Nym Technology, a blockchain-powered privacy web startup, has raised $13 million in a funding round valued at approximately $270 million.
Grayscale’s parent company Digital Currency Group, Huobi Ventures, Fenbushi Capital, HashKey, Tayssir Capital, and over two dozen other investors participated in this round, which was led by venture capitalist Andreessen Horowitz (a16z Crypto).
Nym aims to be the best fit for “bitcoin and Layer 2 solutions,” with plans to possibly integrate its technology with protocols such as Lightning Network, according to Nym CEO Harry Halpin in an interview.
The new funds will be used to hire new employees as Nym aims to nearly quadruple its current eight-person team. It has already hired former US Army intelligence analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who used the privacy software Tor to leak thousands of classified documents.
In the midst of this, Nym’s co-founder George Danezis returned to the project last month after briefly leaving to help design Facebook’s digital currency Libra (rebranded Diem). Chainspace, another company he co-founded, was also acquired by the social media behemoth.
Nym also intends to award grants to independent third-party developers beginning next year.
Polychain Capital led a $6.5 million investment in Nym just four months ago, and Binance’s VC arm led a $2.5 million seed investment in the privacy startup in 2019.
“Encryption is quickly becoming an incredibly important component of the internet, and Nym provides privacy at the very bottom layer as a foundation for other private solutions to be built on top,” said Ali Yahya, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz.
Make Privacy a Reality Across the Internet
The three-year-old Swiss company employs mixnet, in which node operators are rewarded with tokens for mixing internet traffic and making it more difficult for adversaries to obtain information at the highest level, including nation-state level mass surveillance such as the NSA.
Nym also provides privacy credential services, allowing users to restrict access to specific parts of their activity without revealing their identity.
Nym is currently in test mode, with approximately 5,000 nodes and 30 validators, with plans to go live at full capacity by the end of this year.
The team just released a desktop wallet for node operators to pledge their tokens to join the Nym network last week. In exchange, they earn more tokens based on the quantity and quality of their work in mixing internet traffic. It ensures service quality while incentivizing miners for good work.
According to Halpin, these economic incentives, combined with the potential of mixnet, will assist Nym in “making privacy real on the scale of the entire internet.”
In addition to the wallet, the Nym Network has released open-source code for the world’s first Mixnet Explorer, which it describes as a necessary tool for decentralized quality control and security auditing.
Furthermore, Nym’s tokenomics have been fully coded and deployed to testnet Milhon, according to the team’s weekly developer update.