Episode 100: Dan Boneh on the past, present & future of cryptography

In this, our special 100th episode of the Zero Knowledge Podcast, we caught up with Dan Boneh, professor and researcher in applied cryptography and computer security at Stanford. In this far-reaching conversation, we talk about Dan's background in the field of cryptography, how the field has evolved over the years, his work on cryptography & blockchain education, where zero knowledge research and SNARKs in particular fits into the field, some exciting new research coming out of the Applied Cryptography Group at Stanford, what cryptographic and engineering problems he thinks we should be focused on solving, and more.

This episode covered a lot of ground and even though we went overtime, there is still so much more to talk about. We hope to have Dan back on the show sometime soon!

In the meantime, here are some resources that might help you explore some of the topics covered:


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Previous Episodes

Episode 214: Emin Gün Sirer on Avalanche and its Formation

This week Anna chats with Emin Gün Sirer – CEO Ava Labs and Founder of Avalanche. They chat about the experiences that led him to become interested in distributed systems research and his work as a professor at Cornell that led to the development of Avalanche. They then dig into their novel consensus mechanism which uses the sub-sampling technique, the architecture of the network with the 3 distinct components: X-Chain, C-Chain and P-Chain, bridges and more.

Episode 213: zk-SNARKs meets Optimistic Rollup with Zkopru

This week Anna chats with Wanseob an Applied ZKP Developer in the Privacy & Scaling Exploration Team at the Ethereum Foundation and one of the authors of the Zkopru protocol. They explore how Zkopru uses optimistic rollups and zero knowledge proofs to create a privacy-focused Layer 2. Wanseob walks us through the transaction process and how the protocol is built to circumvent high gas fees. We also hear a little about what’s to come in the Zkopru ecosystem from merchandising to private exchange of NFTs.

Episode 212: 2021 < 2022 with Co-hosts & Friends

This week, Anna checks in with co-hosts & friends, Tarun Chitra, James Prestwich, Josh Cincinnati and Guillermo Angeris, for a retrospective look at 2021 and a look forward to 2022. Enjoy this conversation full of blasphemous hot takes, bad 2022 predictions and dad jokes.

Bonus ZK Hack Wrap with Kobi!

While we decided not to release a full episode this week, Anna did get a chance to catch up with Kobi Gurkan, one of the co-organizers of ZK Hack and someone who was very missed in the last episode about the event!

Episode 211: It’s a wrap! ZK Hack Takeaways & What’s Next!

This week, Anna hosts a special 5-part interview with a roundup of perspectives from ZK Hack. First, she chats with puzzle hackers who share what it was like to solve these real-world cryptography bugs and learn complex concepts in real time. They discuss how they got started learning in this space and the resources and tools that helped them. Next, Anna speaks with the puzzle builders on the challenges of designing and building these novel zk puzzles. They discuss the state of the community and how the community could work together to create learning resources to enable its growth. Last but not least, there is a chat with part of the ZK Hack organizing team on what they thought of the event and what’s to come next!

Episode 210: The Road to STARKs and Miden with Bobbin Threadbare

This week, Anna chats with Bobbin Threadbare about his project Miden, a STARK-based roll-up which was recently purchased by Polygon. We recap the differences between STARKs and SNARKs and the increasingly blurred line between these two proving systems. We then map Bobbin’s journey to Miden VM (now Polygon Miden), how it originated from his earlier project Distaff VM and now incorporates the Winterfell prover from his days at Facebook.

Episode 209: Liquid Staking with Lido and Chorus One

This week Anna and Tarun chat with Vasiliy Shapovalov from Lido and Felix Lutsch of Chorus One about liquid staking on the ETH2 Proof of Stake consensus chain. Vasiliy explains Ethereum’s unique PoS validator setup and how liquid staking behaves on this network. They also talk about how liquid staking behaves on other live PoS, the inevitability of liquid staking and how to best design these systems. Lastly, they chat about navigating control and decision making in liquid staking protocols, touching on topics of decentralisation and governance.

Episode 208: Digging into Data Availability with Ismail Khoffi from Celestia

This week Anna chats with Ismail Khoffi from Celestia about how and why they’re focusing on building a data availability-first L1 blockchain. Ismail takes us through how data availability can be a problem, primarily with light clients and breaks down the components necessary to understanding the data availability problem such as state changes, the separation of consensus from execution and how Celestia aims to be a pluggable consensus layer.

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