Episode 103: Exploring VDFs with Joseph Bonneau

In this week’s episode, we sit down with Joseph Bonneau, Assistant Professor at NYU and co-author on the Verifiable Delay Functions (VDFs) paper. We discuss VDFs, what they are, how they were developed and what they can be used for.

Here are a few links that we reference:

Blockchain 101: Randomness episode with Justin Drake
Verifiable Delay Functions by Dan Boneh, Joseph Bonneau, Benedikt Bünz, and Ben Fisch
Numbers Game
A Programmer Solved a 20-Year-Old, Forgotten Crypto Puzzle
Bitcoin Book

Thank you to this week's sponsor Trail of Bits

Trail of bit recently released a blog post that might be interesting for our listeners who are concerned about privacy. The post is about the concept of 'Safe browsing'. Safe browsing claims to protect users by providing them with something called k-anonymity.

Recent security news suggests that the k-anonymity has failed at protecting user privacy in certain circumstances. This is the topic that Trail of Bits explores in the blog post. Find out more about how k-anonymity works and why it is insufficient here: https://blog.trailofbits.com/2019/10/30/how-safe-browsing-fails-to-protect-user-privacy/

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Previous Episodes

Episode 333: Verifiable SQL, Reckle Trees and ZK Coprocessing with Lagrange Labs

In this week’s episode Anna chats with Ismael Hishon-Rezaizadeh, Founder and CEO at Lagrange Labs and Charalampos (Babis) Papamanthou, Head of Research at Lagrange and Co-Director of the Applied Cryptography Lab at Yale University.

They revisit the concepts of zk-powered coprocessors and dive into the work that Charalampos did previous to joining Lagrange on Verifiable SQL. They then explore how this is incorporated into the Lagrange coprocessor system, the work they are doing on Reckle Trees, future work and what all this enables for dApp developers. They discuss their new prover marketplace, the general state of infrastructure and how they are keen to bring more concepts from general computing into decentralized blockchain systems.

Episode 332: Brussels catch up with Hart from Across

In this week’s episode, Anna and Tarun sit down with Hart Lambur irl at EthCC week in Brussels. They start by exploring Hart’s project Across – a cross-chain interoperability solution and sister project to Uma. They explore Across’ construction, the tradeoff space and how this compares to other interop solutions. Then, in ZK Podcast tradition, the group shift gears with a few drinks and explore thoughtful observations on the week in Brussels.

Bonus: ZK Hack Montreal

This week’s ZK Podcast episode will be delayed to Thursday this week due to Brussels mania. In the meantime, we wanted to highlight the upcoming ZK Hack Montreal event, happening Aug 9-11 2024. This is the 4th IRL zk-focused hackathon produced by ZK Hack. Apply now to attend ZK Hack Montreal as a hacker and jump into zk.

Episode 331: Farcaster with Varun Srinivasan

In this week’s episode, Anna and Tarun meet with Varun Srinivasan, co-founder of Farcaster. They explore the Farcaster project, discussing the ideas that prompted its inception and what separates it from existing social media networks. The conversation explores the design space that Farcaster opens up for devs and the kinds of applications that can be built on top of it.

Episode 330: Frameworks for Programmable Privacy with Ying Tong and Bryan Gillespie

In this week’s episode, Anna and Guille chat with Ying Tong Lai and Bryan Gillespie about their latest research and works to date. They get to dive into Ying Tong’s work on Zcash, Geometry Research and Halo2 before exploring Bryan’s journey into ZK via Zcash and current work at Inversed Tech.

After catching up, they dive into the pair’s recent work ‘SoK: Programmable Privacy in Distributed Systems’, exploring the classifications and frameworks being introduced.

Episode 329: Building Cryptographic Proofs from Hash Functions with Alessandro Chiesa and Eylon Yogev

In this week’s episode Anna and Nico chat with Alessandro Chiesa, Associate Professor at EPFL and Eylon Yogev, Professor at Bar-Ilan University. They discuss their recent publication; Building Cryptographic Proofs from Hash Functions, which provides a comprehensive and rigorous treatment of cryptographic proofs and goes on to analyze notable constructions of SNARGs based on ideal hash functions.

Episode 328: ZK on Bitcoin with Alpen Labs

In this week’s episode, Anna and Tarun chat with Sims Gautam and Liam Eagen from Alpen Labs. They dive into the world of Bitcoin L2s and focus on how ZK can be used to incorporate strong connections between Bitcoin and new execution environments. The group then explores BitVM, covenants, the distinction between the Bridge Operators and sequencers in this model and how this differs from how these actors work in Eth L2s. They then dive into SNARKnado, including what is happening under the hood, the ways in which this system offers round-based fraud games mixed with ZK and which agent provides DA and more.

Episode 327: Proof Aggregation with Shumo and Yi from NEBRA

In this week’s episode Anna chats with Shumo and Yi from NEBRA. They discuss NEBRA UPA, their Universal Proof Aggregation product. They cover what it takes to incorporate proving systems into NEBRA UPA as well as the benefits that these systems will bring, how developers are meant to interact with them, and future integrations to enable seamless cross-zkRollup applications. They cover prover marketplaces, verification aggregation systems, and the design space that these systems open up.

Zk white


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