The internet has become essential to the functioning of modern society. Many aspects of daily life are now touched by the internet in ways that are both mundane and deeply revolutionary. Everything is accelerating.
But the internet we have is not the internet we wished we'd have. The increase in surveillance over the past twenty years has not been matched by advances in privacy tech. Nym is an attempt to redress this imbalance.
Nym is a privacy platform. It provides strong network-level privacy against sophisticated end-to-end attackers, and anonymous access control using blinded, re-randomizable, decentralized credentials. Our goal is to allow developers to build new applications, or upgrade existing apps, with privacy features unavailable in other systems.
The Nym platform knits together several privacy technologies, integrating them into a system of cooperating networked nodes.
At a high level, our technologies include:
- a privacy enhancing signature scheme called Coconut. Coconut allows a shift in thinking about resource access control, from an identity-based paradigm based on who you are to a privacy-preserving paradigm based on right to use.
- Sphinx, a way of transmitting armoured, layer-encrypted information packets which are indistinguishable from each other at a binary level.
- a mixnet, which encrypts and mixes Sphinx packet traffic so that it cannot be determined who is communicating with whom. Our mixnet is based on a modified version of the Loopix design.
- the Nyx blockchain, a general-purpose CosmWasm-enabled smart contract platform, and the home of the smart contracts which keep track of the mixnet.
We'll explore these technologies in more detail in the next few sections. The most important thing to note is that these technologies ensure privacy at two different levels of the stack: network data transmission, and transactions.