Episode 168: Flashbots with Phil Daian and Stephane Gosselin

In this week’s episode, Anna and James Prestwich chat with Phil Daian and Stephane Gosselin from the Flashbots project. Flashbots is a research and development organization formed to mitigate the negative externalities and existential risks posed by miner-extractable value (MEV) to smart-contract blockchains

They talk about the Flashbots organization and mission as well as the evolving opportunities and dangers lurking in the mempool.

Miner extractable value (MEV) is a measure devised to study consensus security by modeling the profit a miner (or validator, sequencer, or other privileged protocol actor) can make through their ability to arbitrarily include, exclude, or re-order transactions from the blocks they produce.

Here are some links to previous episodes, the project & MEV:


In case you missed the announcement – zkSessions: DeFi+Privacy has been postponed until Feb 22. Grab your free spot here -> https://hopin.com/events/zksessions-defi-and-privacy


Thank you to this week’s sponsor Optimism PBC.

Optimism PBC is a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) building the Optimistic Ethereum Network and the Optimistic Virtual Machine to keep Ethereum half-full.

They are calling all curious hackers and seasoned engineers to Come work on the cutting edge of the most interesting problems to push the limits of blockchains, VMs and compilers. No blockchain experience required!

You'll work alongside global teams that are defining completely novel businesses and games that need our software to scale. If you're a developer who loves to see your code getting used by innovators around the world, then Optimism is your gateway to paradise.

Please reach out to join@optimism.io if you're interested in becoming part of this compassionate, hard-working team! People of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.


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Previous Episodes

Episode 236: Aztec Connect and Private DeFi with Charlie and Joe

In this week’s episode, Anna checks in with Aztec, a ZK-based privacy L2 project. She speaks with Joe Andrews and Lead Engineer, Charles Julian. They discuss some of the team’s most important ZK research and implementations such as Plonk and how bringing privacy to Ethereum could truly change the way we do DeFi. They also discuss Aztec Connect and how it relates to zk.money, the Aztec roadmap with future projects like DSL Noir and Aztec 3, as well as a quick postmortem on the halted Aztec Connect launch.

Episode 235: Mathematical Journeys & Sake with Guillermo Angeris

In this week’s episode we return back to DevConnect in Amsterdam for a conversation between Anna and returning guest Guillermo Angeris of Bain Capital Crypto for a couple of shots of sake and math! They cover Guillermo’s personal journey into math, math history in general, consider how to bring more people into the space and the potential opportunities and downsides of bringing some kinds of math mainstream.

Episode 234: zkEVM with Scroll’s Ye Zhang and Haichen Shen

In this week’s episode, Anna and Tarun chat with Ye Zhang and Haichen Shen, the founders of Scroll – a native zkEVM Layer 2 Solution for Ethereum. They cover Scroll’s founding, the need to scale Ethereum, zkEVM philosophies, use cases and more. They wrap up with an exploration of how DApps and products on top of such as zkEVM may interact with the mainchain and with other applications.

Episode 233: Through the Wormhole with Jump Crypto

In this week’s episode, Anna chats with Rahul Magani, the applied zk lead at Jump Crypto, and Hendrik Hofstadt, project lead at Wormhole Crypto. They look at how Wormhole first came to be, the challenges of interoperability, the design decisions they made in balancing security, speed and functionality, the risks facing these types of solutions, including the famous Wormhole hack, what the future holds and how they aim to explore using zk in bridging.

Episode 232: Cutting Edge ZK Research with Mary Maller

In this week’s episode, Anna and co-host Kobi Gurkan chat with Mary Maller, a ZK Researcher at the Ethereum Foundation. They cover Mary’s journey into cryptography, her work on trusted setups, universal SNARKs, Plookup tables, the work she and Kobi did on aggregatable DKGs, her work at the EF and more.

Episode 231: Argent’s Smart Contract Wallet Design with Julien Niset

In this week’s episode, Anna chats with Julien Niset, co-founder of Argent, about crypto wallets. They explore the history of wallet design, the interfaces we use for the decentralized web, the importance of account abstraction, smart contract wallets and Argent’s bet on ZK rollups.

Episode 230: Designing Optimistic Interoperability with Nomad

In this week’s episode, Anna catches up with Anna Caroll and James Prestwich from Nomad. Together they explore the Nomad optimistic interoperability solution, how it first was developed, what lessons it takes from previous attempts at interoperability and cross-chain bridging, how the system works and more.

Episode 229: Going Cross-Chain with Polkadot’s XCM

In this week’s episode, Anna dives back into the Polkadot world with friend and occasional co-host Rob Habermeier from Parity. They cover XCM – the Cross-Consensus Messaging format – and how XCM allows parachains to speak to one another, passing messages through the validators on the relay chain via XCMP Cross-Chain Message Passing.

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