Thursday, July 02, 2015
Can Bitcoin-based Enigma encryption succeed where HE has failed?
Enigma is the brainchild of a couple of Bitcoin entrepreneurs who, together with a MIT Media Lab researcher, have used features from the decentralized Bitcoin network architecture including an external blockchain to create what they reckon will be the ultimate peer-to-peer network for storing and running computations on data whilst keeping it completely private at the same time. Enigma will break your data up into tiny chunks and then randomly distributes meaningless bits of those to nodes in the network where the calculations are performed on each discrete lump before being returned to the user where they are put back together to form an unencrypted whole again. Obviously there is some maths involved to enable each node to do whatever computational task is required on just that miniature piece of data. Equally obviously, the more nodes there are the quicker the computing is and, importantly, the more secure this thing is as the pieces will be smaller. The Bitcoin blockchain keeps track of who has what and where by way of a metadata store, unforgeable courtesy of being copied to thousands of computers.