Building a Confidential Future for Ethereum

Today marks an important milestone in our mission to bring confidentiality to Ethereum through the first Layer 2 powered by the holy grail of cryptography: fully homomorphic encryption (FHE).

We’re excited to announce we’ve raised a total of $15M in Series A funding led by Hack VC, Amber Group, Collider, Primitive Ventures, GSR, Stake Capital, and others. In addition, we’re proud to release the initial version of the Fhenix testnet, dubbed Helium, enabling anyone to deploy their confidential smart contracts to the network using FHE to encrypt all or part of their application.

Why are we building Fhenix?

Ethereum has made huge strides over the last decade, with some of the most recent and significant advancements including the move to proof of stake and the maturation of Layer 2s as an effective scaling solution. But a glaring obstacle still remains for the world’s largest smart contract platform: it has no confidentiality. 

Ethereum is well on its way to becoming a network capable of scaling human coordination in the digital age, but its current lack of data encryption presents a serious impediment to its growth trajectory. The promise of Ethereum is one of a permissionless network which returns sovereignty to the people who use and maintain it–the next, upgraded iteration of the internet. In order to realize this vision it must possess a robust and flexible answer to the question of confidentiality, a fundamental building block of human orchestration. Ethereum cannot reach its next stage of maturity without the ability to securely safeguard confidential data in a scalable manner.

We’ve spent years in the cryptographic and blockchain space researching the ideal solution to this problem and we came out the other end with a strong conviction that FHE is the answer. 

The key differentiator that sets FHE apart from other privacy enhancing solutions is the ability to perform computation on encrypted data. This simple yet powerful distinction has huge implications. It means data, which has become ever more valuable in the digital age, need not be decrypted for processing, making it that much more secure.

For a long time production-scale use of FHE wasn’t feasible due to its high computational expense, but advancements in both FHE and computer hardware have created a new reality. FHE is ready for prime time, and Fhenix is here to lower the barrier to entry of this exciting new technology by providing an accessible, EVM-compatible network for application developers to build on.

Come and build

This is a call to all hackers, cypherpunks, crypto nerds, and would-be tech entrepreneurs. 

If crypto is the vanguard of cutting-edge software development, FHE is at the forefront of this technological revolution. This presents an unprecedented opportunity to build an entirely novel set of applications on Ethereum by virtue of the confidentiality that FHE enables. 

Being at the forefront is not for everyone. We are in the early stages of confidential smart contracts. Many dismissed the internet, mobile computing, and Bitcoin until their network effects were already too large to ignore.

If it were easy, everyone would do it.

Fhenix is for contrarians with conviction–optimistic, heterodox builders with novel, visionary ideas who stand out in a sea of derivative, copy-paste GitHub repos. A blue ocean of applications awaits those with the foresight and conviction to see this bigger picture.

We’re here to support you with the requisite infrastructure, documentation, and dev tooling to help you turn your dreams into reality. Fhenix is fully EVM-compatible and intentionally built to be as developer-friendly as possible. Solidity-based developers can immediately begin building with familiar tools like Hardhat, Remix, and more. The goal is to make getting started with Fhenix as easy as possible. 

We’ll also be offering generous grant and bounty programs to incentivize this new school of builders. The details of these programs are still being hashed out (pun intended), but you can apply for early access through the Fhenix docs.

In the meantime, fire up your development environments, because the first iteration of the Fhenix testnet is officially open and ready for deployment!

A lot of work has gone into this initial version of the Fhenix testnet and we expect to make even more improvements based on your feedback and ideas. We can’t wait to see what kind of interesting use cases you cook up in this new, confidentiality-enabled design space.

How to get involved

The Fhenix docs have everything you need to get started building.

For more background on Fhenix check out our website and read the whitepaper.

Don’t forget to provide feedback and participate in community discussions on Discord and follow @FhenixIO on Twitter/X.

We are thrilled to be taking these first steps towards a confidential future for Ethereum with you, and we can’t wait to build this exciting future together.

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