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Railgun x Satoshi Club AMA Recap from 25th of June

Hello, Satoshi clubbers! Another AMA took place in Satoshi Club and we would like to introduce to you the AMA session with our friends from Railgun and our guest was @emgoldstein — representative of Railgun. The AMA took place on 25th of June.

The total reward pool was 500$ and has been split into 3 parts.

In this AMA Recap, we will try to summarise the most interesting points for you.

Part 1 — introduction and questions from the Website

Hello all!

Hello Satoshi Club! We are happy to announce our AMA session with Railgun! Welcome to Satoshi Club

Today our guest — @emgoldstein!

Thank you very much! We are glad to be here. Kieran, @mesquka is also joining.

He should join our group first

And welcome here

I think he’s in

I am indeed.

Railgun is the first time people can have truly provable privacy on base layer Ethereum. Until now, others thought it was impossible.

Nice! Welcome!

Basic Ethereum addresses and transactions are less private even than Bitcoin.

The ecosystem really needed a product like Railgun, and we’ve been spending the last six months building it.

And it’s incredible! We have a lot of things to discuss today! But first let’s start with your intro

Guys, please tell us about yourself and your roles in Railgun

My name is I’m an economist and software developer. I’ve worked with cybersecurity and firewall software in the past, but more recently with digital currencies and e-money. I’ve seen surveillance grow to creepy levels. We need tools against that to keep our individual freedom and ensure a fair system.

I am the founder of the Railgun Project.

Nice to e-meet you

when did you decide to start Railgun?

I’ll let @mesquka introduce himself first before answering this!

I’m Kieran Mesquita, early adopter of Bitcoin and longtime cryptocurrency advocate. I’ve written code for things ranging from CPU and GPU miners to trustless crowdfunding and wallets for low cost phones. I’m currently most active in the Ethereum smart contract space.

I’m Chief Scientist at Railgun

And he’s a GREAT scientist.

Railgun should be happy to have such an experienced scientist

Regarding the founding of Railgun, the idea of privacy on ETH had been shared by many of my friends for the last five years.
It was recent developments in zk-snark and zk-stark ecosystem that made me actually start developing this full time in December last year.

Yes, we don’t have too much privacy on ETH.

I was thinking about this for a long time, because i can’t tell that i like current situation

I see you guys not anons

, but you work on privacy project, why you decided to not hide your identity? in DeFi lots of developers prefer to stay behind the scene

Last year I was speaking with a hedge fund friend who told me over 45% of all wall street trades were done via dark pools. They hide who is making the trade.

That same week, I spoke to a friend who co-founded a major erc20 project, who was paranoid about moving coins because of hundreds of people watching his wallet, who might spread FUD online if he switches wallets, or divides them anywhere.
I moved away from centralized exchanges a long time ago, especially after cryptopia hack, the Binance KYC leak, Bitmex account email leak, and other leaks ….that made my friends and I targets of thieves and criminals.

While I love Defi, in many ways it’s less private: watchers can monitor your trading patterns. We needed a privacy solution for stablecoins and defi, and it needed to work without sacrificing Ethereum security or the liquidity of existing Dapps and DEXes.

… It is Railgun.

I love this! The same feelings!


We appreciate what you’re doing!

And that’s why i am so excited now to hear your answers for the questions from our community

we choose 6 questions for the first part

If we want our system to be successful, we have to work together with other experts and teams around the world.
Because we are not in the shadows, it’s also hard for other people to pretend to be us. (Anyone can check who the legit team are)
It lets other defi developers feel confident that they are working with the people who they can have a long term connection with.

But, because Railgun is a decentralised project, really the team could be everyone in the world with a github account. It’s really just a list of people who care enough to contribute.

It makes sense

Ready, guys?

Ready when you are

Let’s go

Thanks for the great intro!

Q1 from Telegram user @giovannialc

Kieran will take this question

It’s a big question

Sure, I guess there’s 2 parts to the question here.

  1. We definitely have. We have a working project and launch is soon. I’m excited to finally release this into the wild.
  2. Railgun works out of the box with most DeFi protocols on Ethereum, we plan to provide tools to allow DeFi developers to add faster/easier/cheaper integrations with Railgun too.

Take your time

  1. We’re not just looking at Ethereum, while it is the most used chain with the most economic activity we think that everyone should have access to privacy so we’re going to be deploying on other chains too.

Can you name us that DeFi protocols for which you plan to provide tools?

Every single eth Dex will work immediately with railgun.

Btw, can you tell us if there is any blockchain on which we will never see Railgun?

All of the lending systems, aave, curve, cream, fulcrum etc. all work well with Railgun.

We will never see Railgun on Ripple or Litecoin



There isn’t enough defi on there to bother. Those blockchains can’t process smart contracts.

Railgun is built as a smart contract to run on Layer 1. Chains such as Ripple and Litecoin don’t have smart contract support and have no DeFi activity either.

Got it! as i know LTC planning something with mimblewimble protocol

Got it

Yes, that’s true. @mesquka can tell you why mimblewimble is still worse privacy than Railgun.

that’s will be interesting to hear


Specifically relating to Litecoin: MimbleWimble is implemented as extension blocks on LTC, while this allows for easier upgrades in a chain like Litecoin where hard forks are required to rollout privacy at a base later there’s very little incentive for wallets to support the more complex transactions that come with extension blocks.

So, it’s impossible to have full privacy with MimbleWimble?

The key thing to note, however, is that traders want to use stablecoins. They want to use DAI, USDT and USDC

that’s why coins like monero, etc, are not the solution.
People want to send and swap USDT privately.


Additionally, MimbleWimble uses the decoy model, this inherantly leads to a smaller privacy set as only the decoys chosen for the transaction serve to obfuscate transaction history. Increasing the number of decoys is cost prohibative as it increases the size of the overall transaction. Fully ZK transactions provide ‘perfect’ secracy in this regard as the decoys are effectively every single other transaction in the system as opposed to just a few.

The same issue with MimbleWimble also extends to other decoy models like CryptoNote/RingCT as used in Monero

Thank you for clarification guys

great answers!

And to clarify, yes, Railgun uses fully ZK transactions.

Thank you for these awesome and detailed answers! Ready to proceed?



Q2 from Telegram user @Highpee

Firstly, it’s not a traditional “darkpool” like wall street uses, because it’s totally decentralised and nobody operates it. It’s a new kind of system that has the same user-hiding effect.

Railgun works on ERC20 tokens. The way that DeFi protocols track deposits is by issuing another ERC20 token that represents the deposit in the protocol. As deposits accrue yield the ERC20 is redeemable for more and more. For example: Depositing ETH & DAI into a uniswap pool returns ETH/DAI Uni LP tokens, these tokens can be stored in Railgun in the same way any other token is, and then redeemed back for the ETH/DAI held in the pool at a later date.

Basically, because only you can unlock your lp token or farm token(which you hid in Railgun), you are still the only one that can claim these farming rewards.

So how Railgun will be used? if I need to do a swap on Uni can i use Railgun to hide my action? what i should do for this

How it will work in reality? What user should do to use Railgun tools, for example, on Curve?

Firstly, the Curve site and Uniswap website SHOULD have a button for “SWAP via RAILGUN” which will make it a private trade.

However, before they put that up, there are several community members that will host front-ends for the railgun dapp.

So you can just go to one of the Railgun websites and click
“Trade privately through Uniswap”
and connect your wallet for unlimited private trading.
That easy!

Also: mobile Android and iPhone app coming soon

Perfect! I would definitely try this

1inch already allows private swaps as im aware of, why they need Railgun for this?

That system is cool but it’s not a “private trade” it is still completely linked to your home ETH address and destination address.


Railgun is the first system on ETH that can do a truly private trade with only smart contracts.

1 inch ‘private’ transactions are not private in the same way that Railgun transactions are private. What 1 inch is referring to when they say private transactions is just that it’s not broadcast to the mempool which reduces frontrunning, once the trade has made it into a block and on-chain though it’s just as public as any other trade.

big thanks for info

If 1inch wanted to integrate truely private trades they’re welcome to integrate Railgun

Thank you, guys for this info! Ready to go to the next question?

It’s only a matter of time


Q3 from Telegram user @NSZR1

That’s one for Manny

Btw why you named project Railgun? any interesting story behind it?

And also

how you will distribute tokens? Will you have sales or…?

Currently gas prices are very low. Only 15 gwei.
They will not be a problem.
The truth is most projects don’t have the amazing long term potential of Railgun.
It doesn’t really matter what market the RAIL token launches in. If a “quiet market” gives intelligent, privacy-aware people an easier chance to buy RAIL, then that’s great for them, they will benefit when it gets vastly more popular.
Also, if other projects have delayed their launch, then RAILGUN will be the only serious project launching next week, which is excellent for having people discover us after launch.
Railgun is not a meme coin or a farm fork.
It’s a promise of freedom-enhancing technology.

Good question! im very curious too, i already want to take part in sale

There will be no sale, but we have some volunteer market makers who will put the RAIL token onto UNISWAP and BALANCER on June 30.
These tokens were airdropped to people who donated to privacy projects in the past, and to the members of the Right to Privacy Foundation.

You can get them from Uniswap and Balancer!


To be honest i expected something like this

Thank you for your answers! Ready to go to the next question?


Q4 from Telegram user @Jonahapagu

We evaluated both and settled on groth16 snarks as they are the cheapest to verify on Ethereum currently. We have a breakdown of the tradeoffs between SNARK and STARKS on our twitter:

Happy to dig into the details of any of the points there if you’d like

We have basically concluded that the STARKs eat up much too much gas to be practical for us. We left those behind, Snarks were chosen as the way forward.

So, that was mainly because of gas fees?

The gas cost of STARKs would be higher. So we chose SNARKS. The privacy level is equal.

Also, what was your main challenge while you were developing Railgan? What thing you’re most proud for?


Among other things. Groth16 snarks are also much quicker to generate on the wallet side too.

Will future upgrades of Ethereum affect the project? like eip-1559 and PoS

As long as the ethereum smart contract system continues to funciton, so will Railgun. EIP-1559 and PoS should keep gas fees low, so DeFI (and by extension Railgun) will be accessible to more people.

Thank you! ready for the next question?


Q5 from Telegram user @victorogb

@mesquka I’m curious to know

Woops, sorry, seems like I missed this question

The main issue with building privacy on ETH is how much gas all of the cryptographic schemes we use consume. It’s especially hard to keep gas costs low without sacrificing either privacy or functionality. I’m quite proud of how efficient the Railgun team has made everything with gas costs not much higher than some DeFi protocols

Yes I agree!

We implement things like merkle tree updates an order of magnitude better than most other protocols that use the same setup

Regarding documents:

Technical specifications, (white paper)
Source code, and
Audit report

will be on the website and in the Telegram channel on Tuesday.

There will also be a FAQ, with all the collected questions and answers from every platform.


The team photos and bios will also be on the website then too.

Do you plan any marketing campaign?

Until then, you can see them all in the @railgun_privacy chat

Yes we have engaged 3 major promotion agencies to spread the word about Railgun starting next week and going right into next year. It will be big news.

And events for the community


Thank you for your answers

ready for the 6th and last question from this part?

Yes, we are.


Let’s lowkey proceed to the last question.

Q6 from Telegram user @Rakshitx5

Philosophical question

Privacy is a valuable tool to everyone. Just because someone might abuse it doesn’t mean everyone should be deprived of it.

Privacy is a human right

It is a common belief that mainly criminals need privacy

We should be able to decide who can see us, and who can’t.

Is up to them to ask us for details about our business.

Hence the phrase “mind your own business”.

There are a lot of people who gather information as a way to manipulate people.

The more a stranger knows about you, the more power they have over you.

Privacy is strength that protects your freedom from this kind of control.

I understand what you’re talking about

but the vast majority of people neglect these opportunities

Totally agree.

But we won’t, right @Cool_as_Ice ?

Railgun does not allow money laundering — it will not give you a “fake” source or anything like that.
It will just mean that people have to ask you first.
They can’t snoop.

You bet.

So, it will be impossible to launder money using your tools?

You will be able to prove your legitimate source of funds with Railgun if someone asks and you accept.

And my last question — if we will use your tools is it possible that we will have problems when depositing funds to CEX exchanges?

Good one

I am not a expert on those words but my understanding is that it means people claim that “crime money” is “legit money” by pretending it’s from a different business they own.

Railgun can’t make a “fake” source of funds, so no, it will not help crime.

Good question, but no, it will be easy to show the CEX that you have a normal source of funds. You can generate that (only if you choose to)

But if you want to use CEX, you don’t care much about privacy

Part 2 — live questions from the Telegram community

Q1 from Telegram user @cryptofollower

No, it stays only locked as funds only you control.

Q2 from Telegram user @JoxesXIII

I think if people want to know your business, they should ask.

Q3 from Telegram user @BJosefina61

We are focused on decentralized governance as Railgun is 100% decentralized.

We don’t like building layer2, we don’t like building side chains, and we will not use those or develop them.
However, we will deploy RAILGUN on successful sidechains like Matic

Q4 from Telegram user @highpee

Generating zero-knowledge proofs are very computationally intensive. Starks have an advantage in larger circuits (such as zero knowledge VMs) however because Railgun has taken care to optimize our protocol code SNARKs are more suited due to their higher efficientcy at smaller circuit sizes.

Snarks win hands down in verifier efficientcy, they have a fixed cost to verify no matter how complex the proof, STARKs on the other hand increase in verifier cost as the circuit grows. Snarks also have a fixed proof size while STARK proof sizes grow as circuit size grows. This makes it more gas efficient to verify snarks on ETH (normally about 600k gas for snarks, Railgun has reduced that to 200k with our implementation, STARKs are about 2.5M gas to verify).

Starks have a few advantages over Snarks though, they’re probably quantum secure and don’t require a trusted setup. Let’s tackle the quantum secure point first:

Starks are quantum secure as far as our current understanding of quantum computing goes, there’s still a lot we don’t understand and things that were labelled as quantum secure might not be and things that are labelled as not quantum secure could actually be quantum secure. The quantum secure point is a moot point though as Etheereum itself isn’t built on quantum secure cryptography, if it is required then Railgun governance voters could pass an upgrade that makes railgun quantum secure when enough research into quantum secure algorithms have been done to properly verify their security.

Snarks require what’s labelled as a ‘trusted setup’, though this is a bit of a misnomer. With multi-party ceremonies such as perpetual powers of tau, as long as at least one participant in the setup phase doesn’t collude with ever other participant to try to break the setup then it is secure. The perpetual powers of tau ceremony currently has 71 contributions from people from various different geographic regions and companies, including members of the railgun team. This nullifies the advantage STARKs have not needing a ‘trusted setup’.

Hopefully that explains a little more in-depth the reasoning behind picking SNARKS over STARKS

Q5 from Telegram user @luk4jah

Railgun will be launching a framework to integrate into existing Dapp frontends, additionally, the smart contract adapts interface allows for on-chain integrations.

Q6 from Telegram user @potentialsake

Historically implementing the cryptography required for private systems has been gas prohibitive. Railgun has a number of optimizations that have brought the gas cost down significantly without compromising on features.

Q7 from Telegram user @Indomiekuy

Railgun is built on a Layer 1 as a collection of smart contracts. This allows people to interact with it as a private smart contract wallet with no risk of censorship by masternodes/layer2 validators. The team consists of people experienced in privacy and cryptocurrency ptotocols and the contract has been audited by domain experts in zero knowledge cryptography.

Q8 from Telegram user @smokeweed75

Railgun is the only privacy protocol on ETH that provides both the censorship-resistant properties of being a Layer 1 and the ability to privately interact with smart contract, it addresses a use-case that hasn’t been filled by any other project.

Q9 from Telegram user @ethcypherpunk

Railgun should be able to provide privacy wherever users want to interact. This includes NFTs, lending, futures etc. We’d love to more wallets and dapps integrate with railgun.

Part 3 — Quiz Results

In the final part, we tested your knowledge in terms of Railgun. They’ve prepared 4 questions for this part. The total reward pool for the quiz was 300$.
English Telegram group:
Russian Telegram group:
Spanish Telegram group:
Telegram Channel:

Railgun Telegram community:



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