As recently reported on TechCrunch, European privacy company Nym Technologies has received a $ 6.5 million (€ 5.5 million) funding round of venture capital. This in order to build a decentralized and open source privacy network that plans to compete with closed source privacy networks, such as the “privacy relay” network recently announced by Apple.
The funding round was led by Polychain Capital, and included a number of European investors such as Eden Block, Greenfield One, Maven11, Tioga, and 1kx. Will Wolf of Polychain Capital says of the round: “We are incredibly excited to partner with the Nym team to advance their mission of bringing a robust, sustainable and permissionless privacy infrastructure to all Internet users. We believe that the Nym network will provide the best privacy guarantees with the highest quality of service of any mixed network and therefore can become a very valuable piece of the basic Internet infrastructure.
While the European General Data Protection Regulation entrusts companies with personal data to handle personal data under threat of fines after users click their consent in a pop-up box, Nym prevents companies from collecting the data in the first place. , using cryptography and decentralization.
What we know so far: What makes Nym innovative?
Unlike traditional VPNs, Tor, or Apple’s new privacy relay network, Nym anonymizes the traffic sent to any unwanted third-party applications, making it impossible to know when or even if a user is accessing a specific application. Even with traditional encryption and VPNs, a powerful adversary can determine “who is talking to whom, where and when” by observing Internet traffic patterns using AI.
Compared to its competitors, Nym adds a number of key features that aim to avoid this type of ‘traffic analysis’. This is done using a mixed network and by mixing Internet packets individually, similar to how cards are shuffled in a deck. If there are not enough packets on the network at any given time, the network adds bogus traffic.
Nym’s packet mix is currently performed by more than 9,000 servers spread across the world on its ‘Finney’ test network, a network currently larger than even Tor in number of nodes. While VPNs and Apple force you to trust its corporate infrastructure and Tor relies on volunteers, Nym uses Bitcoin-inspired incentives to build a trustless network that claims to be an economically sustainable network.
Declarations in this regard
Harry Halpin, CEO of Nym Technologies, recalls that “when our startup was starting in 2018, we had no interest from traditional venture capital firms, who honestly weren’t taking privacy seriously at the time.”
He then added that “Polychain founder Olaf Carlson-Wee and I met by chance at the Web 3.0 conference in Berlin at the end of 2018, and he told me that Polychain would support supporting privacy technology – and now in 2021, we have more venture capital interest in Nym and privacy than we could fit in the round led by Polychain. ‘
While Nym seems straight out of the Netflix StartUp series, Nym is the culmination of decades of research and innovation funded by the European Commission and continues to be supported by the EC as part of the European vision of privacy.
Next steps for Nym
In the wake of the Snowden revelations, Nym’s original initiative grew out of the European Commission’s PANORAMIX project in 2014 to build a European privacy network that could withstand even massive NSA surveillance. Now the European Commission has stepped up its commitment to privacy by continuing to fund and support Nym’s work through the POINTER and LEDGER grants as part of the Next Generation Internet grant program.
Nym’s co-founder and CEO Harry Halpin is a former French government cryptographer with ZRR (zone à régime restrictif) authorization and a former student of the leading French philosopher of technology, Bernard Stiegler, and has deep roots in France. Halpin is part of the Founders Program of Station F, the world’s largest startup incubator in Paris. So it’s only natural for Nym to expand into Europe, using the new round to more than double its number of employees, hiring cryptographers, developers, and privacy communications specialists.
Eden Block’s Lior Messika, who was involved in Nym’s pre-planting funding and the current round, says that “for the past three years, the Nym team has been quietly building one of the most ambitious privacy projects in the world. world. Beyond the technology involved, the team’s vision of an open Internet, enabled by privacy and data protection, is too big to be ignored.
He also highlighted that “The potential of Nym is to revolutionize the way our data is used and protected, with the help of a new generation of privacy infrastructure of privacy infrastructures. This infrastructure will pave the way for a variety of different applications, and will form the decentralized privacy layer for Web 3.0. “