Game Theory Group

The Blockchain Brief

NuCypher Is Making Waves For Enabling Private Data Transfers

As the need for improved efficiency in enterprise mobility is increasing, the market size of cloud storage is expected to grow from $30.70 billion in 2017 to $88.91 billion by 2022. Many companies are currently facing the compliance and security problems that come with storing massive quantities of sensitive data on third-party cloud services. NuCypher's technology is solving this critical problem while meeting high-level government security certification.

At the heart of this company is a proxy re-encryption (PRE) technology that allows third-party proxies to convert ciphertext from one public key to another (using a re-encryption key) without having to send anything about the information. In fact, the company's core infrastructure is to enable developers to store, share and manage private data on the public blockchain. If you are interested in trying it out, NuCypher has already an MVP, and you can request a demo for their enterprise solution.

Main actors and interactions in a PRE environment

Main actors and interactions in a PRE environment

Unlike many blockchain-based companies, NuCypher already has clients in the market. Medibloc, IRYO, Medixain, and HealthCombix (decentralized healthcare information ecosystems) are creating medical record systems that use NuCypher to encrypt medical records for the efficient sharing of physician-patient information at hospitals. Other projects using NuCypher’s technology include Datum (monetize your private data by selling it to advertisers), Bluzelle and Wolk (decentralized database services), and Coval Emblem.

There are current market competitors such as Azure key vault and Hashicorp vault. In the decentralized world, however, there isn't anyone with a similar approach -- leveraging proxy re-encryption. Other approaches attempting to achieve similar goals include Multi-party computation (MPC), a methodology used by a company called Enigma.

On to the the token economics: miners are allowed to hold a specific number of re-encryption keys that is directly proportional to the number of NuCypher tokens they carry as a collateral deposit. As expected, this is locked by a smart contract. The miners are paid by either the owners of the data -- or by users of the data -- for providing re-encryption services and making themselves available to re-encrypt data.

The team behind NuCypher previously built the world’s largest open source security database, ZeroDB. The CEO, MacLane Wilkison, has an investment banking background. The CTO, Michael Egorov, is an expert in encryption technologies. One of their advisors is Prof. Giuseppe Ateniese, father of proxy re-encryption and the department chair in Computer Science at Stevens Institute of Technology.

In addition to being a Y-Combinator project, NuCypher has received investment from institutional investors such as Polychain Capital, Galaxy Digital Assets Fund, FBG Capital, Compound VC, Satoshi Fund and Blockchain Korea.

Below, watch our team do an "Insider Video" to learn more about the product, the company and the team (or listen to the Podcast version if you're on the go).

- Remi

Julian Jung