Sally Ho's Technical Analysis 22 September 2019

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Discovery Network Testnet Goes Live on Enigma; Launch “Secret…

Privacy startup Enigma announced on June 11, 2019, the release of the Discovery Network Testnet for developers. The startup tested the Discovery Network privately for the last three months.

They have now released the code on Github to allow anyone to begin developing so-called “secret contracts,” which are similar to smart contracts with the key difference being that data within the protocol is entirely private.

According to Enigma, Discovery is not merely a Testnet. Developers reportedly worked for months to make its features and characteristics as identical to Enigma’s planned Mainnet, excluding a few minor improvements and successive iterations.

The launch of Discovery was initially planned for 2018; however, following a series of complications, the startup announced in September that they would postpone the launch to a later date to guarantee the long-term interests of the project.

With Discovery,  programmers will be officially ready to deploy the platform’s secret contracts, a tool through which Enigma makes data on blockchains private.

Although Enigma relies on Ethereum as the consensus layer, these secret contracts have their distinct runtime and programming language (Rust, instead of Solidity) and thus are decoupled from the requirements and limitations of Ethereum.

Moreover, the Network will now support storage of computation outputs by storing the contract state encrypted on chain and sending encrypted results directly to the dApp user. This new feature is called Private Output.

The last two new characteristics included in Discovery are Ethereum Integration that allows secret contracts to call arbitrary functions of any other smart contract deployed on Ethereum and other peer-to-peer and storage layers.

Tor Bair, head of growth and marketing for Enigma, explained that with Discovery they wanted to create a developer experience almost identical to what is expected for the public network version of the Enigma protocol.

The first initiative that Enigma will launch will be to create Gitcoin bounties for programmers to create libraries (such as voting, auctions, data comparison, etc.) that other developers can use as building blocks.

To achieve this goal, Enigma declared that it would be much more active concerning Hackathons (both in-person and online) as well as developer grant programs.

Nevertheless, most of the efforts will all be dedicated to deploying the Discovery Network testnet on Ethereum and, once completed, begin work on the Genesis Game. The aim of the game is to incentivize interested parties in the Enigma project to compete by launching nodes.

During the game, specific individuals will compete for a chance to become one of the first 50 whitelisted nodes.

There are not many details yet, but the Enigma team has opened several channels where participants can ask for information on the subject.

The launch of Discovery represents a step forward for the creation of the first platform for scalable, end-to-end decentralized applications.

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