Enigma’s privacy protocol is helping fix blockchains and build a truly decentralized future. Learn more about the project in this short video with Tor Bair.
While the internet has proven to be a great medium for transferring and computing data, this convenience has come at a cost. Personal data that ends up online is anything but private, and is often sold without the individuals consent or benefit. The result is an online environment where true data privacy does not exist.
One potential solution for this issue is blockchain technology.
Blockchains and cryptocurrencies have gained wide attention based on their potential to decentralize and fix the internet.
Before blockchain can achieve this promise, there are a number of critical technical issues that must be addressed.
The blockchain community has become very aware of these issues, which can be simplified to one question: How can we create a scalable network while maintaining the privacy of a blockchain?
The answer is Enigma!
“The enigma protocol is primarily concerned with solving the two major issues for blockchain, which is scalability and mostly privacy. Those are the two issues that are preventing blockchains from achieving global adoption. Scalability because it’s difficult to keep a bunch of data on the blockchain. Privacy because if you don’t have privacy for the data, you are very limited in what you are able to use with a blockchain. So our protocol solves that issue, allowing people to finally use sensitive data in conjunction with a blockchain by introducing a second layer network for computations.”
Blockchain technology shows much promise, with decentralized networks poised to change how finance, identity, and data marketplaces all operate. But its potential is far from being realized.
Current blockchains appear to be a solution for data storage, however most are designed to display all on-chain data publicly. There are many instances where data should be kept privately, for both legal and practical reasons.
Major blockchains are experiencing difficulties that come with rapidly growing demand. More and more strain is being put upon these networks, sometimes slowing them to a crawl.
Enigma has throughly explored the issues unique to data privacy and blockchain adoption and responded by creating a secure, fair, and efficient data marketplace.
“So our CEO Guy Zyskind recognized the issues with data privacy all the way back in 2014 when he was at MIT. This became part of his thesis around decentralizing privacy and how blockchain could be used to protect privacy of data. But he also realized that there were major limitations with blockchain as a technology for doing this. Any data you keep on the blockchain is exposed and if you encrypt that data, as a soon as you give away the key to that data, you’ve lost control of that data.”
Enigma uses “secret contracts”,These secret contracts allow nodes to process data, all without compromising the owners secrecy of that information. Through this process, Enigma can solve blockchain’s data privacy issues.
“What the Enigma protocol does is allow for data privacy to be preserved by introducting a second layer network where a distributed network of, nodes is performing computations on data, while keeping that data private from the nodes that are doing that computation.”
Enigma directly addresses the problem of Data Escape. if an individual wants to sell their data once, then the buyer of the data can resell the purchased data set. The only way to eliminate this problem is to be able to do computations while ensuring the privacy of the data. The Enigma protocol allows for accurate computation while protecting the owners proprietary data sets.
Enigma’s goals are already being realized. their first application, Catalyst, is already released and running. Catalyst shows that groundwork is being laid using the Enigma platform, yet this is only the beginning. Catalyst is just one potential application of the Enigma protocol, which is primed to revolutionize how data can be computed without compromising its privacy.
Industry has already realized the potential of blockchain technology. Millions of dollars in research and development are being spent by fortune 500 companies. The only barrier to adoption are the current limitations of blockchain technology.
With Enigma, decentralization meets privacy. This need for secure data computation positions Enigma to be the platform of the future.
“It’s really important to us to create a community around this issue privacy for blockchains. People who understand how critical of an issue and help us solve this issue going into 2018 and beyond, so we can see blockchains get global adoption, so we can unlock all the value that blockchain would provide to all these industries.”