Episodes

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.

Episode 132: Handshake Protocol with Mark Tyneway

In this episode, we chat with Mark Tyneway who is a contributor on the Handshake Protocol project – an experimental peer-to-peer root naming system. We learn about this decentralised, foundation-free project, the issues of DNS, how Handshake plans on fixing this, how it differs from ENS, their unique airdrop process, what an Urkel Trie is, and more.

Episode 131: Proof of Necessary Work with Akis Kattis (NYU)

In this week’s episode, Anna and guest host Tarun Chitra chat with Akis Kattis, a PhD student at NYU & the co-author of Proof of Necessary Work: Succinct State Verification with Fairness Guarantees – a paper he co-wrote with Joseph Bonneau. They discuss the challenge of Proof of Useful Work, the unique properties that SNARKs have, such as puzzle hardness, that allow for PoNW to overcome these challenges, PoS SNARK systems, elastic block construction, and more.

Episode 130: Exploring Tezos & their recent Sapling integration

In this week’s episode, Anna interviews three people from the Tezos community: Jacob Arluck (co-founders TQ ), Marc Beunardeau and Marco Stronati (both from Nomadic Lab). They chat about the Tezos origin story, the development of the PoS system, the governance of Tezos, and how they are incorporating zk proofs – and specifically Sapling from Zcash – into their system.

Episode 129: IPFS 0.5 with Molly Mackinlay from Protocol Labs

In this episode, we chat with Molly Mackinlay, Project Lead for the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) at Protocol Labs. We talk about her journey to Protocol Labs, as well as take a deeper view into IPFS, LibP2P, Bitswap, Testground, the use cases and projects working with these tools, and the specific upgrades they have made with the recent 0.5 IPFS release. We also chat about the path to decentralisation and the importance of building bridges to the Web2 world.

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