Author: Foresight X
During the recently concluded EthCC, Foresight X, a blockchain accelerator affiliated with Foresight Ventures, hosted the second #OpenBuild hacker house with the theme “Empowering a Trustless Future”. We have received more than 200 applications and accepted 11 exceptional staying hackers. Among them, 4 staying hackers were nominated as EthGlobal finalists, 3 members secured the first and second prizes in the LambdaZkWeek hackathon, and other members won multiple bounty awards(Details of the winning projects will be listed below).
1. A journey of collaborative learning and exploration
Foresight Ventures has invested in various zero-knowledge proof projects such as Polyhedra, Hyper Oracle, Veridise, Accseal, OlaVM, etc. The OpenBuild Hacker House @ Paris, hosted by Foresight X and Generative Ventures, continues to explore ZK and other related technological frontiers with the theme of Empowering a Trustless Future and fully participated in zkDay, the event organized by Cointelegraph and Manta Network.
Throughout EthCC, we provided developers with a collaborative and shared development space and engaged in in-depth discussions about cutting-edge zk-related technologies with developers. Our OpenBuild hacker house teams have won several awards at EthGlobal hackathon, LambdaZkWeek hackathon, etc., showcasing impressive innovations in utilizing ZK technology to combat deep fakes, intent-based infrastructure, and AIGC NFT domains.
2. Workshops and Ideas:
OpenBuild Hacker House @ EthCC workshops covered all aspects of trustless building, aiming to provide meaningful discussions and inspiration for OpenBuild hacker house developers and participants from EthCC. The workshop topics included decentralized storage (EthStorage), ZKVM (ZKWASM, OlaVM ZK-ZKVM), middleware (Hyper Oracle, Herodotus), ZKML (Modulus Labs, EF PSE), and deployable ZK-EVM (Taiko), among others. In this process, several valuable insights and ideas emerged:
Compared to (ZK) privacy features that are difficult to implement and whose needs are unclear, verifiable AI is a more practical direction to develop. Developers with a ZKML background are encouraged to consider these three directions: (1) ZKML AIGC NFTs: Using ERC7007, trigger prompt through smart contracts, generate AIGC-related files by ML model inference, and then verify and generate proof by ZKML prover to create new NFTs. (2)Recursive Neural Networks (RNN): ZK RNN can be used to develop price prediction, trading bots, large language models, etc. (3) Fun applications: Develop ZK-friendly models from scratch for specific use cases and create games like Zordle, Leela vs the World, etc.
Hybrid ML Practical On-chain AI/ML, by Hyper Oracle
Some of the on-chain data platforms supported by Hyper Oracle have already supported the emergence of new projects, including ZKAMM, in recent times. However, for high-intensity computations like deploying large artificial intelligence models on-chain, it is not sufficient. Hyper Oracle introduces the use of Hybrid ML, which leverages ZKP to compress the fraud-proof cycle in OPML (Optimistic Machine Learning) and significantly reduce gas consumption during on-chain transactions. Its performance enables the integration of super-sized artificial intelligence models into the blockchain and facilitates the development of related applications.
Who killed ZKML? by Modulus Labs
Currently, ZKML is still in the very early stages, with only 10 related projects so far… Why is that? It’s mainly due to cost, being in the early stages, and the inherent difficulty of the matter itself. Modulus Labs hopes to reduce costs by 90% or even 100% by designing a ZK dedicated to the AI field. However, looking back, what is the ultimate goal of pursuing extreme performance? Perhaps we will have completely different UX and entirely new project forms.
Unleash the power of ZK-ZKVM by OlaVM
Ola presents the vision of ZK-ZKVM, the first programmable privacy platform based on ZKVM — it can easy extent privacy and high-performance features to platforms that lack them while inheriting their network security. It will dedicate to bringing controllable and optional privacy to Ethereum, the largest blockchain in the ecosystem, and the entire Web3 ecosystem.
One major observation from this event is that hackers with ZK and ML backgrounds are increasingly interested in developing projects in the ZKML field during hackathons. Therefore, at the zkDay event, Foresight Ventures technical leader Maggie presented an analysis of the most cutting-edge proof recursion in the ZK field.
- Why proof recursion is necessary? When we need to prove a large and complex program using ZKP (Zero-Knowledge Proof) and desire a small-sized proof, we require three important methods: proof composition, proof aggregation, and proof recursion.
- How proof recursion can be used to achieve IVC (incrementally verifiable computation), which can be applied to prove very long program: The program to be proven can be divided into multiple steps and recursively proven, resulting in a small ZKP (Zero-Knowledge Proof). This method not only reduces the prover’s memory requirement but also allows proving the correctness of the entire execution history with this small ZKP.”
- The technological development history of IVC (incrementally verifiable computation) and focused on the recently highly promising folding-based IVC. This folding-based IVC is the least recursive and most efficient compared to the previous two types of IVC.
- Various significant folding-based IVC methods were introduced, including Nova, SuperNova, Sangria, HyperNova, and Protostar. Proof recursion is almost the only method to use ZKP for proving large programs, and we believe that folding-based IVC will be widely adopted in the industry.
The trustless future represented by zero-knowledge proof, particularly the fusion of blockchain and AI, is a technology direction that Foresight Ventures has been constantly focusing on and investing in. We have released research papers on topics such as “What Exactly is Fiery zkML”, “Best Attempt at a Decentralized AI Marketplace”, and “On Proof Recursion”. We will continue to publish relevant research and feel free to contact us for further discussions
3. OpenBuild Hacker House @Paris Project introduction and review
ZK Microphone (Winner of Filecoin — Runner Up, EAS — Best Use and ETHGlobal Paris 2023 Finalist)
Generative AI and deepfake audio have posed significant threats to our societal security. It enables disinformation, manipulation, and political subversion. The team built the world’s first attested microphone and used ZK-SNARKs to protect authenticity and privacy.
Foresight Ventures comment: ZK microphone can guarantee the hardware authenticity of the recorded audio. Moreover, the team has taken comprehensive considerations, as it also allows editing the audio in a digital-signature preserving and privacy-preserving way. Using ZK proofs to fight disinformation is a highly valuable initiative.
Bob the Solver（winner of 1inch — Best use of 1inch Contracts and ETHGlobal Paris 2023 Finalist)
Bob the Solver” is an innovative project designed as an infrastructure for intent-based transactions (txs), intended to be integrated into wallets and decentralized applications (dapps). This project is born from the emerging paradigm shift in the account abstraction space, where discussions center on delegating the transaction creation process to a third party. Instead of instructing the exact transactions, the focus is on the execution of the user’s intent.
Foresight Ventures comment: Bob the Solver is an excellent tool that reduces the barrier to entry for Web3, enabling Web2 users without extensive blockchain knowledge to swiftly dive into Web3. Users simply need to describe their intentions, and Bob the Solver can generate transactions on their behalf, eliminating the complexity of constructing transactions. Moreover, it employs an AA wallet to handle users’ gas fees, making it even more convenient for users to get started quickly
Starksplitter（winner of Starknet — Best Use)
This project is an implementation of OpenZeppelin payment splitter contract in Cairo. This contract allows to split ERC20 payments among a group of accounts. The sender does not need to be aware that the ERC20 will be split in this way, since it is handled transparently by the contract.
Foresight Ventures comment: Payment splitting contracts are contracts used to implement payments to a specific group of people. Starknet needs to implement these commonly used contracts.
ZenetikNFT （winner of the Metamask — Best Use, Worldcoin — Pool Prize, and The Graph — Pool Prize）
This project utilizes genetic AI to breed new NFT images. It leverages EZKL to generate proofs and its ERC7007 implementation to oversee each minting process. This process is fortified by ZKML proof verification, ensuring each image is truly expressed by its genetic AI. It adopts a Worldcoin ID sign-in that is verified on-chain so that only real humans can own and breed these awesome NFTs. Finally, all pieces are unified seamlessly using React.
Foresight Ventures comment: ZenetikNFT is an interesting project with cutting-edge technologies. It leverages genetic AI to create new NFTs. From a technical standpoint, it utilizes EZKL tools and integrates ERC7007 with ZKML to verify AIGC-NFT ownership and ensure accurate minting processes.ZKML is a cutting-edge and rapidly growing field of research that can introduce verifiable AI to the blockchain, which is a very promising technology.
Photon uses Celestia’s DA layer for zkpps to address the issue that most existing offchain storage solutions for Mina lack cryptoeconomic security and rely on centralized servers.
Foresight Ventures comment: Photon is a unique bridge that supports the use of Celestia as an off-chain data layer for zkDapps on the Mina blockchain, enabling the storage of complex algorithms and data.
Compared to most existing off-chain storage solutions for Mina, Photon’s use of Celestia as the DA layer offers higher liveliness and reliability, ensuring more reliable access to zkDapp data. Photon is a highly promising project.
Delta Z is the first Zero Knowledge Differential Privacy (ZKDP) protocol. The team has implemented key algorithms from differential privacy literature as a Cairo-based smart contracts deployed on StarkNet (goerli). This allows users to submit queries as normal but receive results with verifiably correct noise that doesn’t hinder their analysis.
Foresight Ventures comment: Delta Z has implemented a verifiable and privacy-preserving data query method with potential to be used in various data-sharing applications. Delta Z utilizes Cairo contracts to implement the key algorithms of differential privacy, which is a data-sharing method that allows sharing only certain statistical features of a database without revealing specific individual information.
4. Continued Support
The OpenBuild hacker house @ EthCC has wrapped up, but BUIDL won’t stop. Foresight X is dedicated to offering web3 developers the most up-to-date research insights, advisory and resources support, and early-stage funding of approximately $200,000, helping them bring their visions to life and propelling the entire crypto industry forward.
Following our Hong Kong and Paris events, stay tuned for our upcoming hacker house. You can stay informed about our latest updates through various channels, including the Foresight X website, WeChat official account, Foresight News, Twitter, and other media platforms. Prepare yourself for more exciting events on the horizon! Looking forward to seeing you again next time!