Sikoba December 2020 — Update
After a very difficult but productive year 2020, we are looking forward to launching the Sikoba mainnet by the end of March.
In December, we made good progress on BekiPay, and remain on track for a beta version around the end of January. In parallel, Kate has been working on the activity log, which is now undergoing internal testing. We have also made good progress on integrating the Babble blockchain layer, with just a few Docker issues remaining.
Poseidon hash function in Crystal
Guillaume has written a Crystal implementation of the Poseidon hash function. It is based on Poseidon’s reference implementation and also includes the sponge construction so that arbitrary input length hash can be computed. Its public repository can be found at:
Poseidon is a zero-knowledge friendly hash function, defined in the following research paper (co-authored by former Sikoba Research contributor Dmitry Khovratovich). Many zero-knowledge use cases involve proving the knowledge of a preimage of a cryptographic hash. Such proofs are expressed as a circuit over a large prime field. For the most commonly used hash function, SHA-256, these circuits tend to be very large, resulting in very slow proofs. Some hash functions, such as the Pederson hash, yield much smaller circuits and are thus much better suited to zero-knowledge proofs. By working natively with numbers in the finite field, Poseidon is able to reduce the circuit size even more. According to the research paper, “POSEIDON uses up to 8x fewer constraints per message bit than Pedersen Hash.” The downside of Poseidon is that it is about 1,000 times slower than SHA-256 on a computer, as computers do not work natively in prime fields.
We consider this to be an acceptable downside, considering the decrease in proof sizes and are therefore planning to use Poseidon as the block hash function of the Sikoba blockchain. Note that Poseidon is also used by our tech partner Horizen.
Update on Finances and Fundraising
The year 2020 has been very challenging, as we have been pursuing ambitious goals on a shoestring budget. Our expenses, at over €250k, significantly exceeded income, but we are still proud that we have achieved so much with very little external funding. In 2021, we will continue to actively seek new sources of funding.
In late December 2020, we have launched a new token sale with 3 rounds at gradually increasing prices. For those who do not own ETH, or who wish to avoid the high gas fees, we offer the possibility to pay using another cryptocurrency, or in fiat. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that we offer the possibility to hold SKO tokens for buyers until the Sikoba mainnet is launched. Such tokens are held in trust by Sikoba Ltd, beneficial owners receive an official “SKO Token Ownership Certificate” and can request the transfer of their tokens to an Ethereum account of their choice at any time, or to have them sent to their Sikoba account after mainnet launch.
We can also do convertible loan agreements (CLAs) and are open to equity investments on larger ticket sizes.