Privacy Matters, 40

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:

  • a16z shares field notes from ZK Summit 2024

  • Worldcoin announces its own Layer-2, World Chain

  • Railgun token (RAIL) surges as Vitalik Buterin shows supports for its privacy pools protocol in an X post

  • FLock partners with IO.Net to bolster privacy-focused decentralized AI training

  • MIT and Deutsche Bundesbank collaborate on researching privacy in CBDCs

  • RBA study finds limited public support for retail CBDC due to privacy and safety concerns

Zooming into ZK:

  • L2O Consortium launches to set standards for zk-rollups, zkVMs, or zkEVMs to be trustlessly deployed on Bitcoin

  • Masa rolls out Mainnet for AI data network and marketplace

  • Scroll introduces blobs with the Bernoulli Upgrade

  • RISC Zero announces the launch of its general-purpose R0 zkVM

  • Nebra secures $4.5M in seed funding for ZKP tech, co-led by Nascent and Bankless

  • Ernst & Young adopts Ethereum with ZK-Proofs for automated contract management

  • Nebra secures $4.5M funding for 'Universal Proof Aggregation' protocol development

  • Polyhedra and Google Cloud collaborate to offer 'ZK-as-a-Service' with 'Proof Cloud’

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

Ernst & Young (EY) introduces EY OpsChain Contract Manager (OCM), an Ethereum-based solution leveraging zero-knowledge proofs to streamline complex contract execution for private businesses. This Ethereum-powered platform facilitates various agreements, including purchase contracts, rate cards, volume discounts, rebates, and strike prices, ensuring timely, confidential, and cost-effective transactions. EY's choice of Ethereum over a private network aims to maintain fairness between parties and safeguard sensitive business data.

Polyhedra Network and Google Cloud join forces to enable developers with zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs through the "Proof Cloud" platform. Utilizing the Blockchain Node Engine, the partnership aims to streamline ZK workloads for blockchain applications. This collaboration could pave the way for advancements in privacy-preserving machine learning, leveraging Google Cloud's Vertex AI for enhanced features in ZK machine learning applications. To date, Polyhedra's Proof Cloud has successfully completed over 40 million ZK proof tasks, including support for zkBridge.

QED Protocol, in collaboration with StarkWare, zkLink, Mina Protocol, and O(1) Labs, announces the formation of the L2O Consortium. This consortium aims to enhance Bitcoin's native security, scalability, and interoperability by developing reference implementations, tools, and resources for decentralized applications (dApps) and Layer-2 solutions. The initiative seeks to enable trustless interoperability between applications on Bitcoin, bridging technical gaps with ordinals and zero-knowledge proofs to facilitate smart contract-like 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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