What does the company/project do?
NuCypher is a protocol designed to enable end-to-end encrypted applications. It can be described as a cryptographic access control layer that allows a user to share encrypted information. Developers and enterprises may use the NuCypher protocol to secure the data on decentralized applications that they deploy on public blockchains.
Potential use cases of the NuCypher protocol include encrypted file sharing, end-to-end encrypted group chats, decentralized digital rights management, identity management, password management, and the health care sector. With regard to the healthcare sector a patient may grant temporary access to a number of their personal medical records to a health practitioner.
What are the tokens used for and how can the token value appreciate?
The native token of the NuCypher protocol is called NuCypher token (NU). The tokens will be used in order to reward network participants for the services they provide, in particular for key management and access delegation. NuCypher integrates a mining functionality which consists of re-encryption operations. Miners receive token rewards for their re-encryption operations provided. Consumers may pay in Ethereum and potentially also other cryptocurrencies for the access to re-encryption services.
How advanced is the project?
NuCypher has been around in the blockchain space for quite some time. The NuCypher team formed part of the YCombinator summer batch for 2016. YCombinator is the world’s leading start up acceleration program based in Mountain View, California. In late 2017 NuCypher has raised 4.3 million USD in a private pre-sale from recognized blockchain venture capital firms. In spring 2018 NuCypher has joined the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance. The team regularly informs about updates on their Medium blog.
MacLane Wilkinson is the co-founder and CEO of NuCypher. He is a software engineer and a previous investment banker. He holds various financial and professional certifications and graduated from the University of North Carolina.
Michael Egorov is a co-founder and the CTO of NuCypher. He previously worked as a Software engineer at LinkedIn. He graduated from the Moscow Institute of Technology and thereafter completed a PhD in physics.
The NuCypher team further includes professionals in cryptography, system security, software engineering, business development and community management.
Dave Evans, a professor at University of Virginia, and Giuseppe Ateniese, a professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology, are the scientific advisors of NuCypher.
NuCypher is building a decentralized key management system (KMS). Currently large centralized corporations such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft are offering key management system services. However, their service requires the trust in the platform of the service provider which will no longer be required in case of decentralization. Through NuCypher’s key management system sensitive data can be shared securely.
The promise of NuCypher is to empower self-governance of network participants. For this purpose NuCypher is collaborating with a number of other blockchain based protocols. Among them is Origin, which is focused on decentralized marketplaces. Through the help of Origin and NuCpyher the marketplaces of the future may no longer need to control the data that is transacted on the market place since no intermediaries will be required. Through their collaboration NuCypher and Origin want to empower the next generation of blockchain based applications which will replace the likes of Uber, AirBnb and Upwork. Besides Origin NuCypher has collaborations with Medibloc, datum and wolk ongoing.
Strength and Opportunities
NuCypher has the support of a high number of well known blockchain investment firms. Among them is Polychain Capital, FBG Capital, and CoinFund. Furthermore NuCypher counts with the network and connections of YCombinator, where the team participated in 2016.
The NuCypher team is deeply connected to the Ethereum ecosystem and will likely be able to leverage their contacts from the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance and YCombinator to promote adoption of the protocol among enterprises.
Weaknesses and Threats
The NuCypher community is distributed globally and besides English speaking community channels also Russian and Chinese groups exist. At the moment the community seems to be rather passive since not a lot of content gets posted on the NuCypher subreddit nor do many discussion happen on Telegram. NuCypher will need to further activate the community once the ICO is announced.
It is remarkable to note that NuCypher already spent several years developing their protocol before eventually undergoing a public token sale. The amount raised during the private sale is significantly lower compared to other projects at the ICO stage. This represents greater opportunities for retail investors since the private round does not require a huge public valuation. NuCypher already has several first customers who are using their protocol for blockchain based encrypted applications. The achievements of the team, the stage of the project and the alliances the platform has make NuCypher an interesting project for ICO investors.
* The information contained in this article is for education purpose only and not financial advice. Do your own research before making any investment decisions.