Episode 169: Arkworks SNARK libraries with Pratyush Mishra

In this week’s episode, Anna and Robert Habermeier chat with Pratyush Mishra, co-author of the Arkworks toolkit. Arkworks is a collection of Rust libraries designed to simplify development with SNARKs, both for developing high-level application circuits and building custom SNARK implementations.

Pratyush lays out what possibilities and trade-offs Arkworks offers, diving into the details of the Rust implementation and why it is the best language for developing cryptographic primitives. Anna, Rob and Pratyush then branch out into the philosophical and practical questions of open-source and blockchain development.

Here are a few links to Arkworks and the topics they discussed:

Arkworks GitHub page and Telegram group.

Pratyush’s GitHub, Twitter and Berkeley pages.

Bellman and Libsnark, some of the other libraries that are similar to Arkworks.

The Celo and Mina protocols, two major projects using Arkworks.

Here is a basic explainer of what projects like Arkworks are trying to do and why it’s useful, with a particular focus on ZoKrates, one of the languages Pratyush mentioned.

Intros to Circom, Leo and Zinc, some of the higher level languages.

An earlier episode with Robert Habermeier about the work he does on Polkadot.


Be sure to subscribe to the zkMesh Newsletter – a monthly rundown of the latest in decentralised privacy-preserving technologies, privacy protocol development and zero knowledge systems research. Put together by Anna & Mikerah (HashCloak).


Thank you to this week’s sponsor Least Authority.

Least Authority is a security consulting and product development company known for pushing the limits on how to build privacy-respecting solutions. They are a team of security researchers, open source developers, privacy advocates and cryptographers. They have developed an end-to-end encrypted cloud storage product that minimizes the collection of any data related to its users, called PrivateStorage.

PrivateStorage implements privacy and security by design, not by policy.

PrivateStorage is based on Tahoe-LAFS an open source distributed file store

PrivateStorage is launching in the second half of this year. Visit PrivateStorage.io to learn more and to sign up to be notified about its release.


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Previous Episodes

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.

Episode 228: Catch-up at DevConnect AMS with Tarun, Guillermo and Brendan

In this week’s episode, Anna catches up with Tarun, Guillermo and Brendan at DevConnect Amsterdam to cover a range of interesting and random topics like how blockchain and AI thinking differs, where it could intersect and how ZK tech could be implemented, how science could benefit from more adversarial testing, why peer review is broken, math theory, takeaways from DevConnect and more!

Episode 227: Move & Sui with Sam Blackshear from Mysten Labs

In this week’s episode, [Anna](https://twitter.com/annarrose) chats with [Sam Blackshear](https://twitter.com/b1ackd0g), co-founder and CTO at Mysten Labs. Sam has a background in programming language research and is one of the authors of the Move language, a language that can be used to implement custom transactions and smart contracts. They chat about Mysten’s concept of programmable objects and what properties are necessary to make this functional for a blockchain context. They also cover Sui, a smart contracts platform which is a generalized L1 with a new asset centric data model for parallel transaction commits being developed by Mysten.

Episode 226: Interoperability with Sergey Gorbunov from Axelar

This week, Anna catches up with Sergey Gorbunov from Axelar and revisits the topic of bridges. They chat about what led Sergey to work on interoperability, the problems these solutions try to solve, how it compares to existing solutions, and what’s next for the project. They also chat about some of the challenges of a multi bridge landscape and the fragmentation of liquidity.

Episode 225: Dark Forest and 0xPARC with Gubsheep

This week, Anna catches up with Gubsheep from 0xPARC. They chat about Dark Forest – a decentralized zk-based RTS game, built on Ethereum. They cover how it has evolved in the past 2 years and what’s upcoming in the Dark Forest’s community, governance and experiments. They recap the recent Gitcoin GR13 ZK Tech side round, review some moonshot ideas for ZK projects of the future and discuss potential avenues of funding in the ZK space. Lastly, they dive deeper into the 0xPARC ecosystem by exploring the public goods and research projects 0xPARC has in the works from their support of application level R&D on decentralized systems to experimental applications of ZK for end-user facing apps.

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