BUIDL with NuCypher at ETHDenver 2021
Curious about BUIDLing at ETHDenver & ColoradoJam 2021 with NuCypher but wanting more details on their project? Get the scoop from their recent interview with ETHDenver:
What Is NuCypher?
“I work on NuCypher. Among other projects in my life, I live in a school bus, which is where you see me right now, and so I do some decentralized technology work in the school bus. But my primary connection to the blockchain ecosystem is working with NuCypher. We build threshold cryptography, features and applications and APIs for use currently on the Ethereum blockchain.
Our primary offering at the moment is our proxy re-encryption surface service. And this is useful, we think, mostly for access management. We deployed our proxy encryption service, which is sometimes referenced by a character named Ursula, like as in Alice and Bob, well, we have Alice and Bob and Ursula, we deployed Ursula, just this past the Q4 of this past year with the work lock that some of you probably heard about. And so we’re on mainnet now. And we are very interested in forging a new portion of our interactivity with the ecosystem where we’re looking at how people are able to use NuCypher with other mainnet projects. It’s very different than obviously the arrays that are offered on test net. And so when you combine NuCypher with other projects that are on mainnet, you’re obviously going to get different potential offerings; what we’ve been seeing is people combining our offerings on the various testnets. And so we’re really looking forward to providing access management, secrets control, and any other way that you think you can use proxy re-encryption. We’re happy to explain how proxy encryption works and what it does that’s different from vanilla public key cryptography.”
Tell Us More About Alice & Bob
The idea of proxy encryption is that you can take the normal Alice and Bob narrative and I mean, what I’m talking about is Alice wants to send a message to Bob, she encrypts it with Bob’s public key. Well, we can enable a different narrative through this cryptographic primitive where instead of Alice, encrypting a message for Bob, Alice can create a piece of material that allows Ursula to encrypt messages for Bob without Ursula, having seen the message herself. So this means that Alice can grant access to Bob to any messages that are labeled with this particular policy. In other words, they comport with this particular piece of cryptographic material. And then for example, Alice can go offline completely right. And then other devices, sometimes we call those, Enrico, the encrypter, can continue to encrypt, and then Bob, only all of the Bobs and nobody else, including Ursula can read the message.
So again, the way that it works is, instead of Alice encrypting for Bob, now all of the things that are generating messages in your application ecosystem, think of those as Enrico and these are actually classes in our code base and endpoints in our APIs; you’re Enricos can continue to just encrypt for the policy, they never think about who Bob is, they never think about how many Bobs there are, they don’t think about whether Bob has been granted access, or revoked access on the network.
Alice can then come in and continue to add and remove Bobs so that Enrico can continue to encrypt using ordinary public key cryptography. And so this allows you to do things that are traditionally in the realm of of like access management, or key management, which today have all been very centralized, you know, if you’ve used like AWS key management, or really any of the key management services, they all kind of work by a central actor, being the arbiter of granting and revocation. And so what we’re trying to do is bringing some of those Access Management norms to a decentralized ecosystem. And in addition, other features like Alice being able to go offline completely, which is only possible because of proxy encryption.
So it’s a little weird, but you don’t need intimate knowledge of the underlying cryptographic primitive to use a NuCypher. We have abstractions that make it feel more like an access management or key management type service. And we are specifically again interested to see how the interactivity that is enabled in our code base and in our API can interplay with other projects where there is some kind of a need for secrets management components.
Personally, I’ll say as an aside, I have always believed that one of the great potential use cases in game secrets for blockchain projects that are using Byzantine fault tolerant game moves, and you want some portion of that game move to only be available to part of the in-game audience. I think NuCypher’s potentially a great use case and I’m always interested in what people do!”
What Else Should BUIDLers Know?
“We’re very excited as we’ve always been at ETHDenver, I think this is our fourth year at ETHDenver, and very excited to see what people are coming up with and it gets better and better every year. And even though we can’t be together and share spaces here and share voices and share our music, I’m really looking forward to seeing what the hacker community comes up with and really looking forward to mingling with you all in our virtual space.”
Meet the team and learn more about NuCypher at ETHDenver & ColoradoJam 2021, February 5–12! Apply today at ethdenver.com.