, Nym credentials allow users to selectively disclose their data to whomever they choose, however they wish to, backed up by the power of cryptography and decentralization. Combined with mixnets, Nym provides a holistic solution to privacy that can be integrated with any blockchain and any other application[8].

History

2018
Nym was founded.
May 13, 2019
Nym raises $2.5 million in a seed round.[9]
June 12, 2019
Nym raises $6 million in a seed round led by Bessemer Venture Partners.[10]
November 5, 2019
Nym released its litepaper.[25]
September 10, 2020
The release of version 0.8.0 of the Nym platform. [27]
September 11, 2020
The release of phase 0 of Nym incentivized testnet with NYMPH testnet tokens.[28]
November - December, 2020
Nym mixnet, previously running in Go, was rebuilt in Rust to speed up cryptographic operation in Sphinx packet processing.[26]
February 27, 2021
Nym Whitepaper was released. [11]
April 14, 2021
Nym version 0.10.0 and testnet Finney. [12]
May 18, 2021
Nym × Mask Network - the next step in privacy protection.[13]
July 15, 2021
Nym v0.11.0 and testnet Milhon. [14]
July 16, 2021
Nym raises a $6,500,000 series A round from Eden Block, Greenfield One, Maven 11 Capital, Polychain Capital and Tioga Capital.[15]
July 20, 2021
Nym global privacy infrastructure is backed by the European Commission, and joins the EU Next Generation Internet initiative. [16]
August 25, 2021
Whistleblower and security engineer Chelsea Manning joined Nym as a security consultant, focusing on auditing their mixnet. [24]
November 9, 2021
The desktop wallet for mixnodes and mixnet explorer were officially launched.[29]
November 19, 2021
Nym tops up with $13 million led by a16z.[17]
January 19, 2022
Nyx blockchain was introduced on Cosmos. [33]
February 1, 2022
NYM token was introduced.[31]
February 9, 2022
NYM public sale on Coinlist.[30]
May 3, 2022
Nym Technologies announced it has secured $300 million in commitments from venture capital partners in support of the NYM Innovation Fund.[35]
July 25, 2022
NymConnect was introduced and became the first app to launch in Shipyard, the Beta space to test privacy applications and apply for the grants to build them.[32]
October 28, 2022
Nym launched the 6-week Shipyard Academy program for anyone who wants to play a role in transforming the internet from a massive vehicle of surveillance and control into a secure digital realm where privacy is the default.[34]

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