Blockchain technology provides a beneficial layer of openness and transparency that current centralized networks cannot, but some private data isn’t meant to be shared publicly.
How many people want to use a network that shares their financial details and identifying information to everyone, for example?
That’s the issue that Secret Network aims to solve. By enabling programmable smart contracts that run on blockchain and compute within trusted execution environments, shielding the data from the nodes themselves, Secret Network promises the transparent benefits of blockchain with the kind of security and privacy that users demand from web services.
Here’s a look at how Secret Network works and what the community behind it hopes to achieve with the project.
What is Secret Network?
Secret Network is a blockchain built specifically for data privacy. By supporting encrypted inputs, outputs, and smart contract states, Secret Network enables programmable smart contracts that keep user data safe. If coins like Monero and Zcash are the privacy-centric evolution of Bitcoin, Secret Network’s smart contracts are like an evolution of Ethereum’s own smart contracts, building upon that premise while enabling the secure transfer of private data.
Secret Network was born out of Enigma, a startup that developed the concept of a decentralized protocol for secret smart contracts. Enigma raised $45 million in a 2017 initial coin offering (ICO), but faced enforcement from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in 2020 that forced a settlement with the SEC.
Ultimately, the community around Enigma decided to continue that vision as an independent, decentralized project, which is how the current version of Secret Network was born. A swap allowed holders of Enigma’s Ethereum-based ENG token to trade 1:1 for SCRT, the native coin of Secret Network used for governance and paying fees. Enigma remains involved as one of the key players in the community supporting development of Secret Network.