FutureX Podcast Recap: Episode 6 with Sam from zkSync/Matter Labs

Published in
4 min readFeb 27


Listen to the full episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube

FutureX, SynFutures and zksync

The Web3 and blockchain technology world is rapidly evolving, and it takes industry experts like Sam Xiao to keep up with the latest developments. As the business development lead at Matter Labs, Sam brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, working tirelessly to accelerate the mass adoption of crypto through scaling via rollups.

In this podcast, we were fortunate to speak with Sam and gain valuable insights into the crypto industry. Sam shares his journey and how Matter Labs contributes to the blockchain ecosystem with its innovative zkSync and zkEVM projects. From his experiences to his thoughts on the future of crypto, Sam’s unique perspectives provide a fascinating glimpse into the rapidly evolving world of Web3.

Sam’s Crypto Journey

Successes and failures marked Sam’s journey into the crypto space. He candidly admits to a major setback early on when he sold Bitcoin at $3,000 after buying it at $20,000 in 2017. However, this experience proved to be a valuable lesson for him. Around this time, a college friend introduced him to Ethereum, and he started following developers closely around DeFi Summer. This became an inflection point for him, and he began to immerse himself in the crypto world. He started advising projects on their growth strategy and building the zkSync ecosystem. This experience has given him a unique perspective on the industry and allowed him to understand better the challenges businesses face in the crypto space. Despite the initial setback, Sam has become a prominent figure in the industry, contributing to the growth and development of crypto through his work at Matter Labs.

What is Matter Labs?

Matter Labs is a company at the forefront of scaling solutions in the blockchain industry. As the creators of zkSync, an EVM-compatible ZK Rollup powered by its zkEVM, Matter Labs’ innovative technologies are driving the mass adoption of crypto by providing solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing the industry.

The company’s mission is to solve the block change dilemma, which refers to the idea that centralized networks cannot simultaneously provide all three benefits of centralization, scalability, and security. Matter Labs addresses this challenge by scaling via rollups, which enables scaling while ensuring security and decentralization properties. By providing these solutions, Matter Labs is playing a vital role in developing the blockchain ecosystem, enabling businesses and individuals to take full advantage of the benefits that crypto offers.

ZK-rollups vs. zkEVMs

Regarding the differences between ZK-rollups and zkEVMs, Sam notes that while a zkEVM allows for launching smart contracts on a ZK-rollup, it is less committed to being open source and having permissive licensing. Matter Labs is deeply committed to these values, recognizing that it’s what drives the value of the network. Enabling what’s already being built on Ethereum is a key part of their thesis, and they see it as essential for the growth of the blockchain ecosystem. On the other hand, ZK-rollups enable scaling without sacrificing security and decentralization properties, making it a viable solution to the block change dilemma. By using ZK-rollups, Matter Labs can offer scaling solutions without compromising the integrity of the network.

Sam is playing a vital role in developing and promoting their zkSync and zkEVM projects, which are aimed at accelerating the mass adoption of crypto. By sharing his journey in the crypto industry and insights into the world of Web3, Sam offers valuable lessons for individuals and businesses interested in getting involved in the blockchain ecosystem. Matter Labs’ dedication to open-source, permissive licensing, and public good for the community is commendable and reflects the project’s desire to impact the space positively. ZK-rollups have emerged as a promising solution to the block change dilemma, providing a way to scale while maintaining security and decentralization properties. With Matter Labs’ commitment to advancing this technology, the future of the blockchain ecosystem looks bright.

Listen to the full episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and YouTube.

Want to be a guest on FutureX Podcast, or know someone who would be a great guest? Reach out to greer.rodriguez@synfutures.com.

About SynFutures

SynFutures is a next-generation Web3.0 decentralized derivatives infrastructure that creates an open and trustless derivatives market by enabling trading on anything with a price feed anytime. SynFutures democratizes the derivatives market by employing an Amazon-like business model, giving users the tools to freely trade any assets and list arbitrary futures contracts within seconds.

Deployed on multiple blockchains, SynFutures is currently the largest derivatives exchange on Polygon and is among the top three most actively used decentralized derivatives exchanges. Backers include Tier 1 Web3 institutional investors Pantera Capital, Polychain Capital, Susquehanna International Group (SIG), Dragonfly Capital, Standard Crypto, and Framework Ventures, and team members have extensive experience at global financial institutions, fintech companies, and blockchain technology companies such as Alipay, Bitmain, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Matrixport, and Nomura Securities.

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