Enigma is a blockchain-based platform developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab that facilitates secret smart contracts. On 30 June 2018, Enigma announced the launch of its testnet, which developers can use to start experimenting with secret smart contract technology. The MIT Media Lab is not forking any existing blockchain; instead, it is building Enigma from scratch.
The goal of Enigma is for decentralized applications to become widely adopted, and the Enigma team believes the development of secret smart contract technology is essential for this to occur. Enigma secret smart contracts hide the origin of a transaction and can be executed on the blockchain without being decrypted. This is beneficial since it will ensure that no government, organization, or hacker can view the inner-workings of decentralized blockchain-based apps, let alone interfere with them or manipulate them.
On the testnet, nodes will not be allowed or necessary since this is just an experimental phase. When the mainnet goes live, users will be allowed to run nodes to secure the network and earn fees in the process, and there will also be security deposits to reduce bad behavior. At this point, Enigma cannot be integrated with Ethereum-based decentralized apps, but when the mainnet goes live, that is expected to be possible.
Ultimately, the Enigma team foresees that secret smart contracts will become the new standard, and this will help decentralized apps transform from novelties into necessities.
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