Grant from the Ethereum Foundation for Matter Labs

We are honoured to receive recognition and support from the EF for our work on L2 scaling with zero-knowledge proofs

Matter Labs
Mar 14, 2019 · 3 min read
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The Ethereum Foundation has recently announced the fifth wave of grants. The core focus of this year is to support projects working on critical Eth2.0 and layer 2 scaling issues. Matter Labs is grateful to be one of the recipients of the grant program. In this post we’d like to highlight our efforts aimed at delivering the promise of value creation for the benefit of the entire Ethereum community.

Our core contribution was and will remain the creation of a scalable secure L2 platform on top of Ethereum. We’re working closely with BarryWhitehat and some of the leading DeFi projects in the space. The first production release will be based on Groth16 SNARK construct with a trusted setup conducted by diverse, well-known and highly credible participants. We will initially focus on simple ERC-20 token transfer and exchange functionality, extending the platform to become more flexible in the future. You can read about our technology here (and also play around with a live demo on the Rinkeby testnet).

In the course of this work, we will continue making contribution to the improving the developer tooling for creating application powered by zero-knowledge proofs. The most important work we delivered so far:

  • bellman “community edition”: a fork of the original bellman library by z-cash for generating groth16 SNARK proofs, with support for the BN256 curve parings (necessary to make SNARK verifications on the Ethereum today).
  • crypto-gadget library: a collection of SNARK-gadgets based on sapling-crypto library compatible with the BN256 curve.
  • “Democratizing” the trusted setup: a tool for conducting the trusted setup MPC for large circuits on a single laptop with limited RAM (necessary to make participation in the ceremony possible without access to expensive and untrusted hardware in the cloud).

Being aware that the circuit-specific trusted setup remains a serious barrier for the adoption of SNARK-based scaling, we have been following the news in the cryptographic research and were very excited to learn about the new Sonic SNARK construct. Sonic is a game-changer, as it is the first ever cryptographic protocol with constant O(1) verification complexity and universal updatable trusted setup. Matter Labs is now committed to deliver a practical implementation of the Sonics. Our implementation is in progress, the first benchmarks will be presented at ZK Summit Berlin on the March 22nd. We’re working closely with the Eth 1.x team to make necessary changes in the core Ethereum protocol in order to be able to verify Sonic proofs on the mainnet.

Further, Matter Labs is engaged in spreading the general awareness about zero-knowledge proofs on blockchains in general and specifically their usage for scaling. Please check out:

We are always happy to share our learnings with the community and learn from you! Please join our gitter community channel with any questions, comments or initiatives.

Sincerely,

Matter Labs team

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