Privacy Matters, 39

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:

  • Puffer launches public testnet for its Secure-Signer technology

  • CertiK cautions that hackers could carry out a remote code execution (RCE) attack via Telegram's media processing

  • Worldcoin enhances privacy measures, introduces unverification of World IDs

  • Astria publishes proposal to integrate the Astria Sequencing Layer on Aztec

Zooming into ZK:

  • zkSync’s ZK stack now supports Validium Mode

  • The first STARK proof gets verified on Starknet

  • Manta launches AI toolkit on the Pacific L2

  • a16z announces Jolt zkVM for more efficient proof generation methods in blockchain

  • Circle brings USDC on Ethereum to zkSync

  • "MetalCore" debuts on Immutable zkEVM blockchain

  • Alpen Labs emerges from stealth with $10.6M funding to scale Bitcoin using ZK proofs

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

Worldcoin is rolling out new features to bolster privacy and refine age verification. These updates enable users to unverify their World IDs by permanently deleting iris codes and implement in-person age verification checks. Users can now opt to unverify their World IDs, which authenticate humanness through iris scanning. This process involves the permanent deletion of the iris code, ensuring each individual can only have one verified World ID. After requesting deletion, a six-month "cool-off" period prevents immediate re-verification, with the iris code irretrievably deleted at the end.

Jolt, a zero-knowledge virtual machine (zkVM), aims to streamline verifiable computing by addressing performance and complexity challenges. Developed by the a16z crypto engineering team, Jolt offers over 5x faster implementation than RISC Zero and up to 2x faster than SP1, making it ideal for blockchain applications. With a concise codebase under 25,000 lines of Rust, Jolt enables developers to write programs in high-level languages without intricate knowledge of circuit DSLs like Circom.

Alpen Labs, a Bitcoin layer-2 developer, secures $10.6 million in funding to leverage zero-knowledge proofs for blockchain scaling. Emerging from stealth mode, the company spent the past year crafting Bitcoin rollup infrastructure to introduce smart contract capabilities. ZK proofs facilitate secure and swift data transfer, crucial for scaling blockchains through rollups. Alpen Labs' focus on rollup technology aligns with the industry trend to enhance blockchain efficiency and reduce costs. While Bitcoin traditionally prioritized network simplicity for security, recent developments like the Ordinals protocol and BitVM indicate growing interest in expanding Bitcoin's functionality.

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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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