Tha math bitcoin solved a paradoxical problem: a currency with no regulator, that nonetheless can’t be counterfeited. Now a similar mix of math and code promises to pull off another seemingly magical feat by allowing anyone to share their data with the cloud and nonetheless keep it entirely private. At MIT, “homomorphic” encryption is a way to encrypt data such that it can be shared with a third party and used in computations without it ever being decrypted. That mathematical trick—which would allow untrusted computers to accurately run computations on sensitive data without putting the data at risk of hacker breaches or surveillance—has only become more urgent in an age when millions of users constantly share their secrets with cloud services ranging from Amazon and Dropbox to Google and Facebook. Now, with bitcoin's tricks in their arsenal, Enigma's creators say they can now pull off computations on encrypted data more efficiently than ever.
Bitcoin itself Is the vanguard of a predecessor technology to the real, lasting innovation: the blockchain — the peer-to-peer ledger system that records cryptocurrency transactions and allows them to operate without a central authority. A German nonprofit, the IOTA Foundation announced that it was teaming up with several major technology firms to develop a “decentralized data marketplace” utilizing its own cryptocurrency, which works without blockchain technology. Though IOTA tokens can be used like any other cryptocurrency, the protocol was designed specifically for use on connected devices.