Episode 76: Sean Bowe on SNARKs, Trusted Setups & Elliptic Curve Cryptography

In this week’s episode, we welcome special guest Sean Bowe. Sean is an engineer at the Electric Coin Company and the author of the Sprout and Sapling Zcash trusted set ups and much of the underlying cryptography of the protocol. We had a chance to chat about his history, what got him into the topic, some of the joys & challenges to working with SNARKs, and what ideas are inspiring him.

We also covered the story of Zcash and the Powers of Tau trusted set up, MPCs, the story of the bug, SONICs, ZEXE, the BLS12-381 Elliptic Curve Construction

Early on in the episode, we mention the Radiolab episode about the zcash trusted setup: https://archive.org/details/radiolab_podcast17crypto_zcash_ceremony

Questions from the audience: https://twitter.com/AnnaRRose/status/1122818062061797376

We also mention some of our previous ZK centric episodes that can be found here: https://www.zeroknowledge.fm/zkseries


Special thanks to this week's sponsor: Trail of Bits

Trail of Bits is offering a service for young technology companies who could use expert security support, but aren't quite at a stage to hire their own team. The service includes staffing a #security channel to answer questions, review high risk PRs, and integrate the latest in continuous testing into your build pipeline. Visit www.trailofbits.com for help securing your product.


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Previous Episodes

Episode 239: IST and Designing Stablecoins in Cosmos

In this week’s episode, Anna catches up with Zaki from Sommelier and Dean from Agoric. They check-in with the latest project news, recap about the UST collapse, and look into IST – Inter Stable Token – a project by the Agoric team that aims to become the Cosmos native multi collateral stablecoin.

Bonus: Apply to zkSummit 8

No full episode this week. Just a quick message to let you know about the upcoming zkSummit 8 – happening in Berlin Sept 15 2022.

Episode 238: Aurora and Near with Alex and Illia

In this week’s episode, Anna talks with Illia from Near and Alex from Aurora about the work they did that lead them to the Near ecosystem and what the connection is between the Aurora project and Near. They also cover what’s new at Near since the last time Illia and Anna spoke, Aurora+, the Rainbow Bridge, and future plans with Near’s sharding system.

Episode 237: Exploring ZK Research with Jens Groth

In this week’s episode, Anna and Kobi chat with guest Jens Groth, Director of Research at DFINITY and previously professor at Department of Computer Science, UCL. Jens Groth is a leading ZK researcher and is behind a number of advances in the field of ZK in the last few years such as the popular proving system Groth16. The conversation covers his earlier career, the cryptographic problems he tackled in his research, how he solved these, the results of this work as well as his move from research into industry and what he works on today.

Episode 236: Aztec Connect and Private DeFi with Charlie and Joe

In this week’s episode, Anna checks in with Aztec, a ZK-based privacy L2 project. She speaks with Joe Andrews and Lead Engineer, Charles Julian. They discuss some of the team’s most important ZK research and implementations such as Plonk and how bringing privacy to Ethereum could truly change the way we do DeFi. They also discuss Aztec Connect and how it relates to zk.money, the Aztec roadmap with future projects like DSL Noir and Aztec 3, as well as a quick postmortem on the halted Aztec Connect launch.

Episode 235: Mathematical Journeys & Sake with Guillermo Angeris

In this week’s episode we return back to DevConnect in Amsterdam for a conversation between Anna and returning guest Guillermo Angeris of Bain Capital Crypto for a couple of shots of sake and math! They cover Guillermo’s personal journey into math, math history in general, consider how to bring more people into the space and the potential opportunities and downsides of bringing some kinds of math mainstream.

Episode 234: zkEVM with Scroll’s Ye Zhang and Haichen Shen

In this week’s episode, Anna and Tarun chat with Ye Zhang and Haichen Shen, the founders of Scroll – a native zkEVM Layer 2 Solution for Ethereum. They cover Scroll’s founding, the need to scale Ethereum, zkEVM philosophies, use cases and more. They wrap up with an exploration of how DApps and products on top of such as zkEVM may interact with the mainchain and with other applications.

Episode 233: Through the Wormhole with Jump Crypto

In this week’s episode, Anna chats with Rahul Magani, the applied zk lead at Jump Crypto, and Hendrik Hofstadt, project lead at Wormhole Crypto. They look at how Wormhole first came to be, the challenges of interoperability, the design decisions they made in balancing security, speed and functionality, the risks facing these types of solutions, including the famous Wormhole hack, what the future holds and how they aim to explore using zk in bridging.

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