UMD CS Prof. Security and applied cryptography. Wrote the 1st papers on zk proofs and SNARKS for blockcahians. Founding scientist of Aleo, Bolt Labs, and Zcash.

Washington, DC
Joined April 2012
Reminder: if you had an end of the year 83b election, you have 30 days to mail it in. You should probably mail it in today. Not "tomorrow."
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Academics vs Cryptocurrency round n. @phildaian et al. (including myself): blockchains will have illicit vote buying because cryptography + trusted hardware circumvents the risks that make it impractical for real elections Blockchains: nah, vote buying is a "feature."
They failed right here in the premise. Yes there is illegal vote buying, but the vast majority is legal vote buying in the form of campaigning and marketing. Bribes are just marketing money spent as efficiently as possible.
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My zero-knowledge plan for launching an NFT: 1) buy a first addition of O'reilly: Getting started with SQL 2) fax the pages to ourselves, 3) burn the physical book. 4) Host the resulting NFT in an Oracle database.
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Me: worrying about imposter syndrome. NFT bros: lets pay $2.6 mil for a copy of Dune because owning a physical copy is the same as getting copyright.
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If you're trying to figure out which snark will win, don't. It's like arm vs. intel vs w/e 20 years ago. They all have different strengths and a bunch of marketing hype. It's unlikely there's one winner. These probably aren't even the final competitors; new ideas abound.
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Some SNARK approaches seem more centralized, requiring expensive servers or even special hardware. Kinda like the mantra x86 for servers, arm for mobile. But just like that mantra, maybe it isn't inherent. Initial business cases and target market have some momentum
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To me, VC backed snarks look like video game consoles battling about who has the best processor in the 90s/2000s. There's a lot of hype, fake demos, and occasional accuracy. And someone will be the PS2 cell processor of SNAKRS: Cool idea, but a dead end no one can program well.
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Comparing SNARKs is hard. Expecting comparisons when there's 100+ million and egos on the line is foolhardy. In the end built applications will make it clear. That said, halo, kimchi and plonky2 all make proving faster. And new snarks will be even better.
Replying to @izmeckler
Overall though I’d echo @gluk64 and say it’s very difficult to give fair comparisons of SNARK systems, and the discourse of benchmarks is not entirely useful or accurate mobile.twitter.com/gluk64/st…
Show this thread
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About the only thing you can say is "wow, this snark might let me do something I couldn't do before." Even that is hard because so many people don't give all the performance numbers. Even getting recursion time, verification time, and proof size for all these schemes is hard.
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Proving times are genuinely hard to compare b/c constraints in one scheme aren't the same as an other. You need to pick an application. I ask fo proving times for depth 32 merkle trees. But people invent SNARK specific hashes, so that varies too and the hashes sometimes insecure.
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Even my statement about halo,kimichi, and plonky2 making proving faster isn't totally accurate. In fact, they may be slower from some numbers I've hard. But recursion is faster for these styles of snark. So for that kinda of application, its major progress
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Ian Miers retweeted
and just like that, bitcoin is used by a terrorist
Volkov helped Navalny raise millions in Bitcoin over the past few years from people across the world when the campaign’s fiat accounts were compromised. Now Putin labels him a “terrorist”
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Schadenfreude-chain: watch people brag about buying an over hyped NFT and then sell at a loss to (almost) cover their lambo payment or margin calls.
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Zcash will add private custom tokens. These should allow stable coins and degenerate NFTs. It is, aside from ECCs amazing work for fast payments, the 1st major user facing change to Zcash since launch. And its a third party building it with ecosystem funds grants.zfnd.org/proposals/65…
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What do private tokens means for zec the currency?Caveat: I'm a cryptographer, not an economist, I do crypto not currency. 1) Eth and Solana do fine with tokens 2) Zcash will move to PoS. Increased Zcash usage = increased fee revenue for stakers. Staking uses zec. I'm not worried
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Lastly, a point that both @balajis and @VitalikButerin made well: Adding tokens to Zcash doesn't compete with zec's original value proposition. Tokens have increased tech risk. If you want sound money, use a blockchain's base token. If you want private sound money, use zec.
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Anyone looking for interns for rust crypto or zk work? Ideally a mixture of engineering + research. I have some extremely good graduate students who are looking.
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Steganography allows you to hide a message inside something innocuous. There're a number of fun/crazy schemes. I think this takes the cake though: the US tried to get submarines to communicate via pretending to be whales. Spent 20 years on it. thedrive.com/the-war-zone/87…
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Ian Miers retweeted
Replying to @MalwareTechBlog
I want to meet the influencers influencing these influencers. Topics like, "when to visit national park waterfalls to make it look like you own an island" or "how to make the most out of your helicopter tour budget"
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