Trusted Setup Ceremonies Explored

Episode 133 · June 10th, 2020 · 1 hr 14 mins

About this Episode

In this week's episode, Anna explores the state of trusted setups with 4 of the people who have recently coordinated and run trusted setups for different 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 the teams working on these are learning from each other and at times, even sharing parts of the trusted set up itself.

As a primer, Trusted Setups are those events or ceremonies that one needs to perform to generate the parameters that can kick off SNARK based systems. It is an MPC - or multiparty computation - that involves a number of participants sequentially downloading software, running a computation that includes some randomness that they generate and re-uploading their result to be folded into the next participants computation. At the end of this process, there is a hidden parameter that is used to create the keys that are used to create proofs for private transactions, and to verify those proofs. These keys prove that a transaction is correct.

Here are some helpful links about all the various trusted setups we mention:

Zcash's Trusted Setups
https://www.zeroknowledge.fm/50 - Zooko speaks about the trusted set up at timecode 17:45
https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/articles/ceremony
https://z.cash/technology/paramgen/

EF's Perpetual Powers of Tau
https://github.com/weijiekoh/perpetualpowersoftau

Semaphore
Semaphore blog post
Semaphore Phase 2 Multi-Party Trusted Setup Participant Guide

MACI (upcoming)
https://github.com/appliedzkp/maci

Aztec Protocol
https://www.aztecprotocol.com/ignition/
https://ignition.aztecprotocol.com/

Loopring
https://loopring.org/#/post/loopring-starts-trusted-setup-multi-party-computation-ceremony

Tornado Cash
https://medium.com/@tornado.cash/the-biggest-trusted-setup-ceremony-in-the-world-3c6ab9c8fffa
https://ceremony.tornado.cash/

cLabs (upcoming)
https://github.com/celo-org/snark-setup


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