Aztec sunsetting Aztec Connect
Aztec, the privacy-focused Ethereum zk-rollup has sunsetting their privacy infrastructure Aztec Connect, albeit the sequencer will still be operating until March 21st 2024 (users will have to run withdrawal software or rely on community-run sequencers to withdraw their fund after that).
The team has encouraged the community to fork, deploy, and operate a new version of the system and will give out their next batch of grants in April to support that.
Aztec's focus going forward will be on Noir - their language for zk development - as well as their Noir-centric encrypted zk-rollup.
Aleo releases deploy and execute functionality
Aleo - a private computation L1 - has released their deploy and execute functionality as part of their roadmap to mainnet.
Developers can now deploy Leo (their zk domain-specific language) programs to Aleo's program registry on Testnet 3. For more information about how to develop on Leo, please visit https://developer.aleo.org/getting_started/.
Succinct Labs releasing form to contribute to their trusted setup ceremony*
*: A trusted setup ceremony is a procedure that is done once to generate a piece of data that must then be used every time some cryptographic protocol is run. (Vitalik wrote a good blog post about it)
Succinct Labs - an interoperability project which utilizes zkSNARK to enable succinct proofs of consensus that powers trust-minimized bridge - has announced plan for their trusted setup ceremony and released a form for interested participators.
Due to their 2 large circuits, the ceremony will be relatively more hardware-intensive, in which estimated time to be ~5 hours on a Macbook Pro 2020 model.
Semaphore releases version 3.2.0
Semaphore - a zk-based private membership protocol on Ethereum - has released their 3.2.0 version. Including on this new version are new testnet network supports on Sepolia, Mumbai and Optimism Goerli, new package as well as new subgraph endpoint. The hash function for generating Semaphore identities from secret messages has also been updated with an extra layer for security.
zkPoEX and zk Autobattler won RiscZero's bounty at ETHDenver
There have been cool projects being built on the ETHDenver hackathon, with RISCZero giving their bounty to the following two projects: zkPoEX and zk-autobattler.
zkPoEX (zk Proof-of-Exploit) from anon dev @zkoranges and Merit Circles's Fede Rava allows white hat hackers to report live vulnerabilities in EVM smart contracts while maintaining the confidentiality of the exploit.
The project achieves that by allows one to generate a zk proof to prove that a transaction produces an undesirable change of state without revealing the details. SputnikVM is used in the demo as a sandbox EVM execution environment that runs inside RiscZero. (for some guidance of how to actually do this, one can refer to Odra's CTO Maciej Zieliński guide here https://odra.dev/blog/evm-at-risc0/).
zk-autobattler is an autobattler game that uses zk proof to prove that the games rules were faithfully executed during battle. The project was developed by Dhvani - a 1st year software engineering student at the University of Waterloo.
Taiko announces roadmap, aiming for early 2024 mainnet launch
Taiko - a relatively new zk-rollup in town - as announced their roadmap all the way to mainnet. Key milestones including Alpha-2 Testnet on March and full mainnet on early 2024.
Proposals submitted for NounsDAO's private voting research sprint
There has been fun little competition going on in NounsDAO's Private voting research sprint.
Aztec and Aragon has teamed up to propose a solution using storage proofs and timelapse encryption. The proposal including three phrases:
- Aztec's Noir language enables storage proof to be used to capture census from Nouns holders. The census proves Nouns ownership or delegation rights using on-chain data without revealing owner identities.
- Then large holders’ votes will be decomposed into individual ones. Each NFT will have a unique vote, with vote relayers submitting on behalf of owners with multiple Nouns in order to obfuscate their origin.
- The time-lapse service allow voters to encrypt their votes using the same public key generated at the onset of the proposal. Once the proposal voting is complete, the time-lapse service exposes the corresponding private key, allowing for the decryption of the tallied votes, not addresses.
Poseidon proposed a custom cryptographic scheme called DeFROST which utilises committee based threshold Homomorphic Encryption to encrypt the ballots. The initial Distributed Key Generation generates one shared public key and n secret keys, each was kept by each committee members.
The users use the shared public key for private voting and once the voting ends, it can decrypted using the accumulated secret key that can only revealed after t out of n committee members colluded to share their own secret keys.
There are more interesting proposals from Axiom, Mizu etc... which we hopefully can cover more at some point.
Clique launching Github Attestor on Optimism
Identity oracle project Clique - which allows to bring Web2 identities and behaviours to on-chain - has announced their latest attestor live on Optimism. Developers can now prove their experiences and competency through their Github credentials without revealing it.
For more information on how Clique works, the team has written a detailed blogpost at https://clique2046.substack.com/p/introducing-clique.
Violet announces 15 million funding round for their "compliant, registered, non-custodial dex"
Violet - a privacy-preserving on-chain compliance protocol - has announced a 15 millions funding round for what they called a first "compliant dex" Mauve with participation from Coinbase Ventures, Brevan Howard and others.
Mauve will be the first product that utlizies Violet's privacy-preserving compliance rail, which allows the non-custodial and composable nature of DeFi to be maintained whilst still having TradFi-level compliance guarantees.
Proof-of-solvency protocol Proven raised 15.8 millions in seed round led by Framework
Proven, a new zk startup led by renowned quant traders and system engineers, has announced a 15.8m seed round led by Framework.
With Proof-of-solvency, exchanges and other entities can show their assets and liabilities (proving the solvency) without publicly disclose their balance sheets or other sensitive data.
Proven has had already worked with entities such as Coinlist, Bitso, TrueUSD and M11 Credit, among others.
UC Berkeley hosting a 200k$ zk Hackathon after their zk MOOC
UC Berkeley has announced a hackathon focused on zero knowledge proofs, going from 1 March to 2 May. The hackathon is designed to have 4 tracks: zk-Applications, zkBridge, zkCircuits and zkBenchmarks.
For each dedicated task and each sponsored task, there will be 2 winners. Each winner will have a chance to get admission and potentially scholarships to the ZKP Summer Cluster at UC Berkeley Simons Institute, co-hosted by Simons Institute and Berkeley RDI.
Ingonyama announces open-source GPU library for accelerating zk proofs
Ingonyama, a zk acceleration hardware company, has open sourced ICICLE - their CUDA-based GPU library. Come along with the library is “Fast Danksharding”, their Rust implementation example of a Danksharding Builder.
They have also opened up their Discord server and welcome discussions from the community around GPU acceleration of ZKPs.
Scroll announces new funding round at 1.8 billion valuation
In-hot-demand zk-rollup project Scroll has announced a new funding round of 50 millions, with rumoured valuation at 1.8b. With this third funding round, Scroll expected to fund to use for product development, mainnet launch, expand the ecosystem, as well as scale up its team size from around 60 to nearly 100 in the near future,
Scroll launched its zkEVM on the Goerli testnet two weeks ago.
On-chain scavenger hunt project that utilized zkML appears on ETHDenver's Antalpha Hackerhouse
Ezkl from zkonduit is still on very early days (first community call happened this week) but there're already hackathon projects building on it. Hunter-z-hunter is one of those that caught attention during Antalpha's zkML-focused hackerhouse on ETHDenver.
Hunter-z-hunter is an on-chain scavenger hunt. Ezkl is used to convert a four-layer ML neural network to zk-SNARK circuit. When a user finds an item, they snap a photo to generate a zk proof and if it's verified successfully, the user gets the prize.
NPC-war zkML project appearing on ETHDenver's hackathon
Another cool zkML application utilizing EZKL being built during ETHDenver is NPC Wars. The theme of it is a war between different AI NPC with models being uploaded by developers.
ETH is staked to be able to upload a model, which incentivized crowdsourced training competitions. The model is then turned into zk-SNARK circuit by EZKL which is then used to verify who's the winning model, which gets the ETH rewards.