Investing in Nym

Privacy-preserving technologies are essential for the modern world. Much of human information is now stored and exchanged online, and vast swathes of that information are meant to be private. 

Encryption allows users to keep their data private from applications. Messaging apps like Signal encrypt messages so only the sender and receiver are able to read them. A third party like a company, ISP, or malicious actor can’t decrypt the encrypted content. This works well for most use cases, but often knowing the source and destination of a message is as valuable as knowing the content of a message.

Monitoring a computer network makes it possible to observe metadata like the source and destination of a message, its size, and the time it was sent. Virtual private networks (VPNs) address this problem by forwarding all traffic through a trusted third party. This makes communication more difficult to observe, but relies on the third party completely. Tor takes this concept a step further by creating an open network for anonymizing internet communication. An end user sends traffic through a random path in the Tor network, so single parties can’t tell the true source or destination. However, Tor falls victim to traffic timing attacks, nation-state-level surveillance, and does not have native incentives. 

That’s why we’re investing in Nym, which solves internet privacy by creating the first mixnet with native incentives via a blockchain. Nym’s mixnet is a decentralized network of routers where messages are bundled and routed through a series of consecutive layers, providing privacy. To use an offline analogy, think of each message on Nym’s network as shoppers walking between stores in a mall. The Nym shoppers all look and dress identically, and visit multiple stores at random  before reaching their final destination. As a result, an omniscient observer isn’t able to tell one Nym shopper from another, and encryption prevents them from reading the content of each message. 

We first met Harry Halpin and the Nym team back in 2018. His personal passion and deep expertise in privacy were immediately apparent. Harry has been a privacy advocate and true cypherpunk his whole life, working to make a more free and just world through cryptography with projects like NEXTLEAP and Panoramix

Harry is joined by an incredible team of experts and visionary entrepreneurs. Dave Hrycyszyn, Nym’s CTO, previously helped scale blockchain consensus as the CEO and Co-founder of Chainspace. Nym’s Chief Scientist, Claudia Diaz, is one of the world’s foremost researchers working on mixnets. 

We believe privacy will be an essential characteristic of blockchains, even though most blockchains like Ethereum and Bitcoin are completely transparent today. Projects like Aleo, IronFish, and Aztec solve application-level privacy, but before Nym, network-level blockchain privacy had been an unsolved conundrum. By enabling private blockchains, Nym will open a new design space for builders to create previously impossible private web3 applications. Nym is a new generation of global privacy that, like Tor, uses relay nodes to provide privacy. Their aim is to be able to scale the network to serve as a privacy backbone for the entire internet and make it more efficient by rewarding the nodes that run it.

With their world-class team, technical insights, and grand vision, we’re thrilled to partner with Nym to realize better privacy on the internet.

***

The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources, including from portfolio companies of funds managed by a16z. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, a16z has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation. In addition, this content may include third-party advertisements; a16z has not reviewed such advertisements and does not endorse any advertising content contained therein.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by a16z. (An offering to invest in an a16z fund will be made only by the private placement memorandum, subscription agreement, and other relevant documentation of any such fund and should be read in their entirety.) Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by Andreessen Horowitz (excluding investments for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly as well as unannounced investments in publicly traded digital assets) is available at https://a16z.com/investments/.

Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Please see https://a16z.com/disclosures for additional important information.

Source: Investing in Nym

*This is a free press release. Upgraded press releases are ad-free!

Apple Global Battery Development Chief Moves to Volkswagen

A woman walks past an Apple logo in front of an Apple store in Saint-Herblain near Nantes, France, on Sept. 16, 2021. (Stephane Mahe/Reuters) SAN FRANCISCO—Apple’s global battery development chief, Ahn Soonho, has moved to Volkswagen to lead the automaker’s development of electric vehicle batteries, according to his Linkedin profile. This is the second time…

Read Press Release

How Much of All Money Is in Bitcoin?

After its launch in 2009, Bitcoin ushered in a new era of blockchain technology and digital currencies. Given all the talk about Bitcoin, you’d think it would be everywhere. Is that really true? How much is Bitcoin worth? Perhaps more importantly, how much of the world’s money is in bitcoins? With the price of BTC…

Read Press Release

Investing in Nym - Click To Share

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on whatsapp