Is Enigma (ENG) A Good Investment? (Controversy Included) In-depth Analysis and Near to Longer-Term Expectations
Is Enigma (ENG) A Good Investment? (Controversy Included) In-depth Analysis and Near to Longer-Term Expectations

By CryptoBoomer | Investments | 30 Mar 2020


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Enigma or ENG is a cryptocurrency platform with the intention to solve privacy problems on the blockchain and especially smart contracts. It solves privacy by permitting access to data storage and privacy while at the same time it tries to optimize scalability. Unlike other Ethereum-based platforms, Enigma intends to extend Ethereum Smart Contracts by utilizing what they call “secret contracts.”

So, how promising is this Enigma? And is it worth it to invest in their native crypto token called ENG? Let’s find out together with this article!

Enigma - Summary

As mentioned above, Enigma has the intention to solve privacy problems in the era of the smart contract. It tries to do so by having a new concept that they call a “secret contract.” This secret contract would run off the chain, and it would sort all kinds of data into different pieces. The same secret contract would encrypt those pieces and redistribute them among different Enigma nodes.

Enigma works by using the concept that is called “multi-party computation” or MPC. With MPC, the encryption is distributed into several different networks, and it is guaranteed of the secure storage of access. The Enigma nodes cannot access the complete set of data - this is very important to prioritize privacy and security. 

Enigma also utilizes a technology called distributed hash-table or DHT that allows different data to be saved off-chain. The hash-table will store information and references to the data and not the data itself.

DHT, combined with MPC, mix to make sure the complete data privacy on the network itself, by keeping the decentralization of data and off-chain.

Analyzing Enigma Team

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the main faces of Enigma team - image source

Of course, when it comes to crypto investment, one of the more important things to do is to analyze the core team behind the same project. Why? Because when you invest in a token, you believe in its future. And who can help you to realize that same future if not the core team of the same project?

So, what about Enigma? Well, fortunately, the core team does not shy away from public attention. Let’s start with the Chief Executive Officer. He’s Guy Zyskind, who is also one of the co-founders of the project. He’s been with the team since the very beginning since June 2016.

Previously, Guy used to work with MIT Media Lab from July 2014 to June 2016 as a Research Assistant. He was also the Instructor at MIT for four months (from September 2015 to December 2015). Interestingly, Guy was also the Chief Technology Officer at Athena Wisdom from 2012 to 2014.

Next, we have Can Kisagun, who is the second co-founder in the team and serves as the CPO in the company. Previously, he was the co-founder and the CEO of Eximchain. It is claimed that Eximchain built international trade credit social score for medium and small-sized exporters.

Previously, Can was the Product Manager Intern at DataXu, a programmatic marketing software that tried to analyze the impact of a beta campaign for a new product and pricing assessment. The same DataXu also conducted market research for new product development decisions based on market appetite.

And then, we also have Victor Grau Serrat, who acts as the Director of Engineering at Enigma. Besides his time as Director of Engineering at Enigma, he’s also the Technical Lead at UNICEF since January 2020. Previously, Victor was the Founding Partner at Colorful Ventures, from August 2016 to April 2017. Besides that, he was also the Co-Director, D-Lab at MIT for more than seven years and eight months.

After Victor, there’s also Tor Bair, who acts as the Head of Growth and Marketing at Enigma. Besides his time with Enigma, Tor is also the Advisor at Proof of Stake Alliance as well as Advisor at Numerai. He also holds the same Advisor position at OpenFinance Network. Previously, he was the Data Scientist at Snap, Inc. 

Next, there is Moria Abadi, who serves as the Team Lead of Enigma. Previously, Moria was the Research Staff Member at IBM Research for more than three years and three months. She was also the Senior Software Engineer at IBM Rational Rhapsody in Rehovot Area, Israel. Moria also had some experience with Elbit Systems as a Software Engineer.

After Moria, we also have Nir Zyskind, who acts as the Director of Business Development at Enigma. Previously, Nir was the Sales and Account Manager at IVC Research Center for four years and seven months. He was also the co-founder and CEO at Tamkix, a company that manages business development and relations. Before his time with Tamkix, Nir was the Online Content Editor at Dr. Talisman Clinic.

Next in the list, there’s Ainsley S, who is specialized in Product & Partnership at Enigma. She was previously the co-founder of MediateVR, collaborative AI tools inside VR and AR environments. Interestingly, Ainsley used to work with Buzzfeed as the Open Lab Research Fellow in 2015 to 2016.

There’s also Frederic Fortier, who lists himself as a Senior Blockchain Engineer at Enigma. He has been working with the Enigma team for two years and eight months ago. Previously, Frederic was the Senior Software Engineer at enChoice, Inc, as well as the Senior Software Architect at Lighthouse Computer Services. Based on his experience, it looks like Frederic has been working for a very long time in the software industry.

There are also other names on the team, but the list will be too long if I mention them all. I believe the names above already represent the strength of the team. Personally, I feel the team is doing quite well. There are some individuals who used to work in big companies. I must say this is a plus point for the Enigma team.

Controversies

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Even though the project itself is decent and has plenty of promising features, the fact that it got hit by SEC for its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) was big damage to its reputation. Basically, Enigma raised about $45 million in its ICO back in 2017. The problem is that the native token that got sold on the ICO process (ENG) was not registered as securities.

This problem forced Enigma to pay a $500,000 fine, forced to pay a refund to “harmed investors,” and they were also forced to register the token as securities. This problem had damaged Enigma’s reputation before they even got famous. Yes, there are many crypto traders who don’t even know the existence of Enigma, and the first time they read about it was this story with the SEC. It definitely damaged their first impression in the eyes of many crypto traders.

Even many loyal supporters started to criticize them after this mess. The core team of Enigma itself started to ignore many vocal voices in the community ever since. It does not look good for Enigma at this point. 

The biggest criticism came right after Enigma chose to have its own chain called the Enigma Chain (which is based on Cosmos). These same loyal supporters criticized Enigma team for not being transparent with the major decisions. 

Some of these ex-supporters insisted they had no problem with Enigma’s decision to migrate to Cosmos but their issue is that Enigma team was not transparent with a lot of things.

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This message is the representation of anger from Enigma's ex-supporters

The fall of ENG price compared to other altcoins could be blamed to these controversies and lack of transparency and how the team handled the whole process and reactions.

Partnerships

In terms of partnerships, Enigma has been doing a decent job. They don’t have many partners in their list, but their partners are kind of a big deal.

One of the bigger partners is Intel. Basically, Enigma would use Intel’s Software Guard Extensions or SGX to create its secret contracts. This specific partnership was highlighted in Enigma’s keynote at Cyber Week 2018 in Israel. 

Enigma and Intel teamed up to research advanced development of privacy-preserving computation technologies. It was claimed that Enigma utilized Intel SGX technology to safeguard data and code through the usage of enclaves.

Next, there’s also a partnership between Enigma and Chainlink, where both of them agreed to integrate their protocols to bridge the emergence of new use cases on Enigma’s secret smart contracts. Both entities also explore more long-term opportunities, shall they arise in the future.

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Chainlink-Enigma partnership was a huge boost to Enigma's popularity

Potential Roadblocks

Enigma is a promising decent project that tries to solve privacy problems in the blockchain and smart contracts. However, most people already have their own “prejudices” about what projects can solve privacy problems in the crypto space. Monero, ZCash, Dash, or Grin are usually tightly linked with “privacy features” in the blockchain sphere. 

And even though they are trying to solve different problems, unfortunately, people will always talk about them when they talk about “privacy”, whatever the specific point is.

It will take enormous efforts for Enigma to change people’s mindsets. Not to mention that the SEC controversy severely damaged their first impression in the eyes of many crypto traders that did not know about Enigma in the first place. That would take a lot of time and branding efforts, obviously.

The competition for Enigma does not come from its own specific niche but from the ignorance and reputation problem that it has. To turn it around, having a good tech alone won’t cut it. They need good PR and branding strategies from now on.

External Factor And ENG Price

Of course, as usual, when it comes to altcoin price, you also need to pay attention to one significant external factor. That external factor is Bitcoin price action. Yes, whether you like it or not, Bitcoin's price action affects the trend of altcoins. That means altcoins tend to go up when BTC goes up, and they tend to go down when BTC goes down. 

It looks like ENG won’t be an exception. Its price action will follow the Bitcoin trend, just like most altcoins in the long term. 

So, what is going to happen with Bitcoin this year and the next? Well, nobody knows for sure. After the recent huge dump a few weeks ago, Bitcoin has slowly recovered, and it might continue to do so, after the global economic crisis that comes after the coronavirus global pandemic.

However, some other analysts also predict that Bitcoin might actually fall lower than $5,000, due to the demand from crypto traders to hold more cash than BTC. Either way, it’s interesting to see where BTC will go next in the global economic uncertainties. If you decide to invest in ENG, make sure to pay attention to BTC price action.

Social Stats

Unlike most other altcoins that started with ICOs back in 2017 or 2018, Enigma did not have any active Telegram channel. On the contrary, it has only an announcement channel. The community discussion is only official on Discord. And judging by its Discord activities, they don’t have many active or loyal community members.

Conclusion

Enigma is a decent project, and its secret smart contract solution is very interesting to see. It has a very specific and laser-focused approach in its vision, but it lacks PR and branding efforts to turn their situation around after the SEC $500,000 fine.

I believe ENG is not a very bad altcoin to invest, but there are better altcoins out there with a better reputation and better token liquidity on the exchanges.

The team probably should have handled things differently with the ICO controversy and vocal criticisms in the community. As of now, things don’t look that good for Enigma and they might continue to fall further compared to other more promising altcoin projects.

What do you guys think about ENG? Let me know in the comment section below. Also, kindly check my other recently published articles here:

Is SiaCoin A Good Investment?

Is Power Ledger A Good Investment?

Is WaykiChain A Good Investment?


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