Hello to the community!
Today we are extremely excited to announce our most exciting milestone to date: the introduction of privacy-preserving secret contracts to the Secret Network mainnet. The proposal to introduce secret contracts to mainnet will be made on September 8th, 2020. If passed by the community, the secret contracts network upgrade would take place on September 15th, 2020.
This proposed upgrade would make Secret Network the first layer-one blockchain to enable general purpose private computation across a distributed system of nodes equipped with secure enclaves. For the first time, developers will be able to build and deploy “secret" smart contracts that can utilize encrypted inputs, outputs, and state. At the same time, we’re building connections to Ethereum, Cosmos Hub, and other networks, intending to bring our capacity for “programmable privacy” to the entire blockchain universe.
Simply put: Secret Network brings privacy to public blockchains.
Essentially, Secret Contracts enable anyone to use their private data in decentralized applications without revealing the raw data. Data being used in computations throughout Secret Network simply can’t be public.
This event is the culmination of years of research and development work. The Enigma development team has worked tirelessly to bring this functionality to the Secret Network blockchain, and after a series of successful testnets, it is time to bring secret contracts fully into the world.
Read on to learn more about secret contracts, a brief history of recent progress in our community, what’s launching now (secret tokens!) and what happens next.
What are secret contracts?
The vision of the decentralized web is to create a more user-centric and sustainable internet of value. Applications built on distributed networks enjoy the benefit of being robust, unstoppable, censorship-resistant, and transparent. For this reason, blockchains have been a key piece of the decentralized web vision.
But all blockchains, and by extension smart contracts deployed on them, have one glaring and near-fatal problem - all data stored on them is public. In that sense, traditional blockchains are worse than anything that came before them. Instead of trusting a single organization (e.g., Facebook, Google, your bank, etc.) with your data, now you have to trust everyone. For all intents and purposes, data on the blockchain becomes public domain.
But what if you could program smart contracts that not only solved for correctness, but also for privacy? What if you could have encrypted inputs and outputs as well as network state, keeping it hidden from all parties, including the nodes executing the smart contract? With these new types of contracts, users and applications can operate in an environment where it’s safe to include sensitive data, which most real-world use cases require. This is the concept of “secret” smart contracts that Secret Network introduces.
Secret contracts allow for programmable privacy, allowing for arbitrarily complex data privacy controls to be implemented inside applications. The flexible encryption capabilities and controls offered by programmable privacy unlock the potential value of the decentralized web. It allows for privacy how you want, for anything you want, when you want it, and from whom you want it.
Learn more in this blog post:
A Brief History of Secret Network
The Secret Network was launched in February 2020 by over twenty independent validators from the existing community of Enigma. At the time, the network was known as the Enigma Blockchain. The network is based on Tendermint / Cosmos SDK and features a native coin - Secret (SCRT) - used for staking, governance, and network fees. Today, Secret Network has over forty active mainnet validators!
In May, a proposal was made to rebrand the network as “Secret Network.” This proposal passed with unanimous approval on May 17th, 2020. The logic behind this naming was simple: with concepts like secret nodes and secret contracts well established in the ecosystem, and with a native coin known as SCRT, it was only natural to align the network’s branding entirely around “Secret.” Plus, since the project was now being supported by many independent entities and not a single development company, the community felt the network’s naming should reflect this fact.
But as we explained in a recent video, there’s a deeper meaning behind the word “secret” - one that is very resonant for our community.
A secret is something that you don’t want to share with everyone, but still want to share with people you choose to trust. A secret is something that you want to keep protected - not because it’s something bad, but because it’s something valuable. We call this network “Secret” because it allows developers and users to protect valuable data while still enabling them to share and compute it when, how, and with whomever they choose. Secret Network is where these important concepts of privacy, freedom, and consent coincide.
In June, we reached another exciting milestone: the completion of code for secret contracts! This allows CosmWasm smart contracts to run with encryption inside secure enclaves, making the magic of secret contracts possible.
With the completion of this code, we launched the Secret Games in July - a series of incentivized testnets designed to test secret contracts in the wild! We split this into two phases: Phase 1, an invitation-only testnet capped at fifteen participants, and Phase 2, open to all participants! Phase 1 brought incredible participation and feedback from many experienced and talented validators, including Staked, Figment, Chorus One, Dokia Capital, Iqlusion, Outlier Ventures, Chainflow, Hashquark, B-Harvest, Mitera BV, and more. Phase 2 has been a huge success, with over 80 validators connecting to the testnet.
These testnets allowed validators not only to get valuable experience supporting Secret Network, but also with deploying and utilizing secret contracts. Participants played “Secret Hold’em,” entered a “Secret Raffle,” and tested out “Secret Tokens” (more on this below).
We’re excited to say that these testnets have not uncovered any critical unaddressed issues, which means we are ready to move to our most critical milestone for secret contracts: integration with the Secret Network mainnet.
What happens right now?
The Enigma development team plans to make an on-chain proposal on September 8th, 2020 to upgrade the network to include secret contracts. If this proposal has reached approval after the usual seven day voting period has expired, secret contracts will be LIVE on Secret Network on September 15th, 2020!
With this launch our attention will turn to mass adoption: onboarding new secret contract developers, secret node operators, and community members who are passionate about securing and scaling the nascent decentralized web. With the support of the Secret Foundation and community committees, we will be working to produce more educational materials and documentation that help expand our ecosystem and build more bridges to the rest of the blockchain universe!
Excitingly, we will be launching some of the first secret contracts alongside this mainnet upgrade, including “secret tokens.” This is a powerful idea that applies our network’s capability for “programmable privacy” to the world of decentralized finance. Secret tokens are programmable, privacy-preserving tokens - programmable like ERC20s, but private like zCash. Most importantly, secret tokens create network effects for privacy, providing the missing piece for DeFi mass adoption.
With secret tokens, each DeFi user actually gains more privacy with each additional DeFi service and every dollar worth of additional value locked in the ecosystem, leading to privacy network effects. The reason for this is that the aggregate liquidity across all DeFi applications directly quantifies the level of privacy you obtain (this is also known as the anonymity set). Think about these privacy gains like vaccination: the more people who inoculate themselves by using Secret Network to protect their privacy, the more benefits everyone else in the Secret DeFi ecosystem can gain.
Our first implementation of secret tokens allows you to deposit X amount of SCRT (which is not private by itself) and instead obtain X amount of “secretSCRT” – the privacy-preserving Secret Token version of SCRT. The same could be done for any asset in the Cosmos ecosystem utilizing IBC, and in the future could support assets from Ethereum and other ecosystems.
What’s next on the roadmap?
After the mainnet upgrade, the Enigma development team and the Secret Network ecosystem will be focusing on adding products and functionality that strengthen the position of the Secret Network in supporting the decentralized web. We’ve been actively exploring some key products related to our expansion of the Secret DeFi ecosystem, and there’s already working code on internal testnets. You can expect these to be announced and explored on the Secret Blog in the near future!
You may be wondering whether we expect an explosion of native assets on the Secret Network. While that’s a long-term goal for us, in the short-run, we are focused on building bridges to Ethereum, Cosmos Hub, and other blockchain ecosystems. One of Secret Network’s primary advantages is its interoperability. These bridges will allow assets in other ecosystems to be turned into privacy tokens based on the SecretToken standard, allowing us to bring programmable privacy to Ethereum and Cosmos ecosystems. This will enable privacy preserving synthetic assets on Secret Network, such as secretETH, secretDAI and secretATOM to be used in DeFi products and utilized with full privacy.
We now must give a huge thank you to every community member who has been a part of this long and challenging journey to the present moment. The strength of any project lies in its community - and Secret Network is no exception. Thank you in particular to our committees, led by members of the community and Secret Foundation:
- The Infrastructure committee for testing and identifying mainnet compliant hardware
- The Governance committee for solidifying Secret Network governance
- The Dev committee for improving documentation and helping onboard developers
- The Education committee for producing critical educational materials
- The Awareness committee for spreading the word about programmable privacy!
Thank you as well to the many mainnet and testnet validators who help secure our network by running computational secret nodes. Your ongoing support is critical to the success and stability of Secret Network!
The introduction of secret contracts to mainnet brings many new opportunities for growth and engagement. If you’re passionate about bringing privacy to the decentralized web and you’d like to join our community and participate in our committees, please join the following channels:
Official Secret Chat: https://discord.com/invite/SJK32GY
Official Secret Forum: https://forum.scrt.network
Community Telegram: https://t.me/scrtcommunity
Secret Twitter: https://twitter.com/secretnetwork