ZK-LDN 0x02: On Sonic and Efficient Private Transactions

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You’re invited to join us for our second Zero Knowledge meetup in London on the 3rd of June! We will be hosting Mary Maller of University College London (UCL) and Zachary Williamson of Aztec Protocol.

Mary is a Research Associate in cryptography at UCL under Dr Meiklejohn. She will be presenting her work on SONIC, a zk-SNARK construction with a nearly trustless setup. Zac is co-founder and CTO of Aztec Protocol. He will be presenting the cryptography under Aztec Protocol's hood.

Schedule:
6:30-7:00 pm: Greetings, food and drinks (including vegan options)
7:00-7:50 pm: Presentation from Mary Maller (UCL)[masked]:40 pm: Presentation from Zac Williamson (Aztec Protocol)

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/) and Cambrial Capital (https://cambrial.com).
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Below are the abstracts and bios of our speakers:

Talk title: Introducing Sonic: A Practical zk-SNARK with a Nearly Trustless Setup

This talk gives an overview of Sonic, a zk-SNARK construction that we released earlier this year. Unlike other SNARKs, Sonic does not require a trusted setup for each circuit, but only a single setup for all circuits. Further, the setup for Sonic never has to end, so it can be continuously secured by accumulating more contributions. This property makes it ideal for any system where there is not a trusted party, and there is a need to validate data without leaking confidential information. For example, a company might wish to show solvency to an auditor without revealing which products they have invested in. The construction is highly practical.

Bio: Mary is a cryptographer specialising in the area of zero-knowledge proofs. She is currently a Research Associate at University College London with Dr Sarah Meiklejohn. Her thesis was supervised by Dr Meiklejohn and Prof Jens Groth and was submitted in December 2018, supported by Microsoft Research Cambridge. She was co-supervised by Dr Markulf Kohlweiss, whom she also completed an internship with in 2017. Before joining UCL, Mary obtained an MSci degree in Mathematics from the University of Bristol.

Read more about Mary: http://www0.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/M.Maller/
Read more about Sonic: https://eprint.iacr.org/2019/099.pdf

Talk title: How To Keep A Secret: Confidential Transactions With The AZTEC Protocol

This talk is a dive into how the AZTEC protocol's zero-knowledge proofs can be used to create private digital assets on public blockchains. We'll be going over the cryptographic primitives that AZTEC uses, and how these can be used to create private tokens with customizable transaction logic, operating over encrypted variables. We'll also be going over some of the unique UX and software engineering challenges that using zero-knowledge proofs bring, and our proposed solutions.

Bio: Zac was previously a physicist at CERN and T2K Japan. He obtained his PhD in Particle Physics from Oxford University.

Read more about Aztec: https://medium.com/aztec-protocol/confidential-transactions-have-arrived-a-dive-into-the-aztec-protocol-a1794c00c009
https://www.aztecprotocol.com/