What is Engima? A 3-minute guide to the privacy project

In brief

  • Enigma is a blockchain designed for privacy.
  • Initially the company had built its functionality on top of Ethereum, but has since moved to its own independent blockchain.
  • Enigma’s key feature is its ability to split transactions into chunks that are then validated separately by nodes, preventing anyone from being able to spy on transactions.

Blockchains are still a bit clunky. Layer 2 solutions–protocols built on top of existing blockchains–seek to smooth out some of these rough edges. Protocols such as the Lightning Network built on top of Bitcoin, focus on scalability. Enigma is focusing on privacy. Below we explore more about what Enigma is, how it works, and how it plans to build a blockchain built on privacy.

What is Enigma?

Enigma is building a decentralized, open-source protocol that the company says, brings privacy to smart contracts and public blockchains.

The Enigma protocol initially built its privacy network on top of Ethereum. But in February 2020, the company announced the launch of its mainnet, which replaces Ethereum as the consensus layer. However, Engima developers say the project can still work with Ethereum. The network works by taking data, breaking it up, encrypting it, and distributing across a network of secret nodes, helping the data stay hidden. If Enigma were used while on a public blockchain like Ethereum, these hidden computations happen off the main Ethereum chain, but public verifications, consensus, and payouts happen back on the main Ethereum chain. By building a privacy layer that weaves in and out of public blockchains like Ethereum, Enigma is attempting to build foundational infrastructure for Web3.

Who Invented Enigma?

The Enigma project was first started at MIT in 2015. Its co-founders are Guy Zyskind and Can Kisagun–the current CEO and CPO. 

What’s so special about it?

Enigma is based on secrets–secret contracts, secret nodes, and secret states. Secret contracts are just like smart contracts except data…

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