Episode 112: Dive into Plonk!

In this week’s episode, we learn more about Plonk with Ariel Gabizon and Zac Williamson from Aztec. PLONK is a recent highly efficient, universal SNARK construction. We explore what distinguishes Plonk from some other other new constructions including their focus on Lagrange-bases to deconstruct complex problem statements into simple polynomial identities.

This episode goes very deep and so we do recommend you check out a few of previous episodes to help you follow along! All mentioned can be found here along with the other deep zk-topic episodes: https://www.zeroknowledge.fm/zkseries

Here is Justin Drake Polynomial commitment schemes study club video, as well as videos from the zkSummit on Marlin and Supersonics

Ariel also mentions the [Bayer groth permutation argument](www0.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/J.Groth/MinimalShuffle.pdf) which influenced their work.


Thanks to this week's sponsor Nucypher!

On January 20th, NuCypher's incentivized testnet is launching on Coinlist. This incentivised testnet has the motto “Come and Stake It”!

If you are interested, be sure to pre-register now. Keep an eye on their blog for launch date, structure, and prize details. All winners will need to complete KYC/AML. Please go to [nucypher.com](nucypher.com) to sign up.

Thanks again Nucypher for sponsoring our show!


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Previous Episodes

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.

Bonus: ZK Hack Montreal!

There is no episode this week, but wanted to let you know about the upcoming ZK Hack Montreal event, happening Aug 9-11. Apply now to attend as a hacker and jump into zk

https://www.zkmontreal.com/

Episode 326: MPC & ZK in Ligero and Ligetron

In this week’s episode Anna and Kobi chat with Muthu Venkitasubramaniam and Carmit Hazay from Ligero. They discuss their work on MPC and ZK for the last 20 years and how the research has evolved. They then dive into a nuanced conversation on how MPC & ZK are interrelated. The discuss Ligero, what led to the project and the early phases, as well as the new Ligetron system and how they plan on getting this technology into the wild.

Episode 325: Web Proofs with Tracy from Pluto

In this week’s episode Anna chats with Tracy Livengood, co-founder of Pluto; an applied cryptography org building developer tools which add verifiable data from web data to an on-chain application, using ZK.

They discuss Tracy’s move from being an engineer in Web2, what prompted his move into the decentralized web and how he eventually found his way into the ZK space. He shares the concept of ‘Web Proofs’, and how Pluto can use some of the TLSNotary stack to bring private web data into on-chain applications, as well as a future tool set he hopes to develop with the project.

Episode 324: Discovering New Elliptic Curves with Antonio Sanso and Youssef El Housni

This week, Anna and Nico catch up with Antonio Sanso, Researcher at the Ethereum Foundation and Youssef El Housni, Engineer at ConsenSys and builder of Linea.

They discuss Antonio and Youssef’s new work, Families of prime-order endomorphism-equipped embedded curves on pairing-friendly curves, and dive into Elliptic Curve cryptography, Bandersnatch and Verkle Tries amongst much more, before dissecting what terms in the title of this paper truly mean. After getting into the weeds of cryptographic technicalities, the group explores where this work could be used and what it would enable.

Episode 323: The Role of Reth with Georgios

This week, Anna and Tarun catch up with Georgios Konstantopoulos, CTO of Paradigm and long-standing friend of the ZK Pod!

First they cover the work Georgios has been doing since he last appeared on the show, covering everything from updates on Foundry to the more recent work on Reth. They then dig into what makes it different, what inspires its design, where it is heading and the eventual end goals of the project. They also chat about the general client node landscape, from the ETH 2.0 research days to present day, before diving into discussing different clients from different teams, how this diversity can protect a chain and how each client can differ.

Episode 322: Definitions, Security and Sumcheck in ZK Systems with Justin Thaler

In this week’s episode, Anna and Guillermo catch up with Justin Thaler, Associate Professor at Georgetown and Research Partner at a16z.

The group dive into a handful of points from Justin’s ‘17 Misconceptions about SNARKs’ article, discussing if his views have changed since it was published back in 2023 and whether some points have become common knowledge since the article first rippled through the ZK community. They then dive into his new zkVM Jolt, which was initially described along with Lasso in 2023, but has now been implemented and is open to contributions from the community.

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