Privacy Matters, 43

gm, readers.

At Automata we work on protecting privacy and fairness. And in this newsletter, we find more reasons to talk about it. Explore headlines and catch up on the biggest crypto news in Web3 privacy.

This week:

  • Vitalik reshares post on Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE) amidst growing interest

  • US Senators and FBI display understanding and openness to crypto privacy, says Railgun contributor

  • MetaMask unveils 'Smart Transactions' to tackle Ethereum front-running and bolster privacy

Zooming into ZK:

  • Researcher 0x1cc introduces a method to break down ZK proofs and FHE tasks into smaller subtasks for enhanced efficiency and reliability

  • Polyhedra launches open-sourced ZK proof system, Expander, for rapid generation of ZK proofs

  • Alchemy announces support for zkSync

  • Polygon launches Miden Alpha Testnet

  • ZkSnack shuts down Coinjoin service amid U.S. regulatory pressure

  • LocalMonero ends P2P exchange operations after seven years amid market shifts

  • ZKM secures $5M funding for Bitcoin-based Layer 2 launch

  • Telos secures $1M investment from Presto Labs for SNARKtor-powered Ethereum Layer 2 zkEVM network

  • Founders Fund leads $13.2M seed round for Lagrange Labs, specializing in Ethereum's EigenLayer restaking platform and ZK proofs

  • Silent Protocol unveils Ghost Layer, the world’s first Layer 1.5 for Ethereum, using ZK and 0VM technology

  • ZKM completes $5M pre-A funding round to launch Bitcoin Layer 2

  • Morph launches Holesky Testnet for optimistic zkEVM Ethereum Layer 2

We dive into the details, so you don’t have to:

Polygon has launched Miden Alpha Testnet, a zero-knowledge rollup solution to enhance privacy and throughput on Ethereum's Layer-2. Miden enables users to generate proofs for state transitions without revealing their state, ensuring transaction privacy. Key features include private account and note creation, parallel transaction execution, and client-side proving. The testnet provides three smart contract types, including a basic wallet and faucet contracts. Miden joins competitors like StarkWare and Matter Labs' zkSync in the race to innovate blockchain scaling.

MetaMask, the prominent Ethereum wallet, launches "Smart Transactions" to combat maximal extractable value (MEV) and enhance user privacy. This feature enables users to submit transactions to a virtual mempool before confirming them on-chain, reducing fees and protecting against MEV strategies. By leveraging operators like builders and searchers, MetaMask ensures fair transaction execution and streamlines tracking within the wallet interface. This initiative underscores MetaMask's commitment to improving transaction efficiency and privacy on Ethereum, setting the stage for future advancements in DeFi.

zkSNACKs is discontinuing its CoinJoin coordination service, citing regulatory uncertainties in the US. Max Hillebrand, the CEO, views this as a significant setback for Bitcoin's privacy. However, Wasabi Wallet, incorporating CoinJoin, will continue as a regular Bitcoin wallet. The closure affects services like Trezor Suite and BTCPayServer. Hillebrand highlights CoinJoin's unmatched privacy but expresses concern over potential future crackdowns on privacy protocols.

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This newsletter is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional financial advice or interpreted as investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are volatile assets and you should always do your own research before making any informed decisions when investing or trading.

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