On April 13th, SNZ co-hosted the 2023 Hong Kong Web3 Festival sub-stage on "Layer 2 & Ecosystem: Scaling Up Web 3.0". As an venture capital firm, SNZ invited numerous Layer 2 network and infrastructure projects from its portfolio. The distinguished guests delivered insightful keynote speeches and participated in panel discussions. The guests included co-founder of Arbitrum, Director of Global Strategic Initiatives of ConsenSys, co-founder of Scroll Network, and co-founder of Polygon Zero, among others.
As an early investor in Arbitrum, SNZ invited its co-founder and CEO, Steven Goldfeder, to join the event through a video presentation. Steven Goldfeder introduced the network data, ecosystem, Arbitrum Nova, and Arbitrum Orbit of Arbitrum. He stated that ‘In the past year, Arbitrum has developed rapidly, with a TVL of around 6 billion U.S. dollars in its ecosystem, occupying 65% of the market share in Layer 2, and currently has 1 million ETH locked in the bridge. The ecosystem's DApps have also developed very prosperously. Arbitrum Nova is more suitable for gaming, social projects, and DApps with high throughput and performance requirements. Arbitrum Orbit allows the construction of one's own blockchain using the technology stack and the security of Ethereum, with advantages such as privacy, security, and high performance. We hope to work together with developers, users, and community members to promote the development of Arbitrum.’
As a blockchain infrastructure company, ConsenSys has numerous well-known products, including MetaMask and Infura. SNZ, as an early investor in ConsenSys, has supported the project's development all the way. Shuyao Kong, ConsenSys Director of Global Strategic Initiatives, gave a speech on “Web3 Infrastructure” at the SNZ co-hosted Layer 2 Network session. Shuyao introduced Linea, a zkEVM Layer 2 network developed by the ConsenSys R&D team, to the public for the first time. Linea is currently a Type 3 zkEVM and will eventually become fully equivalent to EVM. Its public testnet was opened on March 28th. Infura, as ConsenSys's node service, helps developers to eliminate the step of building their own nodes and is one of the service providers that supports the most public chains among node service providers. In addition to the underlying infrastructure, ConsenSys's product matrix is also being deployed in higher levels. Shuyao stated that “We will also take a further step in Higher Level API. In addition to the most basic node services, more APIs and SDKs tailored to specific scenarios are needed. We are also very bullish on gaming and social scenarios that do not have strong financial attributes.”
Sandy Peng, the co-founder of Scroll Network, a zk rollup project on Ethereum Layer 2, introduced its equivalent EVM scaling solution to the audience. She emphasized the important principle of Ethereum security, stating that “Why is security so important? Because we have seen that security was not very high in the previous network world, but now we see the security of ZKEVM led by Ethereum. This is the most important point for both our developers and external users. This is why we maintain open source and transparency while hoping to have better communication with the community to help improve security across the entire community.” As a community-driven open-source network, Scroll has been building a decentralized ecosystem for many years, and Sandy called on more developers to join the community and build Ethereum Layer 2 networks together.
Brendan Farmer, the co-founder of Polygon Zero, and Kurt Patat, the Vice President of Polygon Labs, delivered an engaging fireside chat, introducing the recently launched Polygon ZK Rollup and explaining the differences between it and other zkEVMs, as well as the team's focus going forward. Brendan Farmer stated that “In terms of performance, if you observe the Polygon zkEVM on-chain, the time required for one batch of one transaction in one minute should be at least 5-6 times faster than other solutions, and our usage is relatively low because we prioritize stability and security. If we can significantly reduce proof time in the future, this will also be a focus of our work.”
Yaoqi, the co-founder of AltLayer, introduced the elastic scaling mechanism based on Rollup-as-a-Service. AltLayer believes that a single-layer network and blockchain are not enough, and they want to solve the problem of expanding from a single-module blockchain to multiple modules. The current Rollup scene is quite fragmented, with different solutions. Yaoqi announced the Rollup Launchpad product for the first time at the SNZ co-hosted Layer 2 Network session. Developers can launch many Rollup parameters with just one click, providing a better experience for developers.
Following this, Ross, the Managing Partner of SNZ, hosted an panel discussion on “Challenges in L2 Development and Adoption”. The panelists included Sandy Peng, the co-founder of Scroll, Yaoqi, the co-founder of AltLayer, Mo Dong, the co-founder of Celer, Yuan Su, the co-founder of Metis, and Jianan Chen, Cysic chip design lead. The guests expressed their views on the future prospects of Layer 2 networks. Sandy believed that the two biggest challenges facing Layer 2 networks are security and user experience; Yaoqi believed that there is a lack of developer-friendly tools for Layer 2 networks at present; Mo Dong believed that the interoperability between different Layer 2 networks is the key direction for future development; Yuan Su believed that state explosion and multi-chain cooperation, including the combination of OP and ZK, are issues that need to be studied; Jianan expressed his opinions on the future acceleration of Layer 2 networks from the perspective of hardware acceleration, algorithm optimization, and distributed computing.
In addition to Layer 2 networks, SNZ has also focused on the zero-knowledge proof and related hardware acceleration sector. Cysic is one of the projects in SNZ's portfolio in the zk hardware acceleration track. Its co-founders, Leo and chip design lead, Jianan, delivered a speech on "Hardware Accelerated Zero-Knowledge Proof" and presented a product demo on site. Cysic's FPGA solution is far ahead of its competitors' GPU solutions in terms of computing speed. Leo also announced the establishment of ZK Prover DAO in the future to serve more users.
Matthew Finestone, the co-founder of Type 1 zkEVM project Taiko, introduced his project and vision to the audience. Matthew stated “Taiko is a fully decentralized, Ethereum-equivalent ZK Rollup. What are the features we want to achieve? It can be described in one sentence: a fully decentralized Ethereum-equivalent ZK Rollup, which is an open-source structure through ZKEVM. Everyone can contribute on this platform and form their forks, all of which are completely open source.”
Manta Network co-founder Kenny Li delivered a speech on “zkSBTs”. Manta Network focuses on the ZK field and applies ZK in different scenarios, especially in establishing on-chain privacy. Kenny stated that Manta’s zkSBT is the best Web3 identity solution. zkSBT can prevent network attacks and help us solve privacy issues. We can confirm our identity without revealing other aspects of information. At the same time, Kenny emphasized the importance of user experience. Users can verify their identities without linking their wallets, and developers only need to use Manta’s SDK to integrate zkSBT.
Celer Network co-founder Mo Dong showcased Brevis, a solution that uses ZKP technology to access full-chain data. Mo Dong introduced the architecture and application scenarios of Brevis. He stated that the most direct user cases are ZK Bridge and ZK DID. ZK DID can generate very persistent cross-chain IDs, allowing users to directly query previous transaction activities and create many new data-driven DeFi applications to generate new income. Traditional games can also use Brevis to reduce transaction costs and drive new user acquisition platforms. Brevis can create a socially secure account to prove that the user account has interacted with various different relevant entities in the past, which can help retrieve lost keys even if the control key has been lost.
PADO Labs co-founder Fubiao Xia delivered a keynote speech on exploring scalable privacy in Web3. Fubiao explained the differences between Web3 privacy and Web2 privacy, as well as the shortcomings of existing applications in terms of privacy protection. He introduced PADO Labs' interactive ZK proof solution and its advantages, stating that "currently, a big flaw is that the authentication and proof process is very expensive. There are similarities between interactive and current proof methods, such as interactivity, zero-knowledge authentication, and zero support. Interactive ZK has been proven to be an effective way, and we need to build it as a trustworthy solution. As a large-scale proof, we need a lot of memory, which can be solved through this tool. Efficient verification can be achieved through efficient circular communication."
Yuan Su, the founder of the Optimistic Rollup layer-2 network Metis, shared his vision for the future of layer-2 networks. Metis currently ranks third in TVL among all OP Rollups, behind Arbitrum and Optimism. According to Su, "No matter how much you optimize a single chain, there will always be hardware limitations, so interaction and operability between chains are extremely important. The future of L2 may be a Superchain, where all L2s work together as a unified execution layer for Ethereum, allowing a large number of users to collaborate with different Ethereum L2s through sharding to produce a common result, with L3 handling settlement." Su also mentioned that combining the strengths of OP Rollup and ZK Rollup to create a Hybrid Rollup solution is a promising area for the future, as it can ensure both security and user experience.
NanFeng, co-founder and CEO of the decentralized ZK-RaaS platform Opside, gave a speech on the topic of "Opportunities and Challenges of RaaS." NanFeng stated that "The development of public chains has moved from the era of multiple chains to the era of multiple Rollups. As a platform focused on ZK-Rollup as a service (ZK-RaaS), Opside addresses the challenges of Rollup being limited by underlying L1, lack of application sovereignty, data availability layer, lack of decentralization and security, and project parties still needing to build their own ZKP computing capabilities. Opside has designed a three-layer architecture based on base chain + based Rollup + decentralized prover, and innovatively launched a PoS+PoW hybrid consensus mechanism."
Alex Scheer, co-founder of zkMe, gave a speech on "Zero-Knowledge Proof-Based Identity Oracle". Alex stated that "By using zero-knowledge proof to prove who I am, users can directly verify their identity, then send the zero-knowledge proof to the oracle, which will verify and mint the tokens to the holder's wallet. Through the three-party interaction, I can prove that I am that person without disclosing any of my personal data to the verifier." zkMe also offers a zero-knowledge KYC solution, where no single third party has access to all user privacy data, and all data processing is done in a fully distributed and decentralized manner, in a privacy-preserving way, making it more suitable for Web3 applications such as DeFi.
INTMAX announced its successful completion of a $4.87 million seed round during the Hong Kong Web3 Festival, and SNZ, as an early investor, also supported INTMAX in this round. Its founder, Leona, introduced the advantages of INTMAX as the first fully stateless ZK Rollup. He explained what statelessness means, "The word 'state' refers to the state of data and the state of the virtual machine. What does statelessness mean? It means there is no database. If there is a database, that's another matter. What we want to achieve is not needing a database, and that's the result we want to get." A stateless ZK Rollup can provide better privacy and near-zero transaction fees.
Delphinus Lab founder Sinka delivered a keynote speech on the theme of "zkWASM and the Vision for Layer 2 Network Technology". Delphinus Lab's zero-knowledge virtual machine zkWASM is slightly different from the regular EVM-compatible virtual machine because it supports general Web Assembly bytecode rather than Solidity. Sinka believes that "If we want to achieve mass adoption of applications, zkWASM may be a better choice. WebAssembly can better adapt to browser applications and serverless applications because it has become the de facto industrial standard. By choosing to develop zkWASM, we can import this part of the ecosystem into our blockchain."
The final panel discussion was titled "Building the L2 and ZK Ecosystem", moderated by SNZ Investment Director Walker. The panelists included Chainlink Labs Asia Pacific Developer Community Lead Frank Kong, Manta Network Co-founder Kenny Li, Galadriel Co-founder Cong Tang, and Ola Partner Relations and Growth Lead Philip Eriksson. The panelists discussed and shared their thoughts on striking a balance between regulation and privacy protection, killer applications for ZK, and the latest developments in the ZK field.
For more information please visit: https://www.web3festival.org/hongkong2023/agenda?lang=zh-CN