NuCypher (NU) ICO Analysis: A Data Encryption Protocol for the Blockchain

Project Description
There is a certain limitation when it comes to storing and maneuvering private and encrypted data on blockchains, and NuCypher seeks to remove this limitation. The NuCypher project is a decentralized KMS — key management system — that will supposedly allow users store private data on a public blockchain and secure it with encryption. The protocol will use a decentralized network to leverage proxy re-encryption.

Here is how the proxy re-encryption is expected to work between 2 users, say Sam and Peter:

  1. Sam wants to share private data with Peter through the blockchain.
  2. So, he — Sam — encrypts the data using his own key and he stores the data in the decentralized network.
  3. Once this is done, Sam shares access rights with Peter in the form of a re-encryption key which he sends to the NuCypher KMS network.
  4. Peter then sends an access request to the NuCypher network. Using the re-encryption key from Sam in (3) above, the data is rekeyed by a miner to Peter’s public key. If Peter has the corresponding private key, he can then download the data and decrypt it.

The NuCypher network, if actualized, will provide a multi-functional platform with many use cases. dApp developers, businesses, and individuals will be able to use the network to store data securely on a public blockchain, and whenever the need arises, they can share access to the data without having to rely on a centralized service provider.

Clients will pay for re-encryption services on the platform with ETH (or, in the future, a stablecoin). The NU token is used as a staking bond by those who want to work for the network as miners. The platform also rewards its miners for their services in NU, and to forestall cheating or false encryption, the tokens of miners found complicit are taken away.

Existing Product
A demo version of the product can be found here.

Important Dates
Team plans to get the main net ready by early to mid-summer. The tentative date for ICO is summer.

Marketing Power
As of the time this post was published, NuCypher had about 29,000 members on Telegram, over 5,800 followers on Twitter, 960+ followers on Medium, over 250 followers on Facebook, and over 300 Reddit readers.

Prominent Advisors

Tony Bishop

  • Vice President of Equinix.
  • Author of Next Generation Datacenters.
  • Former Managing Director at Morgan Stanley.

Team Members’ Areas of Expertise

Business experts

Maclane Wilkinson, Co-founder & CEO.

  • Working at NuCypher since 2014.
  • Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley for 2 years.

Target market experts
Quite a number of the team members have been working for NuCypher since 2014. As a result, it can be assumed that by now, they are well-versed in the field of re-encryption and its target market.

Marketing experts
No team members with marketing expertise.

Legal experts
No team member with legal expertise.

Software engineering experts
Michael Egorov, Co-founder & CTO.

  • Working at NuCypher since 2015.
  • Senior Software Engineer at LinkedIn for almost 2 years.
  • Postdoc at Monash University for 3 years.
  • Software Engineer at WorkLifeGroup, a career development company, for a year.
  • Software Engineer at Netagi, a software company, for 5 months.
  • Software Engineer at VGTRK for 10 months.

John Pacific, Cryptographer.

  • Co-founder & CTO at Meetsy, a meeting notes tool, for 10 months.
  • Software Engineer at Teem, a scheduling software, for 9 months.
  • Software Engineer at Xmission, a webhost company, for 2 years.

Sergey Zotov, Engineer.

  • Team Lead & Java Architect at Bell Integrator for almost 2 years.
  • Java Software Developer at INFORION for over three years.
  • Engineer at SRISA RAS for over 2 years.

Kieran Prasch, Engineer.

  • Lead Instructor at PDX Code Guild, a software development education platform, for almost 2 years.
  • Freelance Web Application Developer for 5 years.
  • Internal Tools Engineer at Carbon Ads for a year.

Blockchain development experts
No team member with blockchain development expertise.

Token sale structure
No team member with prior ICO launch experience, hence, no token sale structure expertise on the team.

Token economics
Same as above.



  • Company has been in existence since 2014.
  • Revolutionary idea.
  • Strong IT and Entrepreneurial advisors.

Potential Weaknesses

  • The team is a little thin: no Blockchain/Token Sale/Marketing/Legal experts.


  • Nothing written in this article is a legal or an investment advice.
  • Information is provided on a best-effort basis and is subject to change without prior notice. Be sure to verify everything you read with a project team.

The analysis was produced by Research Center team members: Alexander Bugaj, Mark Jedd, Eugene Tartakovsky.

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