Brussels / 4 & 5 February 2023


The Nym Mixnet

Intro to a new anonymous communication network

This talk will be about Nym, a new anonymous overlay network for the internet based on mixnet. Unlike other privacy-enhanced technologies like OpenVPN and Tor, Nym defends against global passive adversaries that have a "God's eye" view of the entire network, like the NSA. Nym does this by mixing internet packets at nodes so they do not exit the mixnet in FIFO, as well as adding fake traffic. Like Tor, any application and use SOCKS proxies to bind to Nym. As Nym is built in Rust, it also allows WebSockets and other direct integration. We can demonstrate how the Nym mix network hides network-level metadata from everything from Bitcoin to Telegram.

Nym has been supported by both H2020 PANORAMX and Next Generation Internet projects on the EU level. Although the original project was started by a Neuchatel-based startup, the project takes contributions from volunteers. Mix nodes are ran in a decentralized manner and keep track of their reputation using the NYM token. Currently, there are approximately 500 mix nodes, but new nodes and applications are welcome. Nym works well for asynchronous, message-based traffic like instant messaging and e-mail, while Tor works better for synchronous, circuit-based traffic like Web browsing. Both projects should be able to work together to provide full-privacy for users.


Photo of Jon Häggblad Jon Häggblad