Nym, a project that provides an infrastructure to use applications and services anonymously and privately, published its white paper, a foundational theoretical technical document.
According to a press release released by Nym, on February 26, 2021, the platform provides anonymous credentials to its users, compatible with both centralized and decentralized applications (dapps). This opens the possibility of using for example a Bitcoin or cryptocurrency wallet, protected by an additional privacy layer.
The Nym network is a generic, decentralized and incentive infrastructure that provides privacy to a large number of applications and services, including any blockchain. The central component of Nym is a mixnet (mixing network) that protects the metadata of the information sent over the internet, and that is superior to VPNs (Virtual Private Network o Virtual Private Network) and to the Tor network.
Notably, Nym contemplates in its whitepaper the granting of incentives in NY tokens or tokens to any participant who decides to run a node of this network, to facilitate the anonymity of users.
NYM tokens, the organization points out, allow use all kinds of services in the application or API layer while preserving user privacy.
Applications and services provided by third parties can integrate their systems to the Nym network to protect their users from malicious actors and preserve their privacy. These applications range from cryptocurrency wallets and decentralized finance projects (DeFi), to messaging applications, Internet of Things (IoT) services, or literally any data transfer on the Internet that is susceptible to leaking its metadata .
On the white paper of Nym The focus of this incentive scheme can be read in a decentralized network, which seeks to “enable a sustainable economic model for privacy” through a Mixing Test, a process of mixing information for its anonymization.
The mixing test and measurement messages
The registry of the NYM network is based on a blockchain where nodes and users carry out a collaborative work to measure the capacity of this network to provide a service quality, in terms of anonymizing interactions on the internet in a decentralized manner.
As they argue, the mixing test is contemplated in the bibliography used in the creation of this white paper, as a highly intensive and not very private process , because despite its validity as proof of work, the inputs (i nputs ) and outputs ( outputs ) would be publicly registered on the network, something incompatible with the purpose of Nym.
For that reason, it designates users and nodes to generate a measurement message (m easurement messages ) that allows knowing the quality and capacity of the network, without sacrificing anonymity. This, through a circular node-user interaction. The figure in charge of making this measurement can be found in networks like Tor, although not in a decentralized way, they point out.
These “measurement messages” are transmitted under the message encryption format Sphinx , which allow mixing the information transmitted in a network in an indistinguishable way, but leaving evidence of its existence and validity in the decentralized network.
Once Once the nodes receive these messages, they proceed to run a proof of work and build a Merkle tree. This is published on the Nym blockchain for verification of all participants, who can check the validity of the public key of the users and the nodes, and therefore, the validity of the interactions shown there.
In addition to the proof of work, there is a ‘ Stake ‘ or participation mechanism, which without being formally a Proof of Participation ( Proof of Stake , POS), validates the reputation of the node as an honest entity in its role with the network.
This participation is measured in NYM tokens , with which in turn the nodes are rewarded for their work, so that the more validations are carried out, the more rewards will be received and therefore, the better the reputation or prestige of the node.
Although this also encourages other nodes to continue working in favor of the network with a quality service, also allows them to delegate their work to other nodes with ma yor reputation (Delegated Proof of Stake, in English DPoS)
Although Nym does not is a Proof of Stake (PoS) network, we use the term ‘Stake’ as an alternative to ‘Reputation’, since NYM nodes are rewarded proportionally to their work and not to their position (stake) in the network.
More than processing hash-like alphanumeric combinations like Bitcoin’s proof of work (PoW), Nym operators apply high intensity work and are rewarded for shuffling messages, rather than mining. ”
The origin of the Nym project dates back to 2017 and was the first privacy-focused project to receive funding from Binance Labs in 2018, Nym notes in the press release. Later, in 2018, they received USD 2,500,000 in a round of public financing, they indicate.
They also affirm that they executed a test network ( testnet ) from Nym with 1500 nodes to operate on the Liquid network, a second layer solution for Bitcoin developed by Blockstream. Nym plans to give continuity to this test network in the face of user demand, for which they will be relaunching soon.