Sean Bowe on SNARKs, Trusted Setups & Elliptic Curve Cryptography

Episode 76 · May 8th, 2019 · 1 hr 31 mins

About this Episode

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:

Questions from the audience:

We also mention some of our previous ZK centric episodes that can be found here:

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 for help securing your product.

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