An Introduction to the Nym Technologies Team

Nym
Nym
Oct 7 · 6 min read
Peter Mika, Dave and Jess Hrycyszyn, Guy Weress, Jedrzej Stuczynski, Ania Piotrowska, Harry Halpin, Claudia Diaz and Jonathan King.

The Last Days of Mass Surveillance

Nym is being developed in Europe by some of the continent’s most established coders and researchers in privacy-enhancing technologies. It is decentralized, incentivized, holistic privacy infrastructure that protects users from metadata harvesting and pervasive surveillance.

The Nym team has coalesced over many collaborations on startups like Chainspace, recently acquired by Facebook, and European Commission projects like NEXTLEAP, DECODE and PANORAMIX that aimed to create surveillance-proof digital infrastructure capable of resisting any outside observation.

These are the people behind Nym.


Harry Halpin, CEO

Harry’s abiding interest is in using cryptography to expand human freedom and end mass surveillance. He is a renowned computer scientist and a leader in the movement against surveillance, the latter partly owing to his own experience of undergoing surveillance of his climate-change activism.

He worked under web inventor Tim Berners-Lee at the World Wide Web Consortium at MIT, creating its earliest cryptography standards and leading the Web Cryptography Working Group that harmonized standards across all major web browsers. He left the W3C believing Digital Rights Management sacrificed user security for the profits of a few centralized platforms.

While working at Inria de Paris, he has led the NEXTLEAP project to decentralize private messaging, was commercialization lead of PANORAMIX, jump-started blockchain research at the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center at MIT, and founded Nym Technologies.

Harry received a PhD in Informatics from the University of Edinburgh, finished his postdoctoral studies under philosopher of technology Bernard Stiegler, and was chairman of the LEAP nonprofit that worked on the Bitmask VPN. He has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications across areas as diverse as artificial intelligence and formal verification.

Dave Hrycyszyn, CTO

Dave is a coder with an interest in blockchain scalability and privacy. He has founded, built and sold several companies, including Chainspace.io. He is a co-author of the blockchain-sharding protocol Chainspace and the leaderless, PBFT-variant consensus protocol Blockmania, the prototype of which turned out to be likely the world’s fastest distributed ledger (400,000 TPS with 2 secs finality), garnering interest from Facebook’s Libra. Dave briefly went to Libra with the rest of the Chainspace team before leaving to become Nym’s CTO.

Dave is a co-founder and advisor to the Vega Protocol. He worked on and wrote the book on the open-source Scalatra microframework used to build parts of Netflix, the BBC’s Linked Data Platform, and McLaren’s high-speed time-series data store. He was previously CTO at a London agile-development house that he helped grow to 60 staff while leading major projects for large organisations and startups.

Claudia Diaz, Chief Scientist

Claudia leads the design of the Nym network. After 20 years working on privacy-enhancing technologies she is one of Europe’s preeminent researchers in the field, recognized for her contribution to the foundations of metadata protection from surveillance, traffic analysis, tracking, localization and behavioral profiling.

She has been Program Chair of the flagship Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium and has published sixty articles that have received 4,000 citations on topics covering the design, analysis, and applications of technologies that protect online privacy. She was a principal researcher for PANORAMIX, an initiative to build new-generation mixnets.

Claudia maintains an affiliation as an associate professor with KU Leuven where she leads the Privacy Technologies Team of COSIC, one of the world’s largest cryptography, security and privacy research groups. She has been a visiting researcher at the Computer Lab Security Group at the University of Cambridge, the Department of Media, Culture and Communication of New York University, and at Privacy International.

Jonathan King, Head of Strategy

Jonathan leads operations and strategy, having helped form Nym in the wake of the PANORAMIX project. He previously completed a PhD in Philosophy where his research focused on the relationship between technology, the economy, the state, and prospects for new decentralized economic systems. With new technological, economic, and political forms being created which are not limited to the borders of existing states, he sees the development of surveillance-proof communication infrastructure as an important building block for overcoming the limits of the existing economy.

Ania Piotrowska, Head of Research

Ania works on Nym’s mixnet design and programming. She is the designer of the Loopix mixnet, with her PhD advisor and original Nym and Chainspace co-founder George Danezis. She first worked with Claudia Diaz and Harry Halpin while researching mixnets and network-traffic analysis as part of PANORAMIX, in the Information Security Group at University College London. Ania has a Masters degree with specialization in Analysis of Algorithms from the Faculty of Fundamental Problems of Technology at Wroclaw University of Technology. She has previously developed mixnets as an intern at Google DeepMind, and worked for Chainalysis and Volvo IT.

Jess Hrycyszyn, Head of Product

Jess leads design and delivery of Nym products, ensuring research, strategy and development converge to address the needs of users. She is an industrial engineer with a Masters degree in IT, and was previously technical lead and later head of Design and Specifications at Lutron Electronics, designing complex energy-management and lighting-control projects across Europe and the Middle East. Jess’s work with data streams across IoT devices for data analysis and automation introduced her to big data and machine learning, and prior to joining Nym she was a data scientist at Vega Protocol where she used deep learning to model the price movements of limit order books.

Jedrzej Stuczynski, Lead Developer

Jedrzej leads Nym development. He has a Master of Engineering in Computer Science with First Class Honours from University College London. During his thesis work he studied the Coconut signature scheme under the supervision of George Danezis, implementing it in JavaScript alongside a system allowing for threshold issuance of a dummy credential representing some value. It was around this time that he met and began working with Harry Halpin. He is a full-stack developer currently specializing in Go and Tendermint blockchain.

Guy Weress, Communications

Guy leads Nym communications. He has been an editor and manager of various design and technology publications, and a contributing editor of The Futurist. He wrote Immortality: Live Forever or Die Trying (2015) about life extension, and writes books about nature and science for Gestalten Verlag in Berlin. He has held communications roles at the 10x Accelerator at UNSW, the news division of Avaaz, Paloma Mobile, and other startups and organisations. He is a dropout of Stanford University’s D-School in Paris.

Aggelos Kiayias, Founding Scientific Advisor

Aggelos is a Professor in Cyber Security and Privacy at the University of Edinburgh, and Chief Scientist at IOHK. He is known for his groundbreaking work on formalizing Bitcoin, proof-of-stake protocols like Ouroboros, and more recently, the Lightning Network. He was project coordinator and worked with Claudia Diaz, Harry Halpin and Ania Piotrowska on PANORAMIX. He is a member of Nym’s Scientific Advisory Board.

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