Staking Hub: Nym AMA Recap

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Nym's technology responds to corporations and governments that see, collect, sell, and use our data and metadata for profit without our informed consent. Prediction products emerge from companies obtaining data from you, analyzing it, and curating algorithms to your interests. This theory, called Surveillance Capitalism, emerged from Google's business model of creating prediction products.

“In our offline lives, we have privacy by default and are actively able to choose when we want to share things, with who and under what conditions. The same should be the case online.” - Ania Piotrowska, Nym Head of Research

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What is Nym?

Nym is a privacy-first, communication network that aims to create a layer of privacy for Web 3.

The Nym technology stack addresses two layers: 

  • (a) the network layer, providing a mixnet based on the Loopix design that protects content and metadata of messages
  • (b) the application layer, enabling the development of privacy-preserving access to digital services, through decentralized anonymous Coconut credentials. 

How does Nym work? 

Most users will not directly interact with the mixnet or the credentials system. Through Nym, users will directly interact with layer 2 applications, in a privacy preserving manner. 

The credential system will grant users access into the Nym network. Services integrated with Nym can use Coconut credentials as access control and privacy-preserving authentication for their users. 

The Nym mixnet shuffles messages, so the time that they have been sent and received has been randomized. It cloaks traffic, making connections between individuals impossible to identify. 

“... it will mostly not be user-facing, but instead allow other applications, wallets, and digital services to offer extra privacy protections to their users.” - Jaya Klara Brekke, Chief Strategy Officer

“Nym network is an overlay network that supports private access features for applications and their users, and can be flexibly integrated with various services. Nym provides full stack privacy by combining the decentralized Nym mixnet and Nym anonymous credentials. The Nym mixnet provides layer-0 privacy, by hiding the network metadata associated with online communication. The Nym anonymous credentials, on the other hand, offer layer-2 privacy by allowing the end users to control which information and details about themselves they want to disclose.” - Ania Piotrowska, Head of Research

Check out more details on how Nym's mixnet works here. 

What are Nym’s Use-Cases?

Nym allows Web 3 users the ability to maintain their privacy online, while interacting on-chain. Nym is a generic infrastructure: the mixnet protects privacy for any application that runs on it.  

“Instead of broadcasting directly your transaction (thus revealing your IP address) send it through a mix network to the service provider, which will broadcast it for you - thus, you do not reveal your IP address” - Ania Piotrowska, Nym Head of Research

How is Nym decentralized? 

There will be a decentralized set of validators at launch, but it is permissioned based on participation in previous testnets. Validators will be depermissioned slowly. 

“Surveillance simply became the business model of the internet, and so if we want to get rid of surveillance, we also need to change the business model” - Ania Piotrowska, Nym Head of Research

NYM: Token & Staking Info

The NYM token can be used in three key ways:

  1. NYM tokens are used to pay for fees using the mixnet
  2. Users can bond NYM tokens, and run a mix node to earn rewards
  3. NYM tokens can be delegated to other validators, increasing the chance for that validator to earn rewards 

How will decisions about the protocol be made?

Validators will coordinate on network upgrades and improvements. By delegating tokens to a validator, token holders are signifying which validators they trust to provide accurate services. NYM is not a governance token.

Nym: Next Steps

Currently, Nym is heading towards a mainnet launch. Nym plans to use IBC to integrate between different Cosmos blockchains. After mainnet launch, the roadmap this year for Nym includes:

  • Building Nym client applications and GUIs
  • Build a decentralized key generation protocol
  • Integrated anonymous replies into the Nym mixnet and improve the Sphinx packet format
  • Support for authentication services using the Nym Credentials
  • Support for private messaging applications and cryptocurrency transactions
  • Support for decentralized VPNs

Check out the full roadmap for Nym here

Nym: Important Links

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