Exploring Nym: the Web3 privacy infrastructure creating a more secure internet

If you’re a blockchain enthusiast, you may have heard of Nym. But what is Nym, and why's it in the spotlight?

Put simply, Nym redefines the boundaries of privacy and data security on the internet — making sure private information stays secure while allowing individuals to maintain control over their online identity.

Read on for an in-depth look at all things related to Nym: from its purpose and mission to how it works, as well as potential use-cases for applying this revolutionary technology today.

Nym in brief

Nym is a decentralized, incentivized and open-source platform that offers privacy for all internet traffic. Whether it's messaging, transactions, or other digital services, Nym addresses a fundamental issue of the internet: the visibility of communication patterns even when encrypted. This exposes sensitive personal and system information.

The project has garnered support from renowned venture capitalists such as a16zcrypto, Binance labs, and Digital Currency Group. Noteworthy validators including Polychain, Figment, Lemniscap, and Greenfield One, have also lent their endorsement. The Nym Whitepaper was authored by Harry Halpin, CEO of Nym, Claudia Diaz, Chief Scientist of Nym, and Aggelos Kiayias, Chief Scientist at IOHK / Cardano.

By encrypting and relaying internet traffic through a multi-layered network called a mixnet, Nym ensures privacy at the network layer. Within each mixnet layer, mix nodes combine your internet traffic with that of other users, guaranteeing secure communication and concealing vital metadata like your IP address, where you're located, who you're speaking to, through what device and apps, and at what time of the day.

Compatible with various applications and chain agnostic, Nym provides 'layer 0 privacy' for peer-to-peer broadcasts used in transactions, including but not limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Zcash.

Operating in a decentralized manner, the Nym mixnet incentivizes operators with its native Nym token (NYM). The token economics of the Nym mixnet are run on the Nyx blockchain.

Over the past year, Nym has celebrated significant achievements, marked by several noteworthy highlights. These accomplishments include setting an impressive record with over 1 million registrations for the NYM token sale on Coinlist.

Additionally, Nym has launched the NymWallet and explorer, enabling users to engage in mixnet staking and delegation. Nym’s thriving ecosystem encompasses well-designed tokenomics, active staking, liquidity, custody solutions, and a range of initial apps developed by their dedicated team and thriving dev community.

The Nym team

The Nym team comprises renowned experts in the field of mixnets and anonymous communications. Harry Halpin, the CEO and co-founder of Nym Technologies, served as a Senior Research Scientist at MIT. During his tenure, he played a pivotal role in the standardization of the Web Cryptography API across all major browsers in collaboration with Tim Berners-Lee, the visionary behind the world wide web.

The team exemplifies leadership in research, with Chief Scientist Claudia Diaz heading the Privacy Technologies Team at KU Leuven and boasting over fifty notable contributions to the field.

Meanwhile, the team members have successfully founded prominent companies, such as Bity (led by COO Alexis Roussel) and Chainspace (co-founded by CTO Dave Hrycyszyn), with the latter being acquired by Facebook.

It's worth mentioning that Dave Hrycyszyn redirected his expertise to Nym, focusing his efforts on the development of privacy-driven technologies as opposed to surveillance-oriented solutions.

The benefits of using Nym

Nym presents itself as an exceptional solution for reclaiming control over one's digital identity while safeguarding online activities from prying eyes. With many benefits offered, including anonymity, secure communication, and reliable identity verification, the Nym mixnet provides a robust chain agnostic privacy shield.

NymConnect, the Nym app, enables people to use their ordinary apps and wallets but enhanced with some of the world’s most powerful privacy protections, by routing app traffic via the Nym mixnet. The simple user interface allows you to protect your traffic patterns from third-party observers and privacy-enhance apps like Telegram or the Electrum wallet.

The Nym mixnet adds a layer of privacy to enhance existing applications. Seamlessly integrating with current platforms, it transforms them into Privacy Enhanced Applications (PEApps). By directing app traffic through the Nym mixnet, NymConnect safeguards your privacy by concealing your IP addresses and other identifiers from potential intruders on the internet. This offers heightened privacy without compromising functionality.

The operation of NymConnect involves encrypting and mixing packets between multiple nodes within the mixnet, safeguarding communications even from the app being used. Currently, NymConnect has launched an integration with Telegram, Electrum, Blockstream Green and Monero wallets with many more apps in the pipeline for integration in the future.

What exactly is the NYM token?

At the core of the Nym network lies the NYM token, which plays a vital role in decentralizing Nym on the Nyx Cosmos blockchain. This token fuels the system by rewarding users for enabling privacy-enhanced communication. By tokenizing this process, Nym establishes a foundation for an alternative economic model that breaks free from the surveillance-driven norms of the internet today.

Nym tokens grant users trusted access to uncensored and privacy-enhanced internet communication, all while serving as a means to support network operations. Meanwhile, tokens are used to incentivize participants who contribute to the Nym ecosystem by operating mix nodes.

This token-based system incentivizes network contributors and promotes a robust and sustainable ecosystem for Nym. The NYM token is available on both the Nym native Cosmos ecosystem and Ethereum blockchains. The key distinction between the NYM token on Nyx (Cosmos) and Ethereum (ERC-20) lies in the native NYMs unlocking the true potential and utility of the token.

However, accessing ERC-20 NYM is easier due to its listing on more exchanges. Once you bridge your NYM tokens from Ethereum to the Nyx Cosmos chain and hold them in the Nym Wallet, you can begin delegating stake on mix nodes of your choice to earn rewards. You can also bond with your native NYMs if you want to start up your own mix node.

You can learn more about bridging, staking and earning NYM tokens here.

When you hold native NYM tokens, you can delegate these as stake to well-performing mix nodes and earn a share of their rewards. When you delegate your NYM tokens, you're contributing to a mix node’s reputation, which increases its chances of being selected to the active set in the mixnet for the next epoch. Only nodes in the active set get to mix traffic on the mixnet, called mixmining. This means the higher a mix node’s reputation, the more 'trusted' it is in the network, which means it mixes more traffic than nodes with lower reputation.

Learn more about how to stake and choose a mix node to delegate your NYM here.

The final word

Nym is gathering the greatest minds in blockchain, secure communications, and cryptography to build a better internet — one that’s free from corporate and government interference and more secure for everyone. Tens of thousands are already participating in one of the most urgent and ambitious technology platforms by contributing to the Nym ecosystem.

Nym is always looking for individuals and partners to stake tokens, run mix nodes, and develop applications. With your help, Nym could be the best route to a truly private internet, sooner than expected. Privacy loves company — join the global network of Nym partners today.

Here's what you can do today to participate in the Nym ecosystem and contribute to its growth:

  • Create a NymWallet and explore the mixnet to start staking and experience how the Nym ecosystem works.

  • Stake NYM Tokens: By staking NYM tokens, you provide security and validation to the Nym mixnet.

  • Operate mix nodes: You can contribute to the Nym network by running mix nodes, which are crucial for enhancing privacy and anonymity.

  • Download NymConnect to privacy-enhance your applications.

  • Develop applications: Individuals with technical skills can contribute to the growth of the Nym ecosystem by developing applications, tools, or integrations that apply Nym's privacy-enhancing capabilities. This can include creating privacy-focused wallets, decentralized applications, or other solutions that promote secure and private internet communication.

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