ZK-LDN 0x01: zk-SNARKs - How to develop and use them in practice

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You’re invited to join us for our first Zero Knowledge meetup in London on the 1st of May! We will be hosting Daira Hopwood of Zcash and Harry Roberts of EthSnarks to discuss zk-SNARKs and their applications.

Daira will be presenting hir work on circuit writings and optimisations. Harry will be giving us an overview of programming zk-SNARKs on Ethereum using high-level languages. If you are eager to get a practical deep dive into zk-SNARKs, we definitely recommend attending!

6:30-7:00 pm: Greetings, food and drinks (vegan options should be available)
7:00-7:50 pm: Presentation from Daira Hopwood (Zcash)[masked]:40 pm: Presentation from Harry Roberts (Ethsnarks)

Read more about zk-SNARKs: https://blog.decentriq.ch/zk-snarks-primer-part-one/

Thanks to our sponsors for helping us put this event together: Applied Blockchain (https://appliedblockchain.com/), Aztec Protocol (https://www.aztecprotocol.com/), Zcash Foundation (https://www.zfnd.org) and Cambrial Capital (https://cambrial.com).
Below are the abstracts and bios of our speakers:

Talk title: Designing efficient R1CS circuits

To correctly and efficiently express statements for many popular zero-knowledge argument systems, we need to understand Rank 1 Constraint Systems. This talk is based on Daira's experience optimizing the circuits for Zcash's Sapling protocol upgrade. It aims to teach some of the background needed to:

* design higher-level cryptographic protocols with efficient R1CS implementation in mind,
* specify a statement precisely enough to be able to tell whether it has been correctly implemented;
* understand the R1CS model of computation;
* express various algorithms and types commonly used in cryptography;
* optimize circuit size while reducing the risk of introducing bugs and vulnerabilities.

Daira will concentrate on direct expression of circuits as R1CS, rather than how this would be written in a particular domain-specific language or library.

Bio: Daira is an engineer, protocol designer and founding member of Zcash, a privacy-preserving digital currency built with zero-knowledge cryptography. Zcash recently underwent a network upgrade called Sapling which introduced new shielded addresses with significantly improved performance: a time reduction of 90% for constructing transactions and a memory reduction of over 97%. Daira is responsible for many of the circuit optimizations that allowed the improvements of Zcash in the Sapling network upgrade, as well as a substantial part of the cryptographic design to support new features such as shielded payments using hardware wallets. We are very honored to have such an expert with us for our first meetup in London!

Read more about Daira: https://z.cash/blog/people-behind-zcash-technology-daira-hopwood-engineer-and-protocol-designer/
Read more about ZCash: https://z.cash/the-basics/

Talk title: Programming zk-SNARKs on Ethereum using high-level languages: challenges, advances and the future

This talk has 3 parts:
1) What are zk-SNARKs and how are they useful?
2) How is programming zk-SNARKs different from anything else? Looking into the inner workings of low-level language and compilers
3) An overview of languages and compilers for zk-SNARKs

Harry is a developer, researcher and Ethereum Foundation grant recipient, working on EthSnarks to help bring scalability and privacy to Ethereum. EthSnark is a collection of zk-SNARK circuits and supporting libraries anyone can use with Ethereum smart contracts, it aims to help solve one of the biggest problems facing zk-SNARKs on Ethereum - cross-platform on desktop, mobile and in-browser, cheap enough to run on-chain, and with algorithms that significantly reduces the time it takes to run the prover. Harry’s work is widely known in the Zero Knowledge community. Most notably, he was one of the core developers of ZK Rollup specifications.

Read more about EthSnarks: https://github.com/HarryR/ethsnarks