Today blockchain-focused venture platform Outlier Ventures revealed that it invested a “significant” sum in Enigma, a protocol for using sensitive data with decentralized technology. Enigma was first researched at MIT in 2015 for medical data management and now has potential in credit, finance, and other industries holding personal information.
The partnership secures Outlier Ventures as a strategic advisor to Enigma, which will, in turn, grow the reach of its protocol. Enigma will additionally become a member of the Convergence Alliance, a consortium including Jaguar Land Rover, SAP, and T-Labs for combining emerging technologies like blockchain, AI, and IoT.
Outlier Ventures curated the group earlier this summer to drive innovation and integrate the ‘Convergence Stack’, the firm’s open-source research framework. Now, Enigma can connect to the Alliance’s network of partners, developers, and ecosystem of smart cities.
Jamie Burke, the CEO of Outlier Ventures, stated: “With Enigma, we share the important mission of reducing the world’s reliance on insecure cloud computing platforms by offering peer-to-peer, privacy-preserving, decentralized and open-source alternatives.”
The CEO of Enigma, Guy Zyskind, added: “We are excited to be partnering with Outlier Ventures towards our shared mission of driving global mass adoption of decentralized technologies. Outlier’s vision, team, and dedication are unmatched in our industry. Together we will continue working to create significant new value for individuals and institutions across the world.”
Zyskind authored Enigma’s protocol whitepapers. The protocol is based on Multi-Party Computation (MPC), the technology behind Sepior and Curv. Enigma’s network of ‘secret nodes’ can run smart contracts privately on encrypted data without ever exposing the raw data underneath. The firm aims to encourage the adoption of decentralized technology by providing a way of dealing with secret information securely on blockchains.
For example, the idea of a data marketplace where consumers can own and sell their data is a big topic in the blockchain space. In medical applications, data privacy is crucial. Enigma’s solution would allow a pharmaceutical company running a clinical trial to find suitable candidates without exposing any sensitive medical data.