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NuCypher: WorkLock, DAO, and Road to Mainnet

NuCypher is an upcoming cryptographic infrastructure protocol for privacy preserving applications. On September 17th, we spoke with CEO MacLane Wilkison and Cryptography Engineer John Pacific (Tux) of NuCypher. Check out a recording of the conversation below.


NuCypher is building cryptographic infrastructure for privacy preserving protocols and applications. NuCypher will use Proxy Re-Encryption (PRE) to allow users to share and store private data on public networks securely. The network will enable three primary things:

Secrets Management — Ability to store encrypted secrets in any storage backend, while allowing data owners to conditionally grant and revoke access to said secrets.

Dynamic Access Control — Grant or revoke access to data on demand or automatically under customizable, pre-specified conditions (eg. time-based, behavior-based).

Secure Computation — Perform operations on encrypted data while preserving the confidentiality of the inputs and results.


The ongoing WorkLock is a new token distribution system unique to NuCypher. 22.5% of the initial total supply or 225 million NU tokens will be distributed this way. ETH token holders who wish to participate in the WorkLock will have to deposit ETH into the WorkLock contract and run a worker node for up to 6 months. In return, WorkLock participants who successfully run a node for 6 months will receive their ETH in full and an equal amount of NU in return.

ETH holders who wish to participate in the WorkLock have until September 28th to deposit ETH into the contract. Check out our WorkLock article for more information.


The NuCypher DAO is the governance entity of the NuCypher network. Powered by Aragon, NU stakers can propose and vote on changes and updates that will affect the NuCypher protocol. The DAO will be based on a one token one vote model and anyone currently staking NU can participate.

Looking Ahead

NuCypher mainnet is scheduled to launch shortly after the WorkLock ends. There are many projects like encrypted medical record applications, encrypted chat platforms, and encrypted decentralized “Dropboxes” that have been built during NuCypher hackathons that plan to use the NuCypher mainnet.

After mainnet launch, the core development team plans to continue growing the ecosystem, gathering community feedback, and building new feature sets for the NuCypher protocol.

Special Thanks

Special thanks to MacLane and Tux for taking the time to chat with us!

Thank you NuCypher Community for all of your wonderful questions.

Feel free to follow us on Crowdcast if you haven’t already.

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