2019 Evan Shapiro Coinbase Talks with Coda

Archive Video: (2019) Coinbase Speaker Series: o(1) Labs CEO Evan Shapiro

Once upon a time Mina Protocol was called CODA. One of our awesome Community transcribed this video from a 2019 Coinbase Speaker Series. Evan Shapiro (now CEO of Mina Foundation) spoke to Justin Mart from the Corp. Dev / Ventures Team to explain the concept behind Coda (now Mina) and it’s aims to expand the level of decentralization available to a cryptocurrency and the applications it is capable of.

It’s interesting to see how far the project has moved on since this talk, but the core concepts and ideas still remain true.

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A TRANSCRIPT IN CHINESE AND ENGLISH TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM THE VIDEO. SOME MINOR ADJUSTMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE FOR CLARITY (eg, WE REMOVED THE WORD ‘LIKE’ A LOT ON THE ENGLISH VERSION).


Please note this is a transcript from the video, but due to being translated from Chinese there are possibly some inaccuracies in the exact text in some places. 

Justin :We have a speaker series today Evan Shapiro from (1) labs, this is the team that’s building up the coda protocol so we’re very excited to welcome Evan to the stage here coda is a coinbase ventures portfolio company and we’re gonna be talking to Evan about the inspiration behind coda what it is, how it works and the sort of innovative things that it’s bringing into this space.

By the way I’m Justin those of you don’t know me I work on a corporate development team and on the ventures team and very excited to chat with you today Evan. I thought we’d start actually just by introducing you more formally. so Evan has graduated from Carnegie, he has a Bachelor in science and computer science and he also obtained his research master’s degree while working in the personal robotics lab where he did some research on are ally cool robotics platform after that he also worked as a software engineer for Mozilla and about a year and a half maybe two years ago, he co-founded (1) labs as mentioned that’s responsible for building up the coda protocol and you received seed equity and funding around from some pretty impressive names in the space metastable Capital, Electric Capital, polychain, an angel list Naval Ravikant and also Coinbase ventures and so you are the CEO of O(1) labs and welcome thank you.

Evan: Yeah happy to be here
Justin: Awesome so I think I started I just want to get want to get to know you a little bit more so could you give me a little bit of your background , in your personal background and then how you got into cryptocurrency yeah for sure.

Evan: My background is in like computer science. I went to CMU and I did like computer science undergrad and after that as you mentioned I did a master’s at that point in robotics. We were doing a lot of work with basically motion planning so if you have a robot that has like an arm with lot of joints in it how do you move that around in a good way. So that was fun to do, after that I moved out here and at a similar time, one of my friends from high school, Izzy he is in Claire moved out here to do a PhD at Berkeley in typography and we just spent a lot of time just like thinking about and like working on projects together and one thing we really just started digging into was cryptocurrency.
This was early 2017 and we saw these new projects coming up on Ethereum etc and they were all awesome and they all had these great visions behind them and we were really excited to see what they could do, but we saw this kind of mismatch between where the hypo is and where the technology was at the time and we were thinking what could we build or what could we do that would kind of improve or what could we like build that would be you know a good addition to the space and that’s when we started thinking about basically our protocols and what they look like and what their constraints are and how they’re built and what could be possible if you remove some of limitations on them and it was really that summer that we started like just kind of building a protocol and so we did that for like four or five months before like going to raise funding. So, basically we just jumped straight into building a protocol.


Justin:they all you know it’s all some magical weird thing they don’t quite understand they get involved in it by looking at the prices finally get an asset and learn about it. for you it was the technology that that appealed to at first.


Evan: yeah we have been following like since Bitcoin like in high school actually in like 2011 or so and I don’t know I just always found the technology very fascinating that you could like do this algorithm that usually is like requires paxos. It’s very complicated with proof of work, with like crypto currency. It was awesome

Justin: Okay awesome,so let’s actually think about coda now so you did decide to build a layer 1 foundational blockchain as mentioned coinbase ventures is participated in your seed round. this is a really really cool technology and so I’d love to hear a little bit more about the inspiration for exactly you know why did you decide to build coda specifically and can you talk about what coda is totally.

Evan: so when we were looking at this problem of okay, what is a base layer protocol, what does it look like, what is it? what are the components of it? The thing that kept coming back was you have to verify the chain you have to download it and access it if you want to like be a first class member on the chain and we had both run full nodes and we knew like this this was something that is you know pretty significant with today’s technology because you have to download the whole chain and if you look at modern cryptocurrency state today they’re on the order of hundreds of gigabytes which it takes a few days to download and then you have to be online afterwards to like continue to download it and this is this kind of sucks if you want to run a cryptocurrency because there’s like this huge, like upfront cost and downloading it and it’s only going to get bigger as more transactions are added. so that was what kind of inspired us to really dig into this problem of block size which is where CODA is making an innovation.

Justin:let’s let’s actually see if we can crystallize this just a little bit what I find really fascinating again is this idea coda a succinct blockchain we’re actually compressing the size of it to a pretty significant degree. we’ll get into that in a moment how it all works.

But a real quick show of hands how many of you guys today run your own full node on any blockchain out there? We got one one brave soul, yeah okay so I think this highlights that all of us are interacting with these blockchains through some third party, we’re not native trustless participants in these blockchains and that is a bit of a problem when we think about how this is going to remain decentralized and how we’re gonna actually still create apps and projects built on top of these things if everybody has to use third party services.
This is the core I think team coda and what you’re trying to solve for.so I think this is a really technical topic by the way coda is doing some really groundbreaking things with zk-snarks in particular, and so I want us to go a little bit technical, I want us to talk about how it works, I want to make it accessible but let’s start with seeing if you can explain coda succinctly.


Evan: succinctly ok ok let’s try it so usually when you have a cryptocurrency and you want to use it you want to verify it you have to download all the blocks in the blockchain so this is a download you do and then you have all the data. So if there are more blocks being added but the blockchain the blockchain is longer and longer and longer.

So let’s think for a second about what a blockchain is for, what is it actually doing well, what it’s doing is providing me proof that some state of the world is like the real state of the world and the strongest state of the world, some database, some ledger, is the real ledger. So then we can ask why does that proof have to be, you know ‘n’ blocks long. Isn’t there some way to make it shorter somehow and the answer is yes the answer is you can use zero knowledge proof to create a very very small proof of the current state of the database. In fact a proof that’s both a constant size and ‘B’ only a few kilobytes and so once you have that you don’t need to hold around this whole Blockchain anymore. You just need to hold the current state of the database and this proof that the database is what you want it to be.

Justin: To be fair while every participant gets this very succinct proof of the blockchain somebody else has to have the entire history transactions,correct ?

Evan: So not not quite so they can optionally hold that and then you know it’s the same as any other blockchain they can look at the whole history if they want to. but to be a consensus node,all you have to do is hold on to the current state of the blockchain, which means you only have to hurt hold on to all the current account balances at whatever the current time is and if that changes you can throw away what the old data was.

Justin:It’s fair interesting so before we get actually into the really technical side of things this core tenant of creating a succinct blockchain. can you talk about what that’s enabling the current blockchains are struggling with and use-case.


这挺有趣的,你能谈谈目前区块链正在努力解决的问题和用例吗?
Evan: yes totally so I mean we just talked about one briefly which was like if you want to download a full node that takes like days now. when you have as a sync blockchain you can download a full node instantly. and there’s a lot of implications to what that means. One is that usually in cryptocurrency there’s like this tension between scaling of blockchain and the decentralization of a blockchain. if you look at like Bitcoin for example, they’ve kept their block size very low because they want to keep it maximally decentralized. The connection here is that if the block size was to be larger you’d be adding on to the blockchain more and more data and it would grow in size faster and faster. So you don’t want to make the block size too large with the traditional blockchain. but once your blockchain in constant size. you can make your block size as big as you want really as big as the network can handle. and because it just gets kind of folded into like this tiny little zero knowledge proof it doesn’t impact the decentralization of the chain, which is a big advantage you get, because you can have both throughput and decentralization.


Justin:So how exactly does a succinct blockchain achieve scale and throughput, can you walk to that process?

Evan: yeah so right so let’s think about what is throughput, throughput is just the number of transactions you’re adding to the blockchain per unit time, which is really the block size. because if you have a block size that’s you know every individual block every minute and you double the block size, you’ve doubled the throughput.


So usually that would be bad, because you’re increasing the rate at which the blockchain grows, which is bad for decentralization. but with Coda once you have a block, that has all these transactions in it and you turn that block into a new zero knowledge proof, you don’t need to keep the block anymore. you have the new zero knowledge proof of the new database so it means that you can make the block size is very large and your proof stays the same size.

Jsuton:So actually let’s let’s dive in a little bit so ZK-snarks is like magic watching technology. it’s like it’s literally like crypto magic, cryptography magic. so I’ve tried to understand ZK-snarks a few times. I do have a mathematical background this stuff is very hard to me, even as well because this is such a central part of the coda protocol.

I’m wondering if you take a moment and maybe explain exactly how is ZK-snarks work and how they function and actually how do they end up creating it a very succinct small blockchain.

Evan: sure let’s do it, so I guess there’s a few levels of which we could explain zero knowledge proof. let me start with something that’s like very slightly technical and I’ll bring it back to something that’s like an analogy that’s pretty understandable.

So if you imagine you want to run a computation, usually you have to and you want to know what the results of that computation, usually you have to run it yourself,you have to like you know tell your computer,ok I got these inputs, let’s see what the outputs are gonna be let’s see if it actually matches what we expect.

As you know, knowledge proof, let’s just do something a little different, which is that instead of running the program yourself somebody else can run the program, somebody randomly on the internet and give you a little proof and then you know that if you had run the program yourself. You would get the same result as the proof is telling you you would get.

So this is great, because with a blockchain, instead of having to run the computation of checking the whole blockchain, you can just check the little zero knowledge proof which stands in for that computation.

And if you want to take it away from technical things one way to kind of think about this is let’s say that like I had like you know a giant boulder and I wanted to prove to you that I knew that it existed. one thing I could do is to take you to see the giant boulder or haul the boulder around with me to like show you it.

But another thing I could do maybe is take a photo of at that Boulder and then I could show you the picture and because you can see it in the picture you believe it exists and this is kind of what a zero knowledge proof is it’s like a little proof that something actually exists and you don’t have to like look at the actual thing because the proof fully explains its existence.

Justin:so this is a real interesting idea essentially,we use these zero knowledge proof to essentially wrap the state of the blockchain in a very very small little piece of data it’s a recursive proof those how does the recursive element function in your blockchain?

Evan: Right so if you imagine that every time we added a new data to the blockchain, a new block we had to recompute this proof will be really bad, because when the block chains 10 long maybe that’s a proof that’s you know size 10 but when the blockchains at 10,000 long now your proof is huge,it’s 10,000.

So you need a way to be able to every time you update the blockchain to do a constant amount of work in doing that update and that’s where the recursion comes in.

We can take let’s see if we want to do an update to a blockchain, we take the existing blockchain so far the coda blockchain,it you know, 5000 blocks in.

and we look at the proof we had for that and we take that proof we compose it with a proof saying that the data we want to add to the proof is also correct. so now we have a proof that we had a block chain of length 5,000 that’s good. we have a new block that’s good to add to that.

Justin: So I don’t know if there’s actually a really simple way to explain this because it does have to be very technical because we’re dealing with ZK-snarks here。我

The way that I conceptualize this though is essentially we have this recursive proof on proof on proof on proof and so anytime somebody new needs to get on board into the coda ecosystem all they need to get is the current recursive proof that encodes within that proof in is zero knowledge way that there actually stands a blockchain behind it that’s linked together by all the other blocks and it encodes there and it encodes the miracle root of the transactions。

Such that there we know that there is a ledger somewhere and all of this is mathematically proven and verified.
Evan: yes and maybe one way to explain this actually would be on if you had like a photo a photo a photo of a photo or each photo is includes in the photo a photo of like the previous blockchain with like the thing you’re adding to it. so you have like it’s recursive like tunnel of photos. going all the way back to the Genesis.

Justin:right, we have tunnel, all the way down right the Genesis block it’s tunnel all the way down. so when we think about what this means with the end-user I mean we started this conversation a little but I asked you guys how many of you are running full nodes in any blockchain not a lot, because full node today and any other blockchain very hard to do you have to have the entire history, you have to have that history rolling forward every single state change as its applied each block. With coda, you just need one very small piece of data that contains within it a proof that there exists of blockchain standing behind it.

Evan: yeah so we talked a little bit about scalability but we talked about the impact for the end-user, it’s a little more than that because not only is this proof constant size it’s also just extremely extremely small it’s on the order of a few kilobytes so if you’re a user that has like you know using a web browser, using like a mobile phone, you can get the full blockchain on that device.

You know basically instantly which is great because if you’re like a user you don’t think about what third-party you’re going to trust anymore because you can just have your device directly connect to the blockchain, to the network and make sure it has like the strongest chain, and make sure has the real state of the data of the world and similarly.

if you’re a developer, you don’t have to think about building the infrastructure to connect your users (like application, their user devices )to the blockchain, because your users device can just do it on your applications behalf it can just connect to the blockchain by itself.

Justin: so what sort of applications do you envision coming out of this?
Evan: like the most thing the thing I’m most excited about before is just building something that like a developer or like someone who’s a builder or like an end-user can just like quickly access and quickly build something new for. and then in particular I’m really excited about one application just being taking like basically digital money store,Like you know digital value and like being able to embed that in applications and build new applications but they’re really easy. when I think about that one thing that I think I’m really excited to exists more of is like applications that involve coordinating large numbers of users like you can imagine like a website where like there’s like a lot of people going on the website.

Justin:it’s awesome so we did want to take this a little bit technical because that is I think core to coda protocol. I have a couple of questions about the implications behind building a succinct blockchain and using ZK snark, one of the questions that I have it’s a pretty common critique I think for projects that are using ZK snarks, I’ve heard this before really curse your thoughts on it but essentially it goes like this.ZK snarks are like really novel new cryptography magic and they’re relatively new on the scene and so it’s generally preferred to use cryptographic methods that are very well known in battle-tested because they’ve been around for a long time and you’re more confident that we know the boundaries of the system when you get to ZK-Snarks, they’re very new coupled with the fact that there’s only a few experts in the world that really know them front to back. so I’m just curious should we be concerned at all that at some point down the road somebody might be able to find a novel way to poke at it or break it. like how should we think about that risk.

Evan: as far as like cryptographic systems go snarks are like pretty well battle-tested, I think just because like they’re so novel and so powerful.

people are just kind of like whoa like what is this at first but like the all the cryptography and math behind it’s like super solid and they’ve actually been around for a while now it’s just only the last few years they’ve become efficient enough where you’ve been able to like um you know do like real computation in the real world used to just be super super slow.

so it’s really about the speed advancements which have made them come up to like public knowledge versus just being brand new or anything they’re been around and I’m excited from people think about it in the same way they think about like you know public key cryptography you’re hashing we’re like you don’t necessarily know all the details of why like hashing works but like you know it’s battle-tested and you believe it works I think snarks are the same way and I think it’ll like be more clear how that is soon .
Justin:yeah and so one also one of the the key innovations that you’re kind of battling through here is how do you make snarks computationally efficient and you mention that a little bit there that traditionally using any sort of ZK snark takes a lot of computational power and that has constraints and limits on really what you can do with the system and and what sort of people can operate within it so but how does this you know how are you speeding it up and how does it impact maybe the developer experience.

Evan: so the there’s there’s a few things going on here the biggest one is that when you make the decision of what cryptographic primitives to use in your protocol different. Cryptographic primitives like hash functions and public-key cryptography are more efficient inside of snarks than others, so if you look at like something like Bitcoin for example the hash scheme and signature scheme it uses would be less efficient inside of a snark but if you change the parameters on which lip to curves you’re using and which hash functions you’re using, you can find choices that are very efficient inside of snarks. and then you can make it work pretty well.

Justin:okay last technical question so if we do have to kind of constrain the the ways in which we’re using ZK snark so that they’re all efficient ? does this mean that people who are developing on coda building these apps do they have to use libraries or languages that also confirm to like the boundaries of this ZK snark system ? does that impact the middle?

Evan: so it seems like so far every everything you’d want to do in the normal world like has an alternative and ZK snarK in a zero knowledge proof that’s like you know just as good basically like if you want to do sha there’s an alternative that’s just as good inside of a zero knowledge proof.


so so not really if you think about like how you’re actually going to be coding zero knowledge proof there’s like kind of two ways to think about it. With coda up particularly one
is you can write like kind of raw zero knowledge proof code and um in this programming language we wrote snarky or the other one is we can write a snarky program which acts as a virtual machine for an assembly language that you then write which then gets compiled by a recursive snark but the assembly language you can compile to from any language you want.

Justin: just so so hopefully there are some ways we can we can make this much better yep got it yeah I won’t be like close just to like zero knowledge proof writing or anything it’ll be any it’ll be anything you want. that’s awesome okay ! so I think that’s as technicals I want to take it I want to zoom back out now the technical piece. It’s honestly like a
lot of its over my head to be honest to you when I read your white paper by the way it’s very Opaka so much math but you know it’s good to have. well it’s actually let’s kind of make a transition here and I want to talk about just you as a founder personally, you know what’s your five-year aspiration for CODA? what do you want to see happen over the next few years specifically and how’s that how’s that looking?

Evan: let’s let’s see so I five years is a lot want to see a lot happen in five years so on, it may be like in the next few years I want to see like basically people developing for and building things with cryptocurrency that a people like kind of a can get excited about and use and can have like a large user base behind it and it’s using crypto cryptography and kept CRYPTOCURRENCY like a novel way.

it’s not like recreating things from the old financial system it’s building something that’s like new and fun and exciting for people and after I think I’ve we’v started to see that happen and there’s been like growth amongst people what lready in decrypted currency or you know try new applications on the Internet I want to see that kind of transition into having an impact for people that like really use the financial transparency that a cryptocurrency provides , ike the current system is like you know pretty opaque and like it’s not been possible to just like kind of create a new thing and I’m really excited to see cryptocurrency and something like Oh to hopefully have an impact there as we can just kind of build like a new fair transparent systems.

Justin:Yes it’s interesting you’re mentioning financial transparency huge deal on the other hand I note that other protocols that are building on ZK snarks are all using it for privacy as a primitive in this case it’s not privacy it’s for creating a succinct blockchain。 do you have plans to make any element of Kota privacy preserving or privacy as maybe a first class citizen?

Evan:  Yeah I think privacy is like super important and it’s something that we want to add down the line. so what we have working for us so far is that like zero knowledge proof SAR already kind of like first class primitives on the protocol.SO it’s not that hard to like just as you can like recursively verify a new block recursively verify a private transaction.

So on the core like you know doing this recursive composition of zero knowledge proof is forces sickness but at some point we hope to add privacy as well okay.

Justin:Awesome let me ask just a personal question what sort of challenges have you faced in trying to build in layer one a cryptocurrency?

Evan: Yeah I mean III I think maybe the biggest thing here is just like there’s like this whole stack of things that we have to be thinking about all the time , like everything from like okay like you know are we writing like a secure protocol to like who is going to use this like how are people gonna get access to this technology ?what is like the UX going to look like? and I think like kind of seeing that whole stack and like keeping it in your head at the same time is like a huge challenge is something that’s been like really fun for us to think through and like outline and layout.

Justin:are there anything that’s like a significant risk that you see or like what’s top of your mind you think about how to make this really successful and get developers and users and people actually utilizing this new technology.

Evan: I think there’s like a level of polish I want to like attain for what we’re doing . we’re like I think about like some libraries I use where it’s like okay like I’m in the github is just like time to like you know poke my way around till I figure it out versus like some things which are just like there’s like you know an online tool box or something I can just get started and I really think about like that sort of polished UX is something that we have to really get right because we have to like it’s important to me anyway that we build an experience that people can wrap their heads around and really just kind of dive into without any hurdles.

Justin:yeah so when you think about a roadmap then for the coda protocol what’s it look like I kind of want to the whole story like when is it launching like what’s the stage to get there but the other piece of it too is really important like you’re talking about a polished UX making easy people to really get onboard into the system。 it’s a challenge to building in layer one right you need to have all these little disparate aspects buttoned up in a really really polished way so what does that roadmap look like and where are you today?

Evan: so touching the less are very briefly like I think that because we’re able to like build like this like you know phone note that runs anywhere it kind of simplifies how we can develop things because every platform gets like the same treatment and also like every platform kind of like handles the whole like infrastructure and back-end by itself, so that helps a little bit in making like a better UX because we don’t have to think about all these like middleware and all these like components in the middle .it’s probably one of the key benefits to coda writers we’re actually getting rid of that middleware between developers and users.

And then so it’s that’s going into a roadmap now so on the plan is that hopefully there will be like a public test net soon and then as we like launch that public test net and as we battle test the network and as we add any features we want to make sure we add before we can launch will also be like bringing developers on board to be starting to build little projects on coDA as well as like making sure that like you know we’ve properly gone out and added everything everyone wants to our protocol so that’s that’s kind of the plan I guess towards lunch.

I mean I’m hoping the tech that’s going to like the next few months and then we can all start playing with that and then we’ll the you know we’ll see like you know how much work it looks like it eeds from there but hope not too much it’s like pretty close to being feature complete at this point it’s pretty close to being like you know all the components for being like secure.

Justin:So another personal question for you is there anything that you know now after being on this journey for about two years that you kind of really wish you knew at the beginning.

Evan: I mean like the whole thing I mean like I I think you know when we started the company anyway we were just like let’s go start a company like we can figure it out but there’s so much like that we’ve learned along the way so much I learned along the way everything from you know like fundraising to like you know having a team to like prioritizing different parts of the company to like working with candidates and like there’s just I think the start-up structure let’s stuff pretty well to like learning these things because like you kind of learn these skills as the startup grows but like yeah there’s just like so many like different things related to startup culture and startups.

Justin:As a technical founder write this this it’s kind of like you have to learn all this really fast you have to speed yeah yeah yeah so actually on that same kind of trajectory of things you wish you learned what do you think your your biggest lessons have been biggest lessons?

Evan: I think one is just like always just kind of like asking for help and like you know using our advisers and investors because like you know they’ve seen things like this happen a lot of times like you know I can like spend a lot of time thinking about like my intuitions behind something and I think that’s like important to remember you intuitions when you’re doing something like this but like at the same time just going to someone you like you know knows all the stuff already and like bringing in all these different great voices into the picture is like super important being effective.

Justin:One of the ways we wish we can help to, so as a investor in coda, we’d love to help you in the operational journey and give you some guidance where we can。 thank you so actually last question for you and we’ll open up some audience Q&A if any of you guys have any questions you havin fun?

Evan: Yeah it’s it’s been it’s it’s been a blast and I could clarify that with like you know sometimes are really hard and sometimes I like really great but like in total it’s just been great.

Justin:I think that’s kind of the promise excitement actually this industry when I think about it too and by the way that’s a total like ripoff of Fred Wilson who asks every founder investor he interviews they’re having fun I think it’s a great question in general but for me this space is just incredibly exciting there’s so much innovation occurring there’s so many new efforts being tried there’s a lot of unknown technical challenges and what you guys are doing is differentiated it’s very unique and so I’m very excited to see you guys take this on and I think it’s important that we face all those challenges holistically and make sure we’re having fun in the process?

Thank you yeah we’re really excited to see it awesome here so so Evan Shapiro let’s actually open it up to audience to see if we have any questions.

Hi my name i Patrick I have a quick question more about a developer adoption, I think a lot of people have seen that as like one of the big momentum pieces of how different networks have grown to like have like this crazy cult following that they have? and I was wondering if you could talk about some of your plans of how to like actually engage these developers given that you know honestly there’s a lot of different options right now of a lot of different platforms that are much more proven than coda ,even though there are like obviously great like opportunity i building on top of coda but I just want to know how you were thinking through that ?

Evan: Yeah I think it’s a great question actually on so I the way I think about it right now is like there’s like this core audience a crypt of developers that are like we definitely want to engage with in a really important but I’m also excited about all the developers tha like aren’t into cryptocurrency yeah I think like the barriers to getting started in cryptocurrency have been super high so if we can reduce that with coda we can go after like a new audience of developers that like you know maybe like aren’t gonna like spend like a yeaR to like learn all the ins and outs of like a new programming language and everything but you know they want to do a hackathon they want to do like a side project and look if we give them something that makes it easy maybe they can build something really awesome.

Yes so here yeah so you talked a bit about how basically you don’t need to download the entire blockchain any more basically you just need to download this proof right and like that really makes it a lot easier for you to run like a full note on your phone or something right. I’m curious about how this technology also impacts like time to consensus , in terms of blocks because like it’s it’s great that the blocks are like a lot smaller but you still have to like get everybody on board with the transactions right like. how how does consensus I guess work in this system?

Yeah so it’s kinda interesting cuz consensus is kind of separate from the succinct blockchain itself so we can kind of switch out whatever we want for that we were going with proofs take right now particular Ouroboros and that’s great because it means that the block time is fixed it’s like a fixed period of seconds which makes it very predictable when a new block is going to come out and you’re right, by the way that like even though like we’re no longer limited by block size in terms of like blockchain growth we’re still limited in terms of like what the network throughput is so the parameters to consider are like what is like you know the node that you want to support that has like the lowest upload speed and then like what are the properties of your gospel network .

And if you look at that you still have like a lot of room to play with you can still get into like you know very high throughput because you don’t have to worry about these other extraneous factors about block size.

Quick follow-up on that glad we brought up consensus mechanisms can it seems like to operate as a valid inner on this network you actually do need to have the state of the network’s you can independently verify the transactions that are rolled up into this ek snark correct yeah okay so we we still have some other set of validators with the entire history the blockchain.

It’s still a little better than other cryptocurrencies because I don’t need the entire history of the blockchain they only need whatever the current database is so if you can imagine in a usual blockchain like it’s every transaction that has ever happened like forever and it just keeps growing and growing. with kotta you only need the current database so given a certain number of it’s like you just need to download those accounts and you need down like the deltas between um you know whatever database you had and whatever the new databases which is way smaller than like every transaction that’s ever happened.

So to go technical again for a moment this also means that if you are onboarding yourself on Dakota you only need the most recent ZK snark but you also need to make sure that somebody’s not giving you a false ZK snark so there’s this issue of like how do you how do you how do you verify that what somebody’s telling you is actually like the true and legitimate chain and so you have to go out a protocol to get that information somewhere ?is that true this is like the the week subjectivity argument?

So when you have a zero knowledge proof you know that all the data behind it is correct you know that whatever the zero knowledge proof is saying the current strength is the current ledger hash whatever it’s all correct, so what you can do is just as how in a normal blockchain you stay online to collect different block chains to compare the strengths of them, you stay online to collect different zero knowledge proof and see what the strengths of them are and then ,after you’ve done that you wait a sufficient amount of time to get all the strongest on zero knowledge proof you know that you have the correct strongest on state of the worlds, so you don’t need to um it’s just all done when the gossip net same as any other blockchain.

Which is the way you have to wait a little bit of time to make sure that you’re you’re seeing all the different possible states that are out there.


Yeah but and you look at like the properties of your net and see like how good your randomness is if you’re connecting to and and see what the likelihood is that you’ll get all the sternum out of time it’s pretty fast.

Thanks for coming in today great talk really interesting I’m curious I think a lot of people would agree that like protocol development and improving the protocols that are out there sort of one of the more important things you can do in in bring about blockchain adoption but it’s a little tricky because often times there isn’t money in developing a protocol and so I’m curious how oh one Labs plans to sustain itself into the future given that you guys are focused on protocol development?

Yeah I mean I I think the main thing for the company is like having  a small and reasonable amount of the protocol and I’d like incentivizes the company to like you know both a build it and the place and then like be able to like keep building it afterwards yeah.

There we go so hey Evan great talk awesome thanks for coming in I had a question around when you first started looking at this technology, did you consider the feasibility of using it as a layer 2 protocol to like verify Bitcoin or verify ETH, is that feasible to like have you know some kind of trust they’re not even not not a trusted third party verifying the blockchain network , where you could have like the Bitcoin genesis node and then somehow use zk snarks to verify to prove that you have the latest version of another blockchain?

Yeah so we definitely considered it the issue is that I think I mentioned this very briefly earlier is that if you were to use like the hash function and like the signature scheme like another cryptocurrency it’s gonna be very slow inside of a snark, so if you want to create a proof of like a blockchain since Genesis, it’s not going to be efficient to do so with a existing cryptocurrency because they’ve made certain decisions around their cryptographic primitives that aren’t efficient . you could think additionally like maybe you could make this as like a side chain on top of another blockchain but then you would stealth it download the base blockchain to get access to the side chain so we really wanted to build something that was doing this at like a base consensus level because then that’s where you get the most advantages when we were thinking about the construction.


Okay well everybody thanks thanks Evan for coming in this is great I loved having you thanks everyone.


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