Stanford University Researchers Build Espresso: Privacy-Focused Blockchain

Stanford University Researchers Build Espresso: Privacy-Focused Blockchain

Stanford University Researchers Build Espresso: Privacy-Focused Blockchain By DailyBitcoin Editor

espresso is a new layer one blockchain they are building to enable higher throughput and lower gas fees while prioritizing user privacy and decentralization.


the tech news blockchain they are applauded, especially if they are solutions that seek to improve the effectiveness and reduce the cost of transactions. That is why a project born from the Stanford University.

A team of researchers from the Applied Cryptography research group of the Stanford University has been working under the radar on a project that is now coming to light: it is about espressoa new layer one blockchain they are building to enable higher throughput and lower gas fees while prioritizing user privacy and decentralization.

espresso -which bears the name of the famous Italian-style coffee preparation- aims to optimize both privacy and scalability by leveraging zero-knowledge proofsa cryptographic tool that allows a party to prove that a statement is true without revealing the evidence behind that statement, CEO Ben Fisch told TechCrunch In an interview.

More about Espresso

Espresso Systems, the company behind the project blockchain, is led by Fisch, COO Charles Lu, and Chief Scientist Benedikt Bünz, Stanford collaborators who have worked on other high-profile web3 projects, including blockchain monero centry into anonymity and Chia, of the programmer Bram Cohen, known for BitTorrent. They have teamed up with Chief Strategy Officer Jill Gunter, a former cryptocurrency investor from Slow Ventures who is the fourth co-founder of Espresso Systemsto bring its blockchain and associated products to market.

To achieve higher performance, espresso uses ZK-Rollups, a zero-knowledge proof-based solution that allows transactions to be processed off-chain. The ZK-Rollups they consolidate multiple transactions into a single, easily verifiable proof, reducing bandwidth and computational load on the consensus protocol. The method has already gained popularity on the blockchain. ethereum through scaling solution providers such as Starkware and zkSyncas Fisch told Techcrunch.

Privacy and decentralization

However, the core of the strategy espresso is a focus on privacy and decentralization. The team originally set out a year ago to build a solution blockchain flexible privacy-focused, and has since changed its priorities to prioritize both privacy and scalability after realizing that the “most immediate pain point for users it has been the latter, Fisch said.

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He added that the broad industry-wide race to scale the technology blockchain has been ongoing since 2018, which is when Solarium and other layers began designing solutions focused on profitability and performance. New projects today face an even more complex challenge, according to Fisch.

“One thing that has become apparent lately is that now it is not just a race to climb, but a race to climb and make as few trade-offs as possible with regards to decentralization”Fisch noted.

zero knowledge

Although several ecosystems of blockchain Different countries use zero-knowledge proofs to improve efficiency today, that efficiency has come at the cost of decentralization, Fisch said.

“If you use a zero-knowledge proof to prove the validity of a large number of transactions that are never sent to the consensus protocol, then while the consensus protocol can verify their validity, it cannot provide data to users that is needed. to build future transactions”, Fisher said.

Users then trust the server ZK Rollup to access that critical data, which means the data is centralized on that server.

“We are working on a way to integrate roll-up carefully with consensus so that we still achieve higher throughput and therefore lower fees, but without compromising both decentralization”, Fisher said.

Like decentralization, privacy is another critical consideration for many cryptocurrency users. Public blockchains like ethereum they record all transactions anonymously in an open electronic ledger for anyone to see. Although user identities are encrypted on the blockchain itself, if a particular wallet is linked to an individual, their transactions could be exposed. “in real time to anyone who wants to watch, including business competitors and threat actors looking for targets,” according Espresso Systems.

privacy solution

The company’s core privacy solution is a smart contract app call Configurable Asset Privacy for Ethereum (CAPE), which allows creators of assets on the blockchain to customize who can see what information about the ownership and movement of those assets.

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Fisch said that CAPE is particularly suitable for financial institutions or money service businesses that create blockchain-based assets because it allows them to balance the customer’s need for privacy with the institutions’ need for risk management and compliance. He shared the example use case of a stablecoin issuer that could create a private version of their coin that allows users to transact privately, while the issuer can still see the transaction data.

“CAPE allows asset creators to consider setting up a flexible viewing policy, or even a freeze policy, which gives them more visibility and control over assets that are totally confidential and private to the rest of the public viewing chain. blocksFisch said.

Bridge with Ethereum

CAPE is designed to run on any blockchain Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)), and will debut for the first time on the test network of ethereum in a few weeks so that its creators can receive feedback from users, though eventually, the app will run directly on the blockchain. espresso, according to Fisher.

espresso is also capitalizing on the popularity of ethereum as the most used blockchain when building a bridge directly to ethereum which will allow assets to be moved from ethereum to espresso, according to Fisher.

Financing and equipment

In addition to his public debut, Espresso Systems also announced today that it has raised a $29.9 million Series A round led by Greylock Partners and Electric Capital, with participation from Sequoia Capital, Blockchain Capital and Slow Ventures. Seth Rosenberg from greylock, who also backs Chia, led the firm’s investment in Espresso Systems.

Espresso Systems raised its initial round in November 2020 led by poly chain, bringing its total funding to USD$33 million. His other investors include Alameda Research, Coinbase Ventures, Gemini Frontier Fund, Paxos and Terraform Labs, as well as angel investors Balaji Srinivasan and Meltem Demirors, according to the company.

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The team currently employs 26 people, 18 of whom are engineers, Gunter told TechCrunch. He added that many of these crypto-specific engineers joined the team at espresso because of its co-founders’ connection to Stanford and academia in general (Fisch was recently hired as a professor of computer science at the Yale University).

Gunter said he trusts that espresso it can compete with other layer one solutions that work on the same set of problems.

“One advantage that we have is that we have the benefit of being able to design and build for this from scratch, whereas a lot of the other systems that are working to scale right now have these big backwards compatibility issues where they have to design around of existing systems.Gunter said. “If you look historically, other Blockchain projects like Solana have been very successful in being able to start over.”

Source: techcrunch

Translation and version of DailyBitcoin

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