As both NuCypher’s core team and community have grown, we’ve found that our mission and values have become increasingly important guideposts for the decisions we make as an organization. To ensure alignment within our core team and our broader community, we’ve decided it’s time for us to formalize that mission and the values by which we operate. Planting our flag as an organization helps us determine what to work on and why, recruit people who believe in our cause, and foster a community of which we’re proud to be a part.
Historically, the right to privacy has largely been denied to the individual by the powerful.
Privacy has been a privilege limited to a small, select group with disproportionate wealth, influence, and power. For most of history, privacy was a function of one’s wealth and social status. Later, it became a function of one’s formal education. And, more recently, despite us finally having the technology necessary to deliver privacy at scale, we’ve been hoodwinked into a Faustian bargain — sacrificing our privacy for convenience.
Mass corporate and government surveillance mine our social connections, monopolize our attention, and monetize our entire identities — manipulating them for profit and power. We know very little about these surveillers, but they know everything about us. The costs are externalized to society with damaging repercussions that are becoming increasingly apparent.
Our Vision & Mission
We envision a society in which every individual can assert their right to privacy. One which is fundamentally more free, robust, and equitable.
We believe that unconditional privacy is a fundamental human right, and NuCypher was founded to empower individuals to assert that right in the digital age.
We build the tools and infrastructure to protect this right by combining new advances in cryptography with decentralization.
- #Buidl responsibly: Our users trust us to safely and securely implement the tools that protect their most sensitive and private information. This is a serious responsibility, one that isn’t amenable to the Silicon Valley approach of “move fast and break things.” It requires diligent, thoughtful engineering and restrained accuracy in our marketing and communications. We apply these principles through engineering rigor in our work, the resources we commit to third-party security audits, and the patient approach we’ve taken towards a potential sale and distribution of our token. Compendiaria res improbitas virtusque tarda (the dishonest take the short road, the principled the longer one).
- Collaborate with humility: While everyone at NuCypher is individually talented, we believe collaboration yields superior outcomes than siloed efforts. But collaboration requires frank discussion and feedback that can only happen in safe environments where disagreements are confronted and discussed in a straightforward way and without ego to reach consensus. Sometimes consensus isn’t possible, and we have to make decisions with which everyone may not agree. But once a decision is made, we’re humble enough to accept it, and we commit to making it successful.
- Embrace our differences: Privacy empowers the individual to align themselves with the causes and beliefs that resonate with them. The particulars of those causes and beliefs are unique to each of us. But to build tools that adequately address the needs of us all, we must include a diversity of perspectives in our decision-making and design decisions. A diversity of life experience, race, gender, creed, and political orientations are necessary for us to build genuinely impactful things.
- Strive for organizational transparency: We advocate for individual privacy. But we also believe in transparency for those in positions of power. We strive to share as much as possible with our community and nearly all of our development discussions happen in public. While there are certain things, like legal discussions or internal operations, that we aren’t able to share publicly, we embrace a radical form of transparency towards each other and our community.
- Work on crazy, awesome tech: Let’s be honest — we get to work at the cutting edge of distributed systems, cryptography, and economics every day, in the fastest-paced industry on earth, with customers building equally crazy, awesome products — it doesn’t get any better than that.
We can’t do this alone. Our community is strong and growing. If you share our vision for the future, we’d love for you to join us: