Research Summary

Nym Technologies, a Swiss company established in 2018, is dedicated to enhancing privacy for crypto and internet users through its Nym mixnet. The mixnet is a modular technology that can be integrated with any internet application to add transport layer privacy. Nym is not a blockchain but uses the Nyx blockchain for decentralization and incentivization. The company has raised approximately $18 million in funding rounds and conducted a token launch on Coinlist for $25 million. The Nym mainnet was launched in 2021 for anonymous communication over the internet, and the NYM token was launched in 2022 to incentivize the mixnet and facilitate decentralized staking and node operations.

Key Takeaways

Nym’s Privacy-Enhancing Technology

  • Nym’s Mixnet: The Nym mixnet is an open-source, incentivized, and decentralized platform that protects privacy at the network level. It protects against traffic pattern analysis and metadata surveillance. The mixnet is supported by a decentralized network of mix nodes that receive, mix, and forward packets, increasing latency but maintaining user experience.
  • Addressing Privacy Concerns: Nym aims to address privacy concerns in both the transport layer and the application layer of internet communication. The company believes that achieving default privacy at the transport level is crucial for preserving privacy and autonomy in the digital world. Integrating a mixnet with a network’s transport layer can make privacy the default setting and address data collection concerns.
  • Zk-nyms and NYM Token: Nym has expanded to include technologies like the zk-nym identity system based on zero-knowledge anonymous credential technology. The NYM token was launched to incentivize the mixnet and facilitate decentralized staking and node operations. The tokenomics of the mixnet are operated by Nyx to incentivize privacy instead of data collection.
  • Nyx Blockchain: The Nyx blockchain, a Cosmos-based appchain, supports the Nym mixnet. Nyx ensures decentralization and permissionless access to the mixnet network directory. Nyx’s application layer features the CosmWasm virtual machine (VM) to lower the barrier of entry for developers.
  • Nym’s Ecosystem: The Nym ecosystem consists of the Nym mixnet, Zk-nyms anonymous credential system, and the NYM token. Nyx, a Layer-1 blockchain with a CosmWasm VM, supports and leverages these technologies. The Nym mixnet can be leveraged through a general-purpose interface like NymConnect or enshrined in a protocol like Aztec for a seamless user experience.

Actionable Insights

  • Investigate the Potential of Nym’s Mixnet: Nym’s mixnet offers a modular and composable solution for secure and private communication, complementing other privacy and security technologies. It improves on VPNs and onion routers through indistinguishable and mixed packets, as well as cover traffic. This could be a potential area of interest for companies looking to enhance their privacy measures.
  • Explore the Use of Zk-nyms: Zk-nyms are anonymous credentials that allow users to selectively disclose information while safeguarding their privacy. They have promising applications in private transactions, offline privacy preserving ecash, and secure voting processes. Businesses could explore the use of Zk-nyms to enhance their privacy protocols.
  • Consider the Benefits of the NYM Token: The NYM utility token serves various functions, including access to the mixnet, paying transaction fees, pledging to mix node operators, and paying Proof-of-Mixing rewards. Companies could consider the benefits of using the NYM token in their operations.
  • Assess the Advantages of NymConnect: NymConnect is a Beta application used to stress test the mixnet and will be included in the NymVPN set to launch in Q1 2024. It is compatible with various platforms, providing enhanced privacy and security features. Businesses could assess the advantages of using NymConnect in their operations.
  • Examine the Potential of NymVPN: NymVPN is a VPN service developed by Nym that utilizes the Nym mixnet to offer enhanced privacy and security. It enables payments with NYM tokens, ensuring anonymity in transactions. Companies could examine the potential of using NymVPN for their privacy needs.

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