You can see a simple representation of the overall Nym network at https://dashboard.nymtech.net/. This also shows you a live reading of traffic metrics being sent over the mixnet. The sent and received numbers on each mixnode shows how many packets it has received and sent in the past 1 second.
Other components, not yet built, are currently being designed. The Nym Whitepaper (forthcoming) details the overall system design and how these parts will fit in. But here’s a preview.
Nym nodes will rely on a Proof of Stake (PoS) mechanism for both sybil defenses and mixnode quality of service monitoring. This not yet written, primarily because measuring mixnode quality of service for stake slashing was an unsolved problem until very recently.
The Nym Mixnodes currently incorporate a simple, but individualistic, mechanism for determining quality of service. Connected clients periodically send “loop” messages to themselves. This provides network cover traffic and also allows each client to check that its messages are getting through.
This works reasonably well for a single client, but it breaks down when we want to check quality of service across the system as a whole, in a trustless environment. A client reporting that its messages never made it past Mixnode A could in fact be an attacker who wants to knock the honest, reliable, and perfectly functional Mixnode A out of the network.
We have come up with a solution to this problem, allowing auditing of mixnode behaviour across the system as a whole. Once that’s working, we will have the ability to stake slash in cases where a Nym Mixnode fails to provide good service.
The gateway (forthcoming in Nym 0.7.x) will sit in front of the mixnet, and do the following: