Episodes

Episode 144: Aleo with Howard Wu

In this episode, we invite Howard Wu back to the show to share more about his new project Aleo – a privacy-focused blockchain that enables fully private applications. We chat about why you need programming languages for SNARKs, what it is like to switch from VC/Academia to being a founder and the two important things missing in web services, high programmability and true user privacy. The project enables private applications with both data privacy and functional privacy – where the nature of the program running and all activity remains private. It is based on the ZEXE protocol and Proof-of-Succinct-Work.

Episode 143: Josh Cincinnati on Zcash, governance and leaving the Zcash Foundation

In this episode, we chat with Josh Cincinnati, the former executive director of Zcash Foundation. We cover Josh’s career before Zcash, his work at the foundation and the foundation’s trajectory. We also discuss his decision to leave the foundation, Zcash foundation’s philosophy of transparency, his hopes for the future of the Zcash community, his next steps and why he thinks people in crypto may wanna take themselves a bit less serious and remember to have some fun!

Episode 141: ZK & Games: Dark Forest with Brian Gu

In this week’s episode, we chat with Brian Gu, a student at MIT and creator of the Dark Forest game. We chat about education in the space, blockchain based games and how Dark Forest was inspired. We then dig into how this game creates an incomplete information game space by using zkSNARKs to create a “cryptographic fog of war” and more!

Episode 140: Staking derivatives & DeFi with Alex Evans (and Tarun!)

In this week’s episode, Anna and guest-host / frequent guest Tarun catch up with Alex Evans, researcher at Placeholder Capital. They dive into the latest in DeFi, a topic that we don’t cover too often, but is hard to ignore. Specifically they discuss the emergence of liquidity farming, the difference between the zero knowledge Research space and the DeFi space, some emerging concepts like AMM and staking derivatives, and cover a recent report Tarun and Alex published together on the impact of staking derivatives on the security of PoS systems.

Episode 139: Findora with Benedikt Bunz and Ben Fisch

This week, we catch up with Benedikt Bunz and Ben Fisch, PhD students at Stanford, once again. In this episode, we dive deeper into Findora, a project that was co-founded by Ben (who is also the CTO) and where Benedikt works as the Head of Research. We look at what the Findora project is, discuss the “selective disclosure” concept at the heart of their constructions, explore the balance between transparency and privacy and describe what problems Findora aims to solve.

Episode 138: Validium with DeversiFi & Starkware

In this episode, we will be exploring StarkWare + DeversiFi’s collaboration – a Layer 2 Stark powered exchange for Ethereum assets. Guests Tom Brand, product manager at Starkware, and Will Harborne, co-founder of DeversiFi, discuss the project, how it works under the hood, how this Validium solution differs from the layer 2 scaling solutions that have come before (including Plasma, Optimistic rollup and zkRollup) the tradeoffs between these solutions and give us a glimpse into what they have planned for the future.

Episode 137: Trusted Setup Bonus: Tornado Cash

In this week’s episode, Anna follows up on the trusted setup survey she did in her previous episode on the topic with this bonus interview with Tornado Cash. Tornado Cash’s trusted setup, held in May 2020, was the largest to date with over 1000 participants.

Episode 135: Look into Solana

This week, Anna and guest host Georgios Konstantopoulos chat with Anatoly Yakovenko from Solana network. They learn about this system and discuss the innovations that allow them to achieve high performance without sharding.

Episode 134: tBTC with Matt Luongo

In this episode, we chat with Matt Luongo, CEO of Thesis, founder of Keep, and project lead of tBTC. We cover the need for BTC to ETH bridges, what the challenges are in building bridges with BTC, tBTC and how it is setup, what went down with the initial tBTC release – an event the team now refers to as “release candidate 0”, and where we might be seeing tBTC go next.

Episode 133: Trusted Setup Ceremonies Explored

In this week’s episode, Anna explores the recent trusted setups for SNARK systems. She interviews Koh Wei Jie from the Ethereum Foundation, Thomas Walton-Pocock from Aztec Protocol, Brecht Devos from Loopring and Kobi Gurkan from the EF and cLabs. This episode covers the new generation of trusted setups and how these teams are learning from each other and at times, even sharing parts of the trusted set up itself.

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