Beautiful Solutions

This is a photo I took inside the Wyoming capitol building.

There are 4 statues that I’ll be documenting with a video, but for now I wanted to use them as a counterpoint to the talks I got to watch over the past couple days.

(I’m sitting at the gate and the plane is delayed an hour, so I’ll try not to use that whole time to write. . .)

There are incredible advances in cryptography, zero knowledge proofs, and other “digital age” essentials.

And they’re all being put to work on Urbit, years ahead of the competition.

There was one talk that outlined how they’re getting massive advances in efficiency without compromising results with zero knowledge proofs.

If you’re like me and you’ve barely heard about zero knowledge proofs, then you still have time to figure it out. It’s a massive step forward in building networks that we can trust, even when we have zero trust in the other people we’re connected to.

If that sounds wild to you, then get ready to have your mind turned inside out in multiple dimensions.

But, like, not by me.

I don’t understand it well enough to explain it, and that’s a great sign that I should learn more about it.

Every time I’ve found something that makes my head hurt like this, it’s always paid off big time.

I know I’ve mentioned Urbit before, and I will continue to talk about it in the future, but you really should take the time to engage with it.

For now, I’m going to go grab a cup (or 5) of coffee and percolate (pun intended) on everything I learned from Reassembly23.

Oh, and HUGE thanks to Jae for putting on the whole event & inviting me to be a part of it. Fantastic team, and wonderful event.

Best thoughts,
~Jonathan


PS: Want a peek at what blew my mind? Try out this abstract from their whitepaper:

Succinct Non-interactive Arguments of Knowledge (SNARKs) enable a party to cryptographically prove a statement regarding a computation to another party that has constrained resources. Practical use of SNARKs often involves a Zero-Knowledge Virtual Machine (zkVM) that receives an input program and input data, then generates a SNARK proof of the correct execution of the input program. Most zkVMs emulate the von Neumann architecture and must prove relations between a program’s execution and its use of Random Access Memory. However, there are conceptually simpler models of computation that are naturally modeled in a SNARK yet are still practical for use. Nock is a minimal, homoiconic combinator function, a Turing-complete instruction set that is practical for general computation, and is notable for its use in Urbit.

Gnarly, right?

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