Episode 177: Unwrapping Optimism with Ben and Mark

This week, Anna and James chat with Ben Jones and Mark Tyneway from Optimism, the builders of Optimistic Ethereum.

The interview continues the series of L2-focused episodes we have been airing on the Zero Knowledge Podcast and comes just as Optimism gears up for launch. Anna, James, Ben and Mark discuss the inner workings of their Optimistic Rollup, diving deep into concepts like data availability, the fraud proof, the role of the sequencer and the rollup’s complex relationship with layer-one. Ben and Mark then lay out their vision for rollup-centric Ethereum and how rollup interoperability is the next major focus area for the ecosystem.

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Thanks to this week’s sponsor, Least Authority.

In addition to their security reviews of innovative projects such as Loopring, Mina, and Filecoin, this May, Least Authority will be releasing a whitepaper on ZKAPs – Zero-Knowledge Access Passes. ZKAPs is an anonymous, token-based authorization protocol that facilitates an online exchange of value while disconnecting the necessary payment data from the day-to-day usage service data of customers.

Also coming this summer is the MoonMath Manual – a beginner’s guide to zk-SNARKS, which introduces the theory and application of zk-SNARKs from various angles.

Signup for Least Authority's newsletter to stay in touch and be notified of the release of the ZKAPs Whitepaper, PrivateStorage, the MoonMath Manual, continuous security audit reports, job openings and more. Visit https://leastauthority.com/newsletter to join their mailing list.


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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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