Swiss blockchain startup, Nym Technologies, has invited the general public to take part in the next phase of its mixnet platform’s user testing on April 8.

The privacy infrastructure promises advanced protection against mass-surveillance, and comes at a time when governments globally are expanding their powers in the name of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

The good mixer

Users are initially invited to run mix-nodes on the Nym testnet. A global network of mix-nodes will form the mixnet, which acts to irreversibly hide patterns and metadata in internet traffic by mixing data packets with those of other users.

Nym claims that, unlike VPNs and Tor, the mixnet can even defeat National Security Agency level surveillance which can passively monitor an entire network, as CEO Harry Halpin explains:

“With Nym, you can communicate freely without your internet traffic revealing your metadata. It’s even more important now given increased surveillance due to the coronavirus. Nym’s mixnet resists a global passive adversary like the NSA that can record all the traffic coming in and out of a network.”

Nym’s testnet will roll out in three phases over the course of 2020. The first phase is the mixnet and set up of public mix-nodes. This will be followed by the addition of validators, to fully decentralize the mixnet.

Finally, the third phase will see the implementation of rewards for those running mix-nodes and mixing packets to secure the data of their fellow users.

The Nym mixnet will allow any blockchain or application wishing to provide enhanced privacy services to integrate into the network.

Zcash (ZEC) privacy coin creator, Electric Coin Company, took part in earlier invite-only testing, saying that, “ECC believe that network privacy is an essential layer of defense for cryptocurrency users.”

Fight for your right… to privacy

In Halpin’s opinion, personal privacy is currently being eroded by governments worldwide as they increase surveillance and monitoring of citizens in an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19. 

According to Halpin, once these measures are in place, they may prove extremely difficult to roll back. He, therefore, believes that people must collectively act now to preserve personal freedoms.