The NILLION Project launch at the University of Cambridge

It was a cold Monday evening in the end of November in the University city of Cambridge, UK. My initial planning for the night has been arranged many weeks ago, in order to watch a webinar with title “Cryptography 101 with .NET” organized by the .NET Cambridge community. However, Cambridge Blockchain Society announced a last minute event in collaboration with Cambridge University Technology & Enterprise Club (CUTEC) for the presentation of the NILLION project to the technology and enterprise community of the University of Cambridge with title “Nillion: Introduction to an unhackable decentralised network”. The project has been presented from the Nillion Project Founding Team that includes Dr. Miguel de Vega, a cryptography expert and Andrew Masanto co-founder of Hedera, Good Money and Reserve.

The presentation — launch of the NILLION project took place in the Old Divinity School of St John’s College, which I find quite honourable as the Cambridge University is famous throughout the centuries of its existence for the remarkable scientific technological research and innovations that have been “hatched” and developed within its corridors. Possibly someone might consider the presentation of the NILLION project as nothing unusual or extra-ordinary taking into consideration the number of the ambitious crypto-projects that emerge like mushrooms everyday on the latest crypto-hype as the new entrepreneurship mainstream, however I strongly believe that the fact that the project has been actually launched and presented in one of the University of Cambridge most historical Colleges, provides the confidence that the project and the Blockchain technology has been embraced by the academical community of one of the oldest and most famous University of the world providing essential credibility to the project. Nevertheless, it is a significant proof that the Blockchain Technology isn’t found anymore on the fringe of the fintech but it is widely welcome in the academic community of the most well-known and notable Universities around the globe. And I would like to point out that several other Universities have already embraced the Blockchain Technology like the University of Nicosia in Cyprus through the “M.Sc. Program in Blockchain and Digital Currency”.

The St. John’s College view from the Old Divinity School
The Old Divinity School of the St. John’s College sign (Personal Photo)

Personally, since my academic years have gone many years ago, I felt really grateful that I was granted access to the one of the buildings of the University of Cambridge in order to attend the launch of an unknown yet but promising blockchain project in its auditorium and be part of the University of Cambridge for a couple of hours. While I have been walking on the corridors and the stairs of the Old Divinity School I am pretty sure that I felt the presence of Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and even of Steven Hawking or (who knows?) Satoshi Nakamoto to surround me and welcome me in the building.

Old Divinity School of St. John’s College Welcome Red Carpet (Personal Photo)
Corridors and stairs of the Old Divinity School of St. John’s College (Personal Photo)
One of the paintings on the walls of the Old Divinity School of St. John’s College (Personal Photo)

And here I am in the auditorium of the Old Divinity School of St. John’s College in one rare appearance of my true identity on the crypto-community in order to prove that I have been there for real waiting for the presentation of the NILLION project with title “Evolving Blockchains “ by the founder of the project and cryptography expert Dr. Miguel de Vega. In all these years that I have been living in the cryptoworld, inspired by Satoshi Nakamoto’s Vision for a decentralised economy, it is a rare and first time ever that I am found in such a crypto project genesis launch event and so close to the founders of a crypto-project. I almost felt that Satoshi Nakamoto has been also in the auditorium waiting with curiosity to learn about the NILLION project.

The NILLION Project Presentation-Launch

The event was actually the first ever presentation of the NILLION project to the academic world and Cambridge University has been the first academical institution that hosted a talk about the NILLION project. In a relevant event that took place earlier on the same day at Sohohouse in London the project has been also presented to the corporate and entrepreneurial fintech lobby of City of London and Canary Wharf.

Cover Slide of the NILLION Project presentation (Personal Photo)

According to the event’s description, with the rise of Web 3.0, privacy and data control is becoming increasingly more valuable. The NILLION Project’s ambition is to deploy an unhackable decentralised network using Information Security Technology, that can store, utilise and compute sensitive information without ever holding the underlying data according to the industry needs. The innovative technology used after the upgrade of the underlying initial NILLION algorithm is termed as NMC after Nill, Message, Compute (Repeat) and it’s ambition is to solve the famous Blockchain Trillemma of providing REAL Decentralisation in the form of Instant Consensus, REAL Scalability in the form of speed of transactions and REAL Security in the form of encryption-free unconditional & unhackable security of transactions.

The Blockchain Trillema Slide (Personal Photo)

According to Dr. Miguel de Vega, the initial concept behind the technology is a relatively well-known idea in the industry of cryptography and it is called SMPC (Secure Multivariate Computation) using a polynomial of a specific degree that makes it robust on the presence of >1/3 bad actors. However the SMPC algorithm is too slow in order to be used in commercial applications failing to solve the Blockchain Trillemma because the Cryptographic Primitives does everything and every nodes executes all the necessary computations that are needed for every transaction. On the other hand, with the use of the NMC innovative technology, the Cryptography Primitives split the computational responsibilities among the operational nodes of the decentralised NILLION network fulfilling the Scalability requirement of the Blockchain Trillemma!

Dr. Miguel de Vega explains how the NMC technology aims to solve the Scalability problem of the Blockchain Trillema (Personal Photo)

Unfortunately or fortunately, the presentation of the project was so ecstatic and I was so deeply concentrated to understand the technology throughout Dr. Miguel de Vega’s slides that I didn’t take any more photos of them. After a discussion with one of the members of the team, he assured me that the video with the presentation will be available in the future and I aim to add it later.

According to Dr. Miguel de Vega, the NILLION Project actually aims to compete with companies that today store secure and verify personal data like 1password, last-pass, and DocuSign as they are using encyption technology that are doomed one day in the future to be compromised. Future use cases for the NILLION Project will be also targeted at cryptocurrency users for the encryption of multiseed wallets, businesses, governments and consumers in relevant B2C, B2B and B2G business models.

After the initial presentation from Dr. Miguel de Vega, there was a QA Panel Session of the NILLION Founding Team and members of the Cambridge University Technology & Enterprise Club. Still, the founding team was eager to accept some questions from the audience. Main question subjects involved the tokenomics of the project, the challenges of users verification and security, the NILLION node hosting capabilities and reputation program. My personal challenging question to the founding team was what is the main motivation of a crypto-entrepreneur like the NILLION Founding Team to uncover his/her/they identity in contrast with Satoshi Nakamoto’s choice to remain anonymous.

QA Panel Session of the NILLION Presentation comprised by the NILLION Project Founding Team (on the right) and member of the CUTEC (on the left) (Personal Photo)

After few moments of surprise and silence about my question, Dr Miguel de Vega decided to answer me that his main motivation to uncover his identity was mainly because he is proud of his personal work, efforts and international patents that he authored and define the NILLION project and also for regulation reasons that oblige the registration of the founding team of any business or organization publicly under the current jurisdiction.

I can certainly understand that Dr. Miguel de Vega’s answer can be considered fair enough, adequate and possibly common sense on the today’s world governed by corporate laws and jurisdiction of sovereign states, and I certainly had no reason again to nullify his personal scientific work and research. However, to be honest this is a very deep subject and needs further analysis. Since 2013, when I first started to explore the crypto world, I have been tremendously intrigued from the fact that Satoshi Nakamoto decided to remain anonymous whereas today taken into consideration the current Bitcoin value and popularity, he/she/they could have been a billionaire and it is considered the most famous entity of the world. Personally, I believe that Satoshi Nakamoto achievement is the development of a technology outside the system to fight the system. I believe that, he/she/they developed the bitcoin by gathering and assembling together existing technologies for ZERO financial return so far, therefore, I was really curious on the opinion of a REAL crypto researcher and crypto entrepreneur on this subject. Nevertheless, it is well said that if you want to demolish an old and wrecked house or entity you need first of all get out of it and start tearing it down from outside. Therefore, I am 100% confident that Satoshi Nakamoto has started a similar process for the existing corrupted centralised financial system by developing a technology outside and independent of it and not within it and certainly for non-profitable reasons.

Image Source: Satoshi Nakamoto’s subtle message on the Genesis block was taken from “The Times” 3/1/2009 front page.

In the end of the event, there was a historical photo of all the participants in the event including people from the audience, members of the Cambridge University Technology & Enterprise Club, members of the Bitcoin Cambridge community and the NILLION Project founding and support team.

There isn’t yet a lot of information available on the web about the NILLION Project as the publication of its white paper is set to take place on December 2021. Yet, for anyone who is interested on the project and receive future information about its deployment or events, there is a website where visitors are encouraged to subscribe in order to receive project’s newsletter.

Image Source: NILLION Project official website

NILLION Project available web sources

Official Website [https://www.nillion.com]

Official Twitter [https://twitter.com/nillionnetwork]

Official Linkedin [https://www.linkedin.com/company/nillion/]

Official Instagram [https://www.instagram.com/nillionnetwork/]

***Disclaimer: All information found on this article is for informational purposes only. I do not provide any personal investment advice so please make your own research before proceeding to any investment/trading action.***

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Resources

  1. https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewmasanto/
  2. https://twitter.com/nillionnetwork
  3. https://cryptobriefing.com/bitcoin-birthday-satoshi-hidden-message-explained/
  4. https://cutec.substack.com/p/nillion-introduction-to-an-unhackable
  5. https://www.unic.ac.cy/blockchain/msc-digital-currency/
  6. https://www.cutec.io/about
  7. https://twitter.com/CUTEC
  8. https://www.linkedin.com/in/migueldevega/
  9. https://www.nillion.com/
  10. https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewmasanto/
  11. https://cryptobriefing.com/bitcoin-birthday-satoshi-hidden-message-explained/
  12. https://www.unic.ac.cy/blockchain/msc-digital-currency/

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