Today, one of the largest issues in data sharing is its security.
Legacy Key Management Systems (KMS) developed by large corporations aren’t perfect in ensuring the user’s privacy. Moreover, they require users to trust these centralized systems and be exposed to censorship, cybercrime, service rejection, personal data loss, and even economic espionage.
The problem is bigger in an emerging decentralized Internet, where traditional encryption and access control simply won’t be applicable.
NuCypher is busy at work in this space. Called by some “SSL/HTTPS for dApps,” NuCypher is an ICO project that’s been developed to enhance the security of decentralized applications. Its main promise is to protect dapp developer’s data from third parties and hackers.
In other words, NuCypher’s platform is a decentralized key management system (KMS) for public blockchains. It will allow multiple users to share data on an encrypted network, each with their own specific re-encryption key.
Although currently in active development, this YCombinator alumnus boasts several successful case studies from a few clients.
NuCypher’s current clients include MediBloc, which is creating a patient-controlled medical records system and uses NuCypher to encrypt medical records and share them with valid recipients; Datum which is using NuCypher to create a user data marketplace where regular people can auction their personal data off to advertisers; and Wolk which is using the technology to create an end-to-end encrypted database on top of Swarm.
As of now, the project raised $4.3 million in its pre-fund from 13 cryptofunds and venture capital firms. The round was led by Polychain Capital with other investments from Michael Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Assets Fund, FBG Capital, Compound VC, Satoshi Fund, and Blockchain Korea Partners.
The main technology behind NuCypher is the use of proxy re-encryption. In essence, it is a public key that allows for a third party to modify cipher texts without knowing the message behind it. It is a way for a user to share encrypted data with another user without sharing the private key or having to decrypt the data first.
To delve deeper into the tech side of things, read the NuCypher Primer which the team released in September 2017. It describes why the network exists, how proxy re-encryption works, the network’s token economics, and introduces the team behind the project.
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