Episode 170: Hardware for ZKPs & VDFs with Supranational

In this week’s episode, Anna and Tarun talk with Simon Peffers and Kelly Olson from Supranational, a startup focused on building specialised software and hardware for advanced cryptographic computation. Simon and Kelly talk about their recent work helping out the Ethereum Foundation with VDFs, as well as building a better SNARK algorithm for Protocol Labs’ Filecoin.

They cover how specialised chips can push the boundaries of computation in a post-Moore’s law world, how hardware specialised for zero knowledge is optimised, and the challenges of building ASIC chips today.

Here are a few links to set the stage about what they discussed:

Zero Knowledge episode 103, Exploring VDFs with Joseph Bonneau
Supranational’s website

Supranational’s Medium blog
Simon’s talk on hardware acceleration approach at SBC
The 20 year old puzzle by Ron Rivest, which the Supranational folks solved just a few days late.
Nvidia’s nerf of the RTX 3060 for Ethereum mining
How more specialized chips may be the solution to the end of Moore’s law


Thank you to this week’s sponsor, Aave.

Aave is an open source, decentralised non-custodial liquidity protocol on Ethereum.

With Aave, users can participate as depositors meaning they provide liquidity to earn a passive income. or they can also act as borrowers to borrow in an overcollateralized way or undercollateralized way (think: one-block liquidity Flash Loan).

A new feature is Credit Delegation, where users can delegate their credit to another person who can borrow against it

Aave has an ecosystem grants program for anyone building anything that contributes to the Aave ecosystem. Check out the Aave developers portal to learn more: https://docs.aave.com/portal/

To learn more Visit aave.com to learn more


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Previous Episodes

Episode 239: IST and Designing Stablecoins in Cosmos

In this week’s episode, Anna catches up with Zaki from Sommelier and Dean from Agoric. They check-in with the latest project news, recap about the UST collapse, and look into IST – Inter Stable Token – a project by the Agoric team that aims to become the Cosmos native multi collateral stablecoin.

Bonus: Apply to zkSummit 8

No full episode this week. Just a quick message to let you know about the upcoming zkSummit 8 – happening in Berlin Sept 15 2022.

Episode 238: Aurora and Near with Alex and Illia

In this week’s episode, Anna talks with Illia from Near and Alex from Aurora about the work they did that lead them to the Near ecosystem and what the connection is between the Aurora project and Near. They also cover what’s new at Near since the last time Illia and Anna spoke, Aurora+, the Rainbow Bridge, and future plans with Near’s sharding system.

Episode 237: Exploring ZK Research with Jens Groth

In this week’s episode, Anna and Kobi chat with guest Jens Groth, Director of Research at DFINITY and previously professor at Department of Computer Science, UCL. Jens Groth is a leading ZK researcher and is behind a number of advances in the field of ZK in the last few years such as the popular proving system Groth16. The conversation covers his earlier career, the cryptographic problems he tackled in his research, how he solved these, the results of this work as well as his move from research into industry and what he works on today.

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.

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