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 202: Stateless Ethereum & Verkle Tries with Dankrad Feist

This week, Anna speaks with Dankrad Feist, a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation. They talk about the future of the ETH client infrastructure, the Merge, Verkle Tries, and more. They also explore how concepts that originated in the ZK research space have made their way into the ETH client stack.

Episode 201: DeFi’s Multichain Future with Zaki Manian from Sommelier

This week, Anna catches up with Zaki Manian and his new project Sommelier. They explore how Sommelier aims to develop strategies to better serve the more complex emerging DeFi projects like Uniswap V3, and how this would allow the average user to benefit from these new powerful tools. They also discuss Zaki’s vision for multichain DeFi and how the space has evolved over the last few years.

Episode 200: SNARK Research & Pedagogy with Alessandro Chiesa

This week, in our 200th episode (!), Anna chats with Alessandro Chiesa, a professor working on cryptography, complexity and security. Anna and Ale dig into some of the recent SNARK research coming out of his lab and discuss how to navigate the challenges of teaching in a space that changes quickly.

Episode 199: Snapps on Mina with Emre and Izaak

In this week’s episode, Anna chats with Emre Tekişalp and Izaak Meckler about what’s new with Mina, O(1) Labs, the network launch and the anticipated release of Snapps to testnet later this year. We learn more about how Snapps – these SNARK-powered applications are the bridge between real world data that can be represented cryptographically – think https for the blockchain.

Episode 197: WalletConnect & the DApp/Wallet connection with Pedro Gomes

This week, Anna chats with Pedro Gomes, Founder of WalletConnect, about how wallets and DApps traditionally interact and the journey to WalletConnect and WalletConnect 2.0. Pedro shares the ideas behind the new WalletConnect 2.0 development and his thoughts on what role the project will play in a Multi-Chain future.

Episode 196: Mixnets, Activism and Privacy with Nym’s Harry Halpin

This week, Anna chats with Harry Halpin, CEO of the Nym project, about a variety of topics related to privacy, politics and the need to build censorship-resistant systems. Harry talks about his early involvement in cryptography and his changing perspectives on capitalism as a tool for good. He shares how Nym aims to protect blockchain transactions from network-based deanonymization attacks.

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