What Is Enigma?

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Enigma is a crypto platform that’s trying to solve the problem of privacy on the blockchain. Using an off-chain network layer, Enigma gives blockchains access to much-needed storage, privacy, and scalability. Additionally, it employs what it dubs secret contracts, a brand of smart contract that gives users an element of privacy that’s not intrinsic to current blockchain protocols. How it Works Enigma functions by taking data from the blockchain and, when appropriate, storing it in its off-chain network. As with other current blockchains, data on this blockchain is public, while the off-chain network is responsible for keeping data private. “Code is executed both on the blockchain (public parts) and on Enigma (private or computationally intensive parts),” the Enigma whitepaper states. This gives Enigma the ability to store data privately while also providing public proof that a transaction was executed on the blockchain. Thus, “Enigma’s execution ensures both privacy and correctness, whereas a blockchain alone can only ensure the latter.” Private (or secret) contracts are integral to this structure. These are like Ethereum’s smart contracts, except that their focus is, obviously, privacy. With Enigma’s secret contracts scripting language, developers will be able to build dApps for privacy functions. If, for example, a company wanted to issue a quarterly report on employee salaries, it could use Enigma to manage the individual salaries in secrecy while making the median salary public. Each employee could submit his or her salary to the private contract to be factored into the final tally, but only they would be able to see…
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