Episode 171: Mapping the Polkadot Ecosystem

In this week’s episode, Anna goes on a grand tour of the Polkadot ecosystem ahead of the launch of Parachains. In this multi-interview episode, she explores the Polkadot ecosystem, how teams are interacting with the existing tech stacks, what they are looking forward to, and how these networks may evolve in the future once Parachains go live.

The first speaker is Fabian Gompf, VP at Parity, who explains what’s going on with parachain auctions, how Parity views its role in the Polkadot ecosystem, and how prospective builders can be rewarded. Then comes Derek Yoo from Moonbeam, who talks about the project’s ambitions and challenges as an “Ethereum on Polkadot” parachain. Next up is Ruitao Su from Acala, who describes his vision of Polkadot as a “United Nation.” Finally comes Lucas Vogelsang from Centrifuge, a very early Substrate adopter who has a unique view on what it means for a project to be a parachain.

Here are a few useful links:

Polkadot’s Parachain’s Explained
Episode 5 of Zero Knowledge where Fabi was first a guest on.
Gavin Wood on Zero Knowledge
Kusama, the chaotic canary network of Polkadot, on Zero Knowledge
Web3’s Alistair and Jeff on Zero Knowledge All about ZK proofs in the Polkadot ecosystem.
Common good parachains
Moonbeam’s site
Acala’s site
Acala’s Sovereign Wealth Fund concept.
Centrifuge’s site
Zero Knowledge episode on Centrifuge


This week’s intro features a mention of ZKValidator (ZKV) which is currently active on Cosmos, Near, Polkadot and Kusama and soon to be active on Mina.

The ZKV is unique in that it is a validator that aims to advocate for and encourage privacy & zk tech on emerging PoS networks. The ZKV connects the zk community with the network community by running private workshops & roundtables, putting together blog posts and reports as well as running dedicated public events focused on these issues.

Check out the recent NEAR privacy roundtable report, the Cosmos Privacy Showcase happening on March 26th and an upcoming Polkadot event in April/May. Email us events@zkvalidator.com if you are a privacy project building on these networks who wants to participate. Follow @zkvalidator on twitter to stay in the loop about all of our events.

And if you are a token holder, and want to support the effort, be sure to stake to us on! Info on how to do so on Polkadot can be found here: https://zkvalidator.com/polkadot/


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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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