Fhenix, the first confidential blockchain powered by fully homomorphic encryption (FHE), announced a $7M seed round led by Multicoin Capital and Collider Ventures, with participation from Node Capital, Bankless, HackVC, TaneLabs and Metaplanet. Other notable participants include Tarun Chitra’s and Robert Leshner’s Robot Ventures. The funds will be used to bring the Fhenix Network into public testnet early next year, and to support ecosystem application development.
Fhenix is building the first confidential smart contract platform using fully homomorphic encryption (FHE). FHE is a novel cryptographic scheme that enables direct computation over encrypted data without ever revealing the underlying data. Fhenix’s goal is to advance application development in the Ethereum ecosystem by bringing data encryption and encrypted-data computation to smart contracts, transactions and on-chain assets for the first time.
“Fhenix addresses a huge problem in the Ethereum ecosystem: a lack of encryption for commercially sensitive data,” said Guy Zyskind, Fhenix and Secret founder. “Fhenix gives users the confidence to put sensitive data on public blockchains while also giving developers the tools to compute and transform that data for the first time. The acute need for data confidentiality is rapidly growing which is driving demand for innovative technologies like FHE and fostering collaborations between complementary blockchains such as Fhenix and Secret to ensure a more secure and privacy-centric future.”
Guy Itzhaki, Fhenix’s CEO adds “By harnessing the power of FHE, we can solve one of the last remaining challenges in web3, and allow users to not only own their data, but also control who they share their data with. With Fhenix’s encrypted smart contracts, we can empower developers to use encrypted blockchain as an enabler for new business opportunities, including on chain trustless gaming, private voting for DAOs, on chain privacy-preserving AI and much more.”
Fhenix is powered by the fhEVM, a set of extensions for the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) that enable developers to seamlessly integrate FHE into their workflows and create encrypted smart contracts without any cryptographic expertise, while still writing in Solidity. The fhEVM protocol was originally developed by Zama, the leading cryptography company building open source homomorphic encryption solutions for blockchain and AI, and was integrated directly into the Fhenix Network through a strategic partnership.
“Having the ability to keep things private on-chain will go beyond solving privacy issues; it will pave the way for hundreds of new use cases—blind auctions, on-chain identity attestations and KYC, confidential real-world asset tokenization, private voting for DAOs and more,” said Rand Hindi, CEO, Zama. “We are still discovering the full scope of what developers can do with data privacy as a primitive and exploring the full potential of FHE and its applications. Through this partnership, we expect to not only solve on-chain privacy but also spark a privacy revolution through encrypted blockchains. We believe that this is not only possible, but in fact the only way forward.”
Fhenix was born out of a strategic partnership between Secret’s founder, and Zama, the market leader in fully homomorphic encryption technologies, and is led by Guy Itzhaki, a former Director at the Homomorphic Encryption & Blockchain Division at Intel.
“Similar to zero-knowledge proofs, FHE has always been a technology with a ton of promise; however, the challenge has always been how to bridge the requisite knowledge in hardcore cryptography and blockchain development. Fhenix radically simplifies that problem, and is making FHE accessible to Ethereum devs practically overnight,” said Kyle Samani, Managing Partner, Multicoin Capital.
Fhenix launched a private devnet in July 2023. The devnet provides an approachable FHE playground for interested developers.
Fhenix is expected to launch “Renaissance”, its official public testnet in the first half of 2024. “Renaissance” will serve as an FHE blockchain “playground” for developers, with multiple testing and building incentivized campaigns. This unique and decentralized initiative aims to attract blockchain’s best talents and form a thriving ecosystem that propels the implementation of FHE technology throughout blockchain’s landscape.
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