Zooko Wilcox has more than 20 years of experience in open, decentralized systems, cryptography and information security, and startups. He is recognized for his work on DigiCash, Mojo Nation, ZRTP, “Zooko’s Triangle”, Tahoe-LAFS, BLAKE2, and SPHINCS. He is also the Founder and CEO of Least Authority. He sometimes blogs about health science.
In recent years, progress in the area of zero knowledge proofs has made it possible to construct a blockchain whose miners can verify transactions, or state changes, without seeing the information contained in those transactions. Many of the individuals developing these tools have joined Zooko to form the Zcash company. Zcash aims to be a truly anonymous cryptocurrency, but more than just a currency, it is the first step toward managing privacy on public blockchains. Recently, at the Cornell University blockchain hackathon, Zcash team members participated in a successful effort to include an implementation of zero knowledge proofs known as ZKsnarks into an ethereum client running on a test net a monumental achievement in blockchain anonymity. In addition to this, the Zcash team are using the BTCRelay codebase to construct ZRelay, a bridge between the Zcash, Ethereum and Bitcoin blockchains.
The final third of this episode is a casual discussion of the culture of the field of cryptography roughly between 1990 and 2000.
Chain analysis tools:
Chain analysis services:
A very limited article on the history of cryptography but a conclusion worth skipping to.
Great Forbes article on the dismay some mathematicians feel at the dominance of the NSA in their field of employment.