Enigma: Tokens Distribution, Empowering Chain Link Smart Oracles and More at AMA Session
Biweekly update 9th April — 23d April
This is not financial advice.
The previous two weeks have become particularly remarkable as Enigma’s team was able to carve out time to answer the questions of crypto enthusiasts at AMA session. Many important topics were covered. Everyone who holds ENG in a wallet they control, will receive testnet ENG tokens. In order to use a decentralized network you need tokens. If the decentralized network is running on a testnet, you need tokens for that testnet. Secret Contracts do not have the ability to pause nor make external requests, so using a Chainlink oracle is a reasonable solution for this use case. It’s common knowledge that Secret Contracts do not have the ability to pause nor make external requests, so using a Chainlink oracle is a reasonable solution for this use case. Finally, Tor Bair gave an interview about the Enigma protocol and how it is changing privacy for the decentralized web.
* Each question was responded to in its own thread.
Do you think it will be possible to compute over large datasets (terabytes) efficiently, e.g. medical data / ML training? What is the biggest obstacle for the Enigma network to handle big data?
Intel SGX has a memory limit of 4GB. Theoretically secret contracts cannot handle more than 4GB of inputs.
Will everyone who hold ERC-20 ENG tokens be distributed “testnet ENG tokens” regardless if you want to be a node runner or not? And what is the purpose of “testnet ENG tokens?”
Everyone who holds ENG in a wallet they control, will receive testnet ENG tokens. In order to use a decentralized network you need tokens. If the decentralized network is running on a testnet, you need tokens for that testnet. For example, Eth testnets have testnet ETH or other decentralized applications running on Rinkeby or Ropsten require testnet tokens to interact with applications on the testnet setting. For Enigma, testnet tokens can be used for testnet staking and for testnet execution.
It’s been stated by the team that if the team had to run nodes, those nodes would not get rewards. Can we get more specifics on how that would work? For example: if Enigma-run nodes did half of the work during Discovery, what would happen to the 375,000 ENG they would have earned?
The claim that Enigma will not get reward if the company decides to run nodes is not true. However there will be a cap on how much Enigma can stake. We want to ensure decentralization and we would never power half of the network.
Why would Enigma choose to earn their own rewards that they’ve “set aside” for the network? If the team is setting a cap why not just set aside those tokens for the team to begin with?
Enigma will not power more than 1/5 of the network. This is not in terms of number of nodes but in terms of staking amount.
Any specific system security we should use while running a node?
“Security” refers to network security, rather than the security of individual nodes. So, a network secure against centralization and downtime means we want nodes that are sufficiently decentralized and have reliable uptime.
Are there any plans in place to keep people from dumping ENG immediately after the snapshot or the end of testnet? Why not require a lockup for Genesis nodes during testnet and mainnet? This would incentivize people who care more about the project to contribute and discourage those whose goals are purely financial and who may jump ship if something with greater ROI comes along.
We will require mainnet wallets to have the same amount of ENG if the wallets wish to make it to the final list. People can dump ENG tokens but would be required to have them to stake in the mainnet.
If a node is chosen as a genesis node, could ENG be added to the wallet in the middle of main net?
Yes you can add or withdraw tokens to / from a worker anytime
Please discuss the current state of partnerships and developers.
We have had code collaboration with Aragon and Ocean (around secret voting) and Eximchain (credit scoring models). A community member built a Rock Paper Scissors game and there’s a lot more interesting conversations we are pursuing.
Is Genesis Game essentially the Discovery Testnet? And how much time between the end of the Genesis Game and the start of Discovery mainnet?
There will be enough time (current thinking is at least 2 weeks) to get individuals / organizations set up their nodes and test it between the launch of testnet and start of Genesis Game.
What types of guides or walk through can we expect before the Genesis game?
We are working with community members to build and open source some of these tools. The whitelist spots are intended for purpose. We should have tools to measure uptime and staking amount (similar to Hubble) before Genesis game starts. We will have very clear getting started instructions on different cloud providers or hardware options
Do you see yourselves utilising the Chainlink oracle framework/network at all for oracle/data feeds? Similar to how Oraclize offered Chainlink as a decentralised option (from their services) Or do you only plan to build your own data network, in essence, potentially competition (oracle specific), cheers
In the current iteration, Secret Contracts do not have the ability to pause nor make external requests, so using a Chainlink oracle is a reasonable solution for this use case. We had conversations with ChainLink about integration potential which we may pursue. The tech stack used by both teams is very very similar.
In the future, we plan to add asynchronous features to Secret Contracts such that external data can be requested directly by a quorum of Workers. In that case, the current Chainlink solution will be limited in scope.
At the hard fork date it’s been communicated that there will be additional nodes. Will it be the case that it will be open to all nodes with a minimum 25k stake at that point, will there be another competition, or will it be some other gradual form of scaling up the number of nodes?
Any node above 25K ENG will be able to participate after the hardfork
Does the team know of anyone auditing the code or has the team reached out to any third parties to do so? I would love to see a review of the code by someone who actually knows more than myself.
The code will be audited before we go on mainnet. Once we have testnet and the code is no longer changing we will get third party auditing.
Has the team heard of or given any thought to Adaptive Staking? Something like this tiered system would prevent huge nodes from dominating the earned Rewards.
We haven’t looked into this. These models need to be thoroughly tested against game theoretical attacks, I don’t have any information on how thoroughly this approach has been tested.
What do you see Enigma in 2, 5 and 10 years? After mainnet is live, what is your plan to achieve mass adoption outside the blockchain space, making Enigma the privacy layer for the decentralized web?
In an industry that changes as rapidly and unpredictably as the blockchain/decentralization space, making a hard and fast plan is really challenging — and possibly the wrong approach. Anyone who tells you exactly where things will be for any given project in two year’s time is mostly guessing.
That said, we’ve done a lot of work to put ourselves on the right trajectory in both the short term (next year) and the long term (10+ years). For example:
- We’ve responsibly managed our funding (no lambos, no frivolous sponsorships).
- We’ve focused on building for usability so that we can drive adoption.
- We’ve thought hard about how to launch a network with sustainable economics but attractive short-term incentives.
- We’ve integrated with Ethereum to take advantage of the largest developer community in the blockchain space.
- We’ve taken time to test, test, test.
- We’ve built something unique — to create meaningful value, you have to create something meaningfully different (and useful!)
Enigma sits at the intersection of two very powerful movements: the movement towards decentralization and the movement towards greater privacy. Our technology provides a solution for people looking to build decentralized applications that scale while preserving data privacy — an ideal fit. Depending on how quickly these movements occur and impact the broader technology sector, Enigma’s trajectory will change. But these movements are already happening and, like dApps, are unstoppable. The greater their global impact, the greater our opportunity. Enigma will be a large part of these movements — growing a massive pie of value in the long run that we believe we’re well-positioned to share.
Are you also working on Corporate communication?
Media coverage is important, but as that post you quoted mentioned, we’re waiting for the launch of Discovery and the start of the Genesis Game to push hard publicly — otherwise developers first hearing about Enigma will not be able to build, node runners won’t be able to participate, etc. Patience is hard but essential.
The problems we’re solving don’t go away just because someone else writes about it — they only get solved if we build the technology, network, and ecosystem. Given our current support, we can still feel very confident about the launch of our protocol, and simultaneously see the huge potential for growth.
When will Enigma become blockchain-agnostic and compatible with blockchains other than Ethereum such as Cardano and EOS?
Our main focus is on real usage as soon as possible. Ethereum has major developer mindshare and Ethereum-compatibility means we can work with the most developers and projects.
Bridges to other projects are lower-priority right now — however, we’re open to supporting anyone interested in creating such a bridge and aim to be agnostic. Our protocol is open-source and we hope this facilitates collaboration. Technical elements/similarities such as a WASM runtime may influence how complex and feasible such bridges will be.
When will we hear more about product build on top of enigma?
We want to be as transparent as is feasible regarding products being built using Enigma. Our major focus right now is engaging with partners and product efforts to make the network as usable and effective as possible. As we move forward with Discovery, we expect to have more frequent product updates.
We publish regularly in our building blocks and solutions series blog about these efforts at a high level. Many of these approaches and building blocks will be integral to more fully-featured products.
What will determine when the hard fork will take place? Network activity? A certain amount of time? After the hard fork takes place the only criteria for running a node will be proper hardware and 25k Eng. It has been said by the team that the minimum amount will eventually be lowered, how will this be handled? It would be against the interest of the current node owners to vote in favor of this.
Keep in mind that there has been no indication that there will be any kind of Governance or DPoS on Enigma (nodes don’t have any sort of voting rights). It could be announced I supposed, but nothing has been even hinted at in this regard that I’ve seen.
Enigma’s podcast “Decentralize This!” features Kyle Samani, a managing partner at Multicoin Capital, a cryptoasset fund whose stated mission is “to accelerate the transition from the centralized institutions of the Industrial Age to the decentralized institutions of the Internet Age.” Kyle is a serial entrepreneur in the tech world, having previously founded a company in the cutting-edge field of augmented reality before it was acquired.
On this episode Kyle talks about how smart contracts could supplant our financial system, the underrated importance of key management solutions, the weird relationship between crypto and leverage, and what he looks for when he’s trying to answer the question: “What comes next?”
Enigma’s own @aaronmayer108 just published his look at a potential evolution of Facebook on @hackernoon: Facebook Pro. Mr Mayer is extremely indignant that Facebook make money through advertising instead of fair deal when you are charged for using the service. It is known that Facebook makes an average of $17 per user per year thanks to ads, and that you’re able to deliver more targeted ads thanks to the information you know about me. No doubt that Mark has gone just a smidge too far. Aaron Mayer is very concerned that Facebook has a whole dossier on you and knows more about you than you do.
Now it’s time to move on. Mr Mayer offered his model of Facebook — Facebook Pro which can let us pay for the service it is providing in exchange for the freedom from its obsessive surveillance.
Our data belongs to us, and we want to create a world in which no one has the power to distort or pervert that data. And Enigma takes the stage.
Enigma puts privacy at the forefront of the web — it seamlessly bakes data ownership into the fundamental architecture of how the Internet operates. Enigma is one of the missing pieces to the blockchain ecosystem, and by enabling truly secure digital ownership, it’s poised to be a critical tool in the arsenal of the revolution.
No doubt, Facebook doesn’t stand a chance. Now you have a choice: you either change Facebook by making it fair to your users and profit hugely in the process, or you risk being unseated by those that seek to unstitch the web you’ve woven.
This article covers the interview with Tor Bair where he told the readers how the Enigma protocol is changing privacy for the decentralized web.
Explaining why privacy-preserving technology is needed for blockchain, Bair explains:
“Blockchains are actually bad at privacy by design. Public blockchains are distributed ledgers where entries are auditable and permissionless. Anyone can attempt to record an entry, and anyone can read the entries themselves.”
Bair remarks that it’s not enough for the blockchains of the future, which are working towards the creation of a decentralized, permissionless, and open version of the web.
Instead, with Enigma, the team is building a decentralized internet which doesn’t rely on centralized solutions for computation or expose sensitive data publicly. This means that the Enigma network can perform computations over encrypted data, without nodes in the network ever seeing the raw data.
Encrypted data computation allows blockchains and other decentralized applications to work with private and sensitive data, unlocking powerful use cases and valuable new opportunities. Without solutions like Enigma, Bair explains, the applications for blockchain are actually quite limited.
Enigma is currently preparing for a new release, called Discovery, which it says will bring a number of massive improvements to the Enigma protocol.
Discovery’s release will also allow for private inputs and outputs, it introduces a “secret state” and a storage layer, and finally, Discovery will decouple “secret contracts” on Enigma from Ethereum’s smart contracts.
Enigma’s secret contracts are privacy-preserving smart contracts — essentially, code which can be run on Enigma’s decentralized network while preserving the privacy of input data.
Secret contracts on Enigma are written in the Rust programming language, one of the most popular languages among developers, with its own fast-growing global community.
Enigma’s Focus on Secure Computation
Secure computation is, in short, the execution of a transaction or mathematical problem, without revealing the subject’s data. Enigma’s work is now focussed on making secure computation feasible at scale — and it believes it will revolutionize the internet and industry if it succeeds.
Collaboration with Intel
Last June, Enigma announced its collaboration with Intel, focusing on research and development efforts to advance the development of privacy-preserving computation technologies. The partnership stems from Intel and Enigma’s shared goal of solving the most significant challenges in blockchain today, namely privacy, security, and scalability issues.
Despite currently running on Ethereum, and using the ERC-20 token configuration for ENG, Enigma is designed to be a blockchain-agnostic protocol, meaning any blockchain could theoretically be used as its validation layer.
To remain blockchain-agnostic, Enigma has moved away from relying on Ethereum as a p2p layer, and instead built its own p2p protocol for Enigma.
In the future, Enigma has detailed that its future protocol will move to its own, scalable blockchain, rolled out in gradual phases.
2019: The Year of Enigma
“Everything for us has been building up to this Discovery release, but it’s just the first step towards future iterations of our protocol. We’re building Enigma to be the most powerful platform for generalized secure computation.”
Throughout 2019, Enigma intends to keep researching other types of privacy solutions, including secure multiparty computation, while improving the performance of its current release.
“The biggest challenge is that none of this has ever been attempted by anyone — but that’s also our greatest excitement! And if it excites you too, please join our community. We’d love to have you be a part of Enigma.”
- A snapshot of mainnet ENG holdings.
- Implementation of WASM to compute secret contracts
- Discovery on testnet
- Staking pool
- Testnet release
Social media metrics
Enigma community continues to grow, there is a constant increase in the number of subscribers of Enigma social media channels. However the number of subscribers of Enigma official Telegram chats slightly decreased these weeks.
Telegram — Telegram HQ for the Enigma Project.
Secret Nodes Community Telegram — a community-led group of individuals who care about privacy, data ownership, and are dedicated to supporting secret node runners.
Twitter — Official announcements channel. Average number of retweets is 40 for one post. Publications with 30–100 likes.
Reddit — Threads with 6–20 comments, 10–30 upvotes.
The graph above shows the dynamics of changes in the number of Enigma Facebook likes, Reddit subscribers and Twitter followers. The information is taken from Coingecko.com