Episode 176: Zk-zk-rollup & zk.money with Zac and Joe from Aztec

In this week’s episode, Anna chats with Zac Williamson and Joe Andrews, respectively CTO and Head of Product at Aztec.

The episode is centered on Aztec’s latest release, zk.money, the “zk-zk-rollup” that targets privacy and scalability at the same time. zk.money allows users to shield their Ethereum-based assets while achieving a higher transaction count, a result that took months of research and development of the TurboPLONK. Zac and Joe explain how it works down to the nitty-gritty of elliptic curve arithmetic, logic gates, hashes and circuits.

The conversation then shifts to topics like WebAssembly (and its limitations), Ethereum, UltraPLONK, Noir & more.

Here are some links for this episode:


Are you a passionate crypto and zk enthusiast? Think you’ve got the skills to contribute in the blockchain space? Then make sure to check out the ZK Jobs Fair on April 22.

This will be the first virtual job fair hosted by us, where leading builders in the zk community will join to connect with talented individuals who are looking to contribute to the cutting edge work on zero knowledge applications.

Check out the ZK Jobs Fair application form, if you are interested in partecipating to the event.


Thanks to this episode’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).

Aave recently deployed a new market on Polygon’s sidechain to let users pay much lower gas fees. Assets can be transferred from Ethereum with the Polygon Bridge and put to use on Aave’s Polygon markets.

Learn more about it here.

So thanks again, Aave!


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Previous Episodes

Episode 312: ZKP2P with Brian & Richard

In this week’s episode, Anna and Tarun interview Brian Weickmann & Richard Liang from the ZKP2P project. They cover the opportunities and challenges of building ZK applications with the current tools available, as well as revisit the topic of ZK Email and explore how this lies at the heart of the current version of ZKP2P. They also discuss the goals of ZKP2P, what’s happening under the hood, the types of experiments and initiatives the project is running, how a user can already use the existing product and the opportunities systems like ZKP2P open up.

Episode 311: The Launch of Celestia and Beyond

In this week’s episode, Anna and Guillermo chat with Yaz Khoury and Ismail Khoffi from Celestia. They share how the team prepared for the launch of the Celestia mainnet and what has been happening at Celestia since. They revisit the topic of DA (Data Availability) and explore how rollups and dApp developers can already use the Celestia DA layer. The group discusses Blobstream, which brings the benefits of Celestia to Ethereum and helps to scale the network, as well as community building, the modular thesis and much more.

Episode 310: Algorithmic Game Theory & PoS Tokenomics with Noam Nisan

In this week’s episode, Anna and Tarun chat with Noam Nisan, Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Principle Researcher at StarkWare Industries and one of the pioneers in the field of Algorithmic Game Theory. They cover his extensive research and academic background, starting with his work on complexity theory as well as Algorithmic Game Theory and his current work on blockchains and Tokenomics at StarkWare.

They discuss his recent blog post; Simple Tokenomics for a Proof-of-Stake Utility Token, comparing the measurable Tokenomic outcomes of different live PoS systems and explore how Noam aimed to better communicate best practices for those designing these systems, plus much more.

Bonus: ZK Job Fair tomorrow!

Quick note about our upcoming ZK Job Fair – happening tomorrow Feb 6th at 7pm UTC, right after the finale of the online ZK Hack IV event. This is a great chance to meet with hiring teams, and if you are looking to jump into ZK professionally, you won’t wanna miss it!

Episode 309: ZK Jargon Decoder with Nico Mohnblatt

In this week’s episode, Anna and Nico Mohnblatt from Geometry Research host a ZK Jargon Decoder episode. Based on Nico’s ZK Jargon Decoder Website, they discuss some of the confusing terms and concepts commonly used by the ZK community. The session aims to be digestible for those still in the early stages of their ZK learning journey, but it does take a dive into the depths of detail every now and again!

Episode 308: Avail’s Approach to DA with Prabal Banerjee

In this week’s episode, Anna catches up with Prabal Banerjee, co-founder of Avail. They deep dive into Prabal’s career, starting with his work in academia, his move to Polygon and to his spinning out the Avail project. They discuss how the project was built, tech decisions and the motivations behind them as well as their use of KZG, validity proofs and their position within the Ethereum and wider blockchain ecosystem. They go on to revisit Data Availability and the interaction with different parts of the modular blockchain stack, comparing Avail to competing systems and cover edge-cases and their impact in a DA-secured stack.

Episode 307: The Evolution of Aleo with Howard Wu & Alex Pruden

This week, Anna caught up on all things Aleo with Howard Wu co-founder of the Aleo Network & Alex Pruden executive director of the Aleo Foundation. Howard was last on the show back in 2020 when Aleo was in its infancy, so the group dive into how the project has evolved over the last 4 years, covering lessons learned along the way as well as technical decisions, detours, breakthroughs and reflecting on initial goals as they built out the system.

Episode 306: Predictions: ZK in 2024

In this week’s episode, Anna and cohosts Guillermo, Kobi, Nico and Tarun share their predictions, hopes (and worries) for ZK in 2024. They cover emerging ideas in ZK, research predictions, dream applications, the best case for ZK in 2024, the worst case for ZK, possible ‘Black Swans’ and more.

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