What Is Secret Network (SCRT) in Crypto?

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Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are well-known for enabling secure transactions with a layer of transparency that’s lacking in centralized currency systems. 

However, since those transactions can be viewed by anyone, that transparency can be a double-edged sword. One key issue with blockchain is that not all data is meant to be shared publicly. For example, most people don’t want to share their financial information.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at how Secret Network aims to give users the best of both worlds: the powerful security of blockchain technology, plus transparency options that enable you to keep your data completely private. 

What Is Secret Network?

Image source: scrt.network

Secret Network is a blockchain platform that enables encrypted smart contracts and ensures complete data privacy. It improves on traditional smart contracts by encrypting inputs and outputs at a protocol level. Secret Network ensures privacy for any sensitive information collected and stored in decentralized apps (DApps).

Since blockchain transactions are publicly viewable, privacy in the blockchain space isn’t guaranteed. Even if the address initiating a transaction is anonymous, it’s still possible to analyze that transaction and tie its information to specific entities. There are already reports of government agencies creating cryptocurrency tracing tools that utilize this premise — and that’s a problem in a world where digital security and data privacy are hot topics. 

Blockchain technology, decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, platforms and tokens are poised to disrupt numerous industries which handle sensitive data in ways that were never before possible. In fact, DeFi is set to completely change the financial landscape by enabling digital payments without the blessing of a centralized authority. 

Smart contracts play a big role in the success of DeFi. These are basically self-executing pieces of code that are managed on a blockchain and can be used to build DApps. However, they are typically public by default. This means all the data used and collected by DApps on a public blockchain is exposed to the public. That’s a big issue for DApps that handle sensitive user data. 

Secret Network’s solution is encryption from the ground up. Tor Bair, the founder of Secret Foundation, calls it “programmable privacy,” and it goes beyond the transactional privacy offered by privacy-centric coins like Monero. It relies on a network of computers called “secret nodes” to securely perform the computation of smart contracts built on the platform. The nodes use a so-called trusted execution environment (TEE) to enable secure, private computation. TEE technology is already used to securely process data on numerous platforms, including smartphones and video game consoles, thereby maintaining data privacy by default. It’s how smartphones handle sensitive biometric data — such as your fingerprints.

Here’s how secret contracts make Secret Network work

Secret Network’s smart contracts are called “secret contracts” because they’re designed to preserve encryption and data privacy by default. Written in the Rust programming language, secret contracts allow DApps to use encrypted data without ever exposing it — even to the secret nodes that perform the computation required to power the applications. Users have complete control over what is shared, and with whom. They have the option to create “viewing keys” that give third parties the ability to view their sensitive data.

Think of it this way: if privacy-centric coins like Zcash, Dash and Monero are private alternatives to Bitcoin, Secret Network’s secret contracts are a privacy-centric evolution of Ethereum’s smart contracts. They add a layer of privacy and security to sensitive data while still maintaining transparency. This unique functionality protects users – keeping private data, private.

What Is Secret Network Used for?

The Secret Network ecosystem. Image source: scrt.network

The combination of secret contracts and TEE allows for unique use cases that aren’t possible on other blockchains. The Secret Foundation has already proposed a wide range of potential use cases for Secret Network, such as secret DeFi apps, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), crypto auctions, exchanges, games, and more. Here are two meaningful use cases. 

SCRT

Secret Token (SCRT) is the native coin of Secret Network. It is similar to Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH) and other privacy coins in that the recipient, balance and transaction amount can be encrypted. The programmable privacy provided by Secret Network ensures anonymity and confidentiality. SCRT holders must create a viewing key if they wish to reveal their balance to third parties. 

In addition to functioning as a currency, SCRT is also used to pay for fees required to use apps on Secret Network and for on-chain governance. Users must “stake” SCRT tokens to become secret nodes and help secure the network. The tokens are also required to participate in the governance of the network and to vote on proposals that decide its future.

As of November 2021, SCRT has a circulating supply of 150 million tokens. For a nascent coin, it has an impressive market cap of almost $1.4 billion.

Sienna

Sienna (SIENNA) is another token that exists on Secret Network. It’s the native coin of the Sienna platform, which is a DeFi exchange and protocol that enables private trading, lending and borrowing with low transaction fees. SIENNA tokens can be used as a store of value, and for voting on proposals on the future of the Sienna platform. 

Sienna also has an ERC20 version, wrapped SIENNA (wSIENNA), which exists on Ethereum and is compatible with the Ethereum bridge on Secret Network. Users have the option to lock up their SIENNA tokens on the bridge and mint wSIENNA, which makes it easier for them to spend their tokens in Ethereum’s ecosystem. If you want your SIENNA back, simply send the wSIENNA back to the bridge, and Secret Network will release the tokens back to you.

The total supply of SIENNA tokens is capped at 10 million. It’s a fairly new coin, released in September 2021. Its market cap managed to reach $42 million by November 2021.

How Does This Affect Investors?

Image source: scrt.network

Blockchain technology has many potential applications in a number of industries, including finance, healthcare, machine learning, and more. However, without privacy, none of these potential use cases can really take off, especially in finance — and that’s where Secret Network comes in. 

Secret Foundation’s goal is to bring privacy to every blockchain, using off-chain bridges that can transfer assets between different networks. In December 2020, Secret Network announced the launch of the Secret Ethereum Bridge, which allows the transfer of assets between Ethereum and Secret Network. There are also plans to release many more bridges in the future. 

The project is making a big push in DeFi. It launched SecretSwap, a decentralized exchange, in February 2021. SecretSwap is an automated market maker (AMM) for SCRT and all tokens native on the network (like SIENNA). Tokens bought on the exchange can be transferred privately to other DApps on the network, or sent over bridges to other blockchain networks. 

The project’s biggest goal right now is global adoption. It has created incentives to attract developers who will build applications using secret contracts, and showcase the network’s potential as a privacy-centric blockchain. 

There are already several well-known organizations that have shown interest and invested in Secret Network, including BlockTower Capital, Arrington XRP Capital, Spartan Group, Skynet Trading, and more. 

The Bottom Line: Secure, Private Data for Users

Secret Network has considerable potential as the world slowly gravitates toward more privacy-centric services. It may not be the first blockchain project to offer private smart contracts, but thanks to the simplicity of its TEE solution, it’s in a great position to capture the market and achieve global adoption. 

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