Zero Knowledge

Where we talk about zero knowledge research and the decentralised web

About the show

Zero Knowledge is a podcast which goes deep into the tech that will power the emerging decentralised web and the community building this. The podcast is made for fellow developers and people looking to educate themselves on the inner workings of the space.

We are non-speculative and focus on the tech.

Zero Knowledge is hosted by Anna Rose and Fredrik Harrysson. Our views do not come from nor represent our companies.

Follow us at @fredhrson & @AnnaRRose

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  • Episode 142: Hasu & Georgios on Bitcoin Security & Elastic Block Size proposals

    August 12th, 2020  |  1 hr 1 min
    bitcoin, blockchain, eip1559, elastic block size, ethereum, poker, research

    In this episode, Anna and Georgios chat with Hasu, an independent crypto researcher focused on economics and security, about elastic block size proposals in both Bitcoin and Ethereum.

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

    August 5th, 2020  |  1 hr 2 mins
    3 body problem, blockchain, blockchain game, ethereum, learning group, privacy, technology, video game, zero knowledge, zksnarks

    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!)

    July 29th, 2020  |  1 hr 14 mins
    blockchain, crypto, crypto finance, cryptoeconomics, decentralised finance, defi, proof-of-stake, stalking rewards, validators

    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

    July 22nd, 2020  |  56 mins 30 secs
    blockchain, crypto, cryptography, findora, privacy tech, supersonic, zero knowledge, zkps

    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

    July 15th, 2020  |  58 mins 6 secs
    blockchain, defi, dex, ethereum, finance, snarks, starks, starkware, trading, zkrollup

    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

    July 8th, 2020  |  29 mins 2 secs
    blockchain, learning group, powers of tau, privacy, snarks, technology, trusted setup, zero knowledge

    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 136: Math competitions, crypto as alchemy & Gasper with Yan Zhang

    July 1st, 2020  |  57 mins 13 secs
    academic paper, blockchain, cryptography, ethereum, ethereum foundation, math competition, math education

    This week, Anna and guest host Tarun Chitra chat with Yan Zhang, professor at SJSU, about math competitions, math education, how crypto is like alchemy and the Gasper paper - work Yan and his students collaborated on with the Ethereum Foundation.

  • Episode 135: Look into Solana

    June 24th, 2020  |  59 mins 25 secs
    blockchain, blockchain scaling, eth2.0, layer 1, scaling, sharding, solana, vdfs

    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

    June 17th, 2020  |  58 mins 21 secs
    bitcoin, blockchain, blockchain bridges, btc bridges, crypto, cryptocurrency, ethereum, tbtc

    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

    June 10th, 2020  |  1 hr 14 mins
    aztec protocol, ethereum, power of tau, semaphore, snark, tornado cash, trusted setup, zcash, zksnark

    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

    June 3rd, 2020  |  55 mins 11 secs
    blockchain development, decentralisation, dns, handshake protocol,, light client

    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)

    May 27th, 2020  |  59 mins 11 secs
    blockchain, decentralisation, nyu, proof of necessary work, proof of stake, proof of work, snarks

    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

    May 20th, 2020  |  1 hr 5 mins
    blockchain, decentralised ecosystem, governance, proof-of-stake, tezos, zero knowledge proofs

    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

    May 13th, 2020  |  58 mins 16 secs
    decentralised technology, decentralised web, developer community, ipfs, libp2p, netflix, protocol labs, ux

    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.

  • Episode 128: DP-3T & Contact Tracing with Kenny Paterson from ETH Zurich

    May 6th, 2020  |  1 hr 1 min
    contract tracing, covid-19 privacy, cryptography, dp-3t, europe technology, privacy tech

    In this week's episode, Anna catches up with Kenny Paterson, Professor of Computer Science and Lead of Applied Cryptography Group at ETH Zurich. The goal of the episode is to take a deeper look at DP-3T and privacy preserving contact tracing research in Europe generally. They cover his work at ETH Zurich, discuss how the DP-3T project came to be, look at risks facing contact tracing protocols generally, and discuss why putting privacy and decentralisation at the heart of these types of protocol is so important.

  • Episode 127: Consensus Algorithms & HotStuff with Ittai Abraham

    April 29th, 2020  |  1 hr 2 mins
    blockchain, consensus, consensus protocols, cryptography, hotstuff, libra, proof of stake, vmware

    In this week's episode, we go deep on Consensus Algorithms and HotStuff with Ittai Abraham from VMware Research. We chat about the evolution of consensus algorithms, BFT, and how these early ideas have become the backbone of blockchain tech. We cover PBFT, Tendermint and Ittai's research into SBFT, HotStuff, and the improvements he has been working on since HotStuffs incorporation into Facebook's Libra protocol.