Harry Halpin is a Scientific Advisor of Nym and Chairman, a Binance-backed startup working on privacy-enhancing technologies like mixnets. He co-chaired the first IEEE Privacy and Security on the Blockchain workshop, led EU projects like NEXTLEAP and DCENT at Inria, and standardized WebCrypto at W3C/MIT.
Blockchain technologies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have very poor privacy properties, which make them unsuitable for many kinds of transactions. A host of new “privacy coins” such as ZCash and Monero now use more complex cryptographic techniques such as zero-knowledge proofs and ring signatures. However, all these privacy coins forget about the “network”-level, where the metadata of whom is sending a transaction can lead a powerful enemy to easily de-anonymize the sender and receiver, even if zero-knowledge proofs are used on-chain. The new Binance-backed Nym Technologies is building on the European Commission research-based PANORAMIX project, is building the world’s first modern generic mix-net that can prevent these attacks, even against adversaries like the NSA.