Episode 182: The dive into ZK with Iron Fish’s Elena Nadolinski

This week Anna and James chat with Elena Nadolinski, founder of Iron Fish, about the new privacy network and what led her to this point.

Elena recounts her journey into crypto, starting from AirBnB and falling into the rabbit hole of Ethereum hackathons, Solidity, and NFTs, eventually leading her to exploration of zero knowledge proofs for honest computation. This deep dive into SNARKs and Sapling led to the creation of Beanstalk, later Iron Fish, which aims to be the shielded pool for all other blockchain assets.

Note: James is an investor in Iron Fish

Here are some links:


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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 has also 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 in the link to the blog here:


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Previous Episodes

Episode 247: Exploring Penumbra with Henry de Valence

In this week’s episode, Anna and Guillermo catch up with Henry de Valence from Penumbra. They discuss his thoughts on requirements for adoption of privacy systems and how these led to him to develop Penumbra. They explore how Penumbra aims to use privacy features not as ‘nice to haves’ within the system, but rather as essential components that offer a new paradigm for how to think about DeFi in a Multichain Ecosystem.

Episode 246: Adversarial Machine Learning Research with Florian Tramèr

This week, Anna and Tarun chat with Florian Tramèr, Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich. They discuss his earlier work on side channel attacks on privacy blockchains, as well as his academic focus on Machine Learning (ML) and adversarial research. They define some key ML terms, tease out some of the nuances of ML training and models, chat zkML and other privacy environments where ML can be trained, and look at why the security around ML will be important as these models become increasingly used in production.

Episode 245: Sanctions against Tornado Cash: a Legal Perspective

In this episode, Anna explores the topic of the recent OFAC sanctions against Tornado Cash with 2 interviews: One with TuongVy Le, Head of Regulatory and Policy at Bain Capital Crypto, who previously worked at the SEC and the other with Michael Mosier, General Council at Espresso Systems, who used to work at the Treasury within FinCen and at OFAC itself.

Episode 244: Journey to Blockchain with David Tse

In this episode, Anna and Guillermo chat with David Tse about his career and research spanning from early Networking, Mobile Networking, P2P, all the way up to his work on formalizing Blockchain systems.

Along the way, they touch on topics like David’s paper ‘The Price of Anarchy’, the Prism work, his work with the Ethereum Foundation and his new project Babylon.

Episode 243: Dive Back into MEV with Alex Stokes and Chris Hager

In this week’s episode, Anna and Tarun revisit the topic of MEV with Chris Hager from Flashbots & Alex Stokes from the EF. In this episode, they tease out more of the nuances around MEV, what the MEV space could look like after the Merge, the PBS (Proposer Builder Separation) concept, what each role in the MEV landscape will do and the MEV-Boost architecture. They also chat about using cryptographic solutions to prevent some kinds of MEV and some recent work that Tarun released on the topic of MEV, as well as future ideas around MEV aim to democratize or even share the searchers rewards.

Episode 242: Halo 2 with Daira Hopwood and Str4d

In this week’s episode, Anna explores Halo 2 with Daira Hopwood and Str4d, cryptographic engineers at Electric Coin Company. They explored what new ideas Halo introduced and how Halo 2 built on these ideas, adding optimisations such as adding Plonk-ish arithmetization to take what was a breakthrough to a production ready proving system.

Episode 241: Deconstructing Bridges with Vaibhav Chellani

In this week’s episode, Anna chats with Vaibhav Chellani, a bridge builder and the co-founder of Socket. They explore what makes up the components of a bridge, the types of bridges, and then look at their framework for analysing the security trade-offs of different bridge architectures. This is an important topic, since at present, there are more and more bridges coming online to connect all the different chains together. And with these come a number of new bugs, hacks and exploits. This episode gives us an overview on how to think about bridges.

Episode 240: Composable Privacy with Manta Network

In this week’s episode, Anna and Kobi chat with Shumo Chu, co-founder of Manta Network.They discuss the origin story of the project and how they aim to bring privacy to web3. They explore how the unique accessibility that Polkadot parachain enables, the work they do on building ZK tooling and libraries for the general ZK community. They then take a look at their plans for a multi-asset shielded pool and the future they have planned for Manta projects and more.

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