The Secret Network is an open-source, privacy-focused blockchain protocol designed to provide privacy-preserving smart contracts and data security on public blockchains. Built with the Cosmos Software Development Kit (SDK), Secret Network brings interoperable privacy to the entire Cosmos ecosystem. The network leverages Intel SGX (Software Guard Extension) Trusted Execution Environment technology, encryption schemes, and key management to provide privacy by default to its users. Secret Network is a layer one solution that uses Tendermint’s Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus algorithms in a proof-of-stake (PoS) system. Its native token is “SCRT”. The network went live with private smart contracts on mainnet in September 2020.
The Secret Network aims to address the lack of privacy in blockchain technology by providing a layer one solution with privacy-preserving smart contracts called Secret Contracts. Secret Contracts allow users to perform computations on encrypted data, enabling a wide range of use cases that were previously impossible on public blockchains. The Secret Network is built using the Cosmos SDK, making it part of the interconnected Cosmos universe (IBC), and allowing blockchains within the ecosystem to utilize Secret Contracts for private computations.
The Secret Network relies on a combination of Intel SGX Trusted Execution Environment technology, encryption schemes, and key management to provide privacy by default. The network is built atop the Cosmos/Tendermint framework, which enables a distributed system of nodes to perform the computation of smart contracts built on Secret Network. These nodes use a trusted execution environment (TEE) to perform computations away from prying eyes, ensuring that the data remains private and secure.
The network employs Tendermint’s Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus algorithms in a proof-of-stake (PoS) system, where SCRT token holders can delegate their tokens to validators, who are responsible for securing the network and processing transactions. Validators participate in the consensus process, proposing and validating blocks, while delegators share in the block rewards and risk of slashing if the validator behaves maliciously.
As part of the Cosmos ecosystem, the Secret Network benefits from the Inter-Blockchain Communications (IBC) protocol, which allows it to connect and communicate with other layer one blockchains like Osmosis, Cronos, Evmos, Kava, and dYdX. This interoperability allows application builders on any blockchain to support privacy for any user and asset on Web3. The collaboration between Axelar and Secret Network, for example, aims to deliver privacy capabilities to dApp developers across various blockchains.
The Secret Network provides a range of resources for developers interested in building privacy-preserving applications on its platform. These include the Secret Software Development Kit (SDK) in Python, which is a simple library toolkit that offers abstractions over core data structures, serialization, key management, and API request generation. The SDK is based on a fork of terra.py on Terra, a leading blockchain platform for programmable money and smart contracts.
Developers can also refer to the official documentation on the Secret Network website and access the network’s GitHub repository for additional information, guides, and sample code. Tutorials and developer guides are available to help developers get started with building Secret Network that leverage the privacy features of Secret Contracts.
Community and Governance
The Secret Network has an active community of users, developers, and enthusiasts who contribute to the project’s growth and development. The community can be found on various social media platforms, including Twitter, Telegram, and Reddit. There are dedicated channels on these platforms for technical support, development updates, and general discussions about the Secret Network.
The network utilizes on-chain governance, enabling token holders to vote on proposals and have a say in the direction of the project. This decentralized governance model ensures that the community’s interests are represented, and decisions are made collectively, fostering transparency and accountability.
The unique privacy features of the Secret Network enable a variety of previously impossible use cases for Web3, including:
Privacy-Preserving Decentralized Finance (DeFi): Secret Network’s privacy-preserving capabilities can be applied to decentralized financial applications, allowing users to interact with DeFi services while keeping their transaction details and personal information private.
Secure Data Sharing: Secret Network can facilitate secure data sharing between organizations and individuals without exposing sensitive information, providing a trustless environment for collaboration.
Private Voting: Secret Network can enable private voting systems, ensuring that votes are confidential and tamper-proof, while still providing transparency and verifiability.
Confidential Identity Management: Users can securely manage and share their digital identities on Secret Network, giving them control over their personal information and privacy.
Private NFTs: Secret Network can facilitate the creation and trading of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) with built-in privacy features, allowing users to maintain their anonymity and protect the value of their digital assets.
The Secret Network is a groundbreaking blockchain protocol that brings privacy to smart contracts and public blockchains. Its innovative approach to privacy, combined with its interoperability within the Cosmos ecosystem, makes it a valuable addition to the blockchain landscape. By enabling developers to build privacy-preserving applications and unlocking new use cases for Web3, the Secret Network is poised to contribute significantly to the evolution of decentralized technologies and the broader adoption of blockchain solutions.