Privacy is the hot keyword of the internet nowadays. With growing news and concerns about big companies violating the privacy of users and selling their data, many more people are getting interested in protecting their online lives and the anonymity of their identities.
Security breaches and ransomware are another ongoing challenge for users and businesses and make it more vital to find solutions at the infrastructure level.
Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies as one of the most significant products, try to provide privacy back to people. NYM is a unique blockchain project that focuses on privacy at the infrastructure level.
The underlying model of operation on the internet is currently based on the user’s data. Companies use the data to predict the behavior of people and also sell integrated data to advertisers.
The centralized nature of data collecting and computing makes it easier for big organizations to make money from users’ information.
Besides, governments can censor content and also run surveillance programs on people by using this centralized nature. Many other previous projects trying to solve the privacy issue have failed because of being dependent on centralized structures.
NYM Privacy Project
NYM project is founded by a group of researchers and programmers from the blockchain community as a program to fight against corporate and government surveillance and misuse of personal data. The project is focused on privacy and anonymity on the infrastructure level and is not like other projects that use regular internet as the underlying technology.
The privacy in the NYM project is somehow full stack and makes it easy for all kinds of applications to build on a surveillance-resistant network. NYM protocol is the technology that makes this infrastructure-level privacy and anonymity possible.
Current protocols on the internet and other network technologies are all vulnerable to data breaches and harvesting of metadata.
Metadata is any data that can be used for profiling the users and making aggregate data collections about groups. For example, the exact time of communications and the graph of accounts that are participating in conversations are useful metadata for big companies and governments.
NYM protocol focuses on the primary and fundamental layers of networking and communications. Users and developers can make and use applications on the NYM project with ease of mind about being monitored or censored.
One of the most critical underlying technologies of the NYM project is the Coconut signature scheme that enables privacy-focused data transfer. This technology provides the fundamental components of authentication with a focus on anonymity.
NYM project uses a proof-of-stake system like bitcoin and uses incentives to decentralize its system. The interested user that runs an NYM node gets a reward for mixing the traffic.
NYM project was founded in 2019 by a group of enthusiasts from various backgrounds. The founding team is interested in privacy-enhanced technologies. Harry Halpin is the CEO and chairman of the scientific board in NYM.
The scientific board is the name that the NYM team uses to describe the managing team or board of directors for now. Dave Hrycyszyn and Claudia Diaz are other significant members of the NYM project who work as CTO and chief scientists.
NYM team believes that the project has a lot of potential for scaling. They believe in privacy and anonymity as the central values of their project. They choose a horizontal model for the scalability of the NYM project. NYM scales as more users join it, and the traffic increases.
What is the difference between NYM and VPN, Tor, I2P, and others?
NYM vs VPN
VPNs are the most famous solutions for people seeking privacy and anonymity on the internet. VPNs claim a secure connection between the user and the VPN server. But they are not always configured correctly.
Besides, they don’t provide the full privacy that the user needs. The chance of observing the network traffic by the VPN provider is another critical issue of this solution. This has caused many users to try private and personal VPN servers that aren’t guaranteed against surveillance, either.
The mixnet that NYM provides creates an overlay network with network-level anonymity. The decentralized nature of this mixnet is the most vital benefit of that compared to VPNs.
NYM vs TOR
If you consider an overlay network as a security tool against surveillance, there is no more robust solution than Tor.
The Tor project works by using a circuit of three nodes, so none of the single nodes can monitor the traffic of the network. Tor network is known as the “onion network” that encrypts the traffic between each node (hop) using cryptography.
After all, that network is not sufficiently resistant against surveillance, either. Because any powerful government or corporate agency may be able to monitor the entry and exit of nodes, Tor is a useful tool for general web browsing activities, but for more robust anonymity against surveillance, especially in transactions and message transfers, more decentralized projects like NYM can solve the issue.
NYM vs I2P
I2P or Invisible Internet Project is another solution that was developed to address the shortcoming of Tor by using cryptography for routing. The technology was beneficial but vulnerable for attacks that try to isolate, misdirect, and de-anonymize users. NYM solves the issue of I2P by providing decoy traffic and timing obfuscation in the network. Therefore, the metadata can be anonymized more easily.
One of the most promises of the NYM project is the anonymity of users when providing credentials in online services. NYM protocol is not like Facebook Connect, Sign n with Google, or any other similar credential tool. No central third party is in charge of user credentials, and the users will have full control of their data.
NYM project is a privacy-based project in the blockchain community that tries to use all the good parts of technology to make the future internet. It solves lots of issues and concerns of users about their data and metadata.
Users that have tried various solutions to take control of their data and keep it away from bad actors and surveilling governments can finally have a trusted network to live on.
More Information About NYM Project
If you are interested in NYM project or want to contribute code to the project, these are the main channels of contact: