Mina Protocol As early as 2018 In the second quarter of , You get Coinbase Venture Seed round financing of ,Coinbase As the super giant of the universe , It is also the temple in the hearts of all projects in the blockchain industry , Anyone who can get Coinbase Venture When to invest in the project Coinbase exchange ？ Everyone knows that , I won't stop coming , Only late .
Coinbase Speaker Series yes Coinbase Venture stay Youtube On the live dialogue interview program , At present, blockchain celebrities have talked to ： Founder of Ethereum V god , Wright coin founder Charlie, Paradigm cofounder Fred Ehrsam,A16Z form a partnership Vijay Pande wait , They are all top institutions in the blockchain industry , Great technology , Encryption industry innovators .
Mina Chief executive officer of the foundation Evan stay 2019 year 6 Monthly guest Coinbase Speaker Series And the host Justin Mart Chatting Mina The development of , Although it's an old video , But the content is also wonderful , Worth reading .
MinaClub Organize the interview content into a text version , Take you across to 2019 year , At that time Evan It's still tender ,Mina Protocol Also called Coda Protocol…..
It should be noted that ：Mina Protocol Formerly known as Coda Protocol, Because of the name infringement , On 2020 year 9 The brand upgrade will be completed in June , Most of this article will use Coda Protocol replace Mina Protocol.
On the left ：Evan On the right ：Justin
Justin: Welcome to Coinbase Speaker Series, I'd like to quickly introduce (1) labs Evan Shapiro, establish Coda Protocol The team , We are very happy to welcome you Evan To participate in this dialogue ,Coda Is a coinbase Ventures Portfolio companies , We will be with Evan Discussion and establishment Coda What is the inspiration behind it , How it works and what innovations it will bring to this field ？
By the way , My name is Justin, Some of you don't know me , Introduce yourself , I am here Coinbase Venture Enterprise development team and venture capital team . Can I talk to you today , Very happy. ,Evan, Let's start with a brief introduction to you ,Evan Graduated from Carnegie Mellon University , He holds a bachelor's degree in science and computer science , He also obtained a master's degree in research while working in the personal robot laboratory of Carnegie Mellon University , There he did some awesome robot platform research , Then he worked as a software engineer , At Mozilla. About a year and a half or two years ago , He co founded (1) labs, Founded Coda Protocol, It has won the support of well-known encryption institutions in the industry, such as Metastable Capital, Electric Capital, polychain Equal seed round financing , And I got it Coinbase Ventures The investment of , As (1) labs CEO , You are very welcome ！
To get to know you better , Now can you briefly introduce your personal experience and background ？ And how you got into cryptocurrency ？
Evan: Um. , As you said , I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University , Major in Computer Science , I went to CMU After that, I was very interested in computer science , After graduation, he studied for a master's degree in robotics . We did a lot of research , Such as basic motion planning , If you have a robot , One of the robotic arms , There are many joints in it , You know how to move it better , It was interesting at that time .
After that, I moved here , At the same time , One of my high school friends , He moved here after Claire and studied for a doctorate in typography at Berkeley University , We have common hobbies , Like to stay together and study projects , One of the things we really started to study in depth is cryptocurrency . Especially in 2017 Beginning of the year , We see many new projects springing up on Ethereum , The vision of their release projects is very ambitious .
A large number of projects are overwhelming , In any direction , But what we saw more at that time was that the short board of technology did not match the sudden outbreak of the bull market . We began to think , What direction can I go , What can be improved , Be able to make some attempts for the short board of technology , Since then , We began to consider establishing Coda Protocol, Start thinking about the current technical constraints , How to build the underlying technology , And if you lift the restrictions on a certain firewood , What will happen .
That is to say 2017 That summer of , We just want to create an agreement , After about four or five months , Start raising money .
Justin： therefore , I wanted to build one directly Protocol? Compared with most people , Your experience was really interesting . When I talk to most people about cryptocurrency , What attracts them is the price of money , Watching the rise and fall of currency prices , Then they went to the exchange to buy money , Finally joined the industry , And for you , What initially attracted you was technology .
Evan: Yes , We from 2011 Year begins , When I was still in high school, I began to pay attention to it The currency , The technology of block chain behind bitcoin is really awesome. , Very charming ; You may like to do this, usually paxos Algorithm . Cryptocurrency ,POW Consensus communism is complicated , But the research is quite interesting .
Justin： ok , Now let's talk Coda Well ！ So you finally decided to launch Layer 1 Blockchain , Coinbase Ventures Also participated in the seed round of financing , It's also a very cool technology , So I'd like to hear the inspiration behind the project , Want to know why you decided to start Coda, Can you talk about Coda What is? ？
Evan: When we started studying , What is the base layer protocol ？ What is it like ？ What are its components ？ What we noticed was , Yes, if you want to be a member of the chain , You must run the complete node , Blockchains like bitcoin , You have to verify , Download and access blockchain , Today's technology is very important , Because you have to download the entire blockchain completely , If you check the current data status , Basically hundreds G It's easy , How many days does it take to fully download synchronized data , And you must stay online all the time before you can download it . And as more transactions increase , The data will only get bigger and bigger . This also inspired us to really study the block size in depth , This is what Coda Technological innovation .
Justin： Be specific , What I find really fascinating is Coda The goal is ： Simple blockchain , In fact, the block size is being compressed to the extreme , Next, let's learn how it is implemented .
You're sitting, everybody , How many people have run their complete nodes on any blockchain ？ So I think we all interact with these blockchains through third parties , We are not local untrusted participants in these blockchains , When we think about it , One thing is , If everyone has to use third-party services , How will this remain decentralized and how will we create applications and projects based on these things .
This is what I think the team coda The core problem to be solved . I think this is a very technical conversation , In especial coda Being used zk-snark To do something really groundbreaking , I want us to talk about how it is achieved ？ You try to make it easier to understand , Please explain ,coda How can you keep it simple ？
Evan： ok , Let me try , So usually when you have a cryptocurrency and you want to use it , You want to verify it , You must download all blocks in the blockchain , After downloading, you have all the data , however , If you want to add more blocks , The blockchain will be longer and longer .
therefore , Let's think about the use of blockchain , What it does is prove to me that some states of the world are like the real state of the world and the strongest state of the world , Some databases , Some ledger books , It's a real ledger .
Then we have to ask questions ： Why do these certificates have to be n It's as long as a block . Is there any way to compress it in some way , The answer is yes , You can use zero knowledge proof to create a proof of the current state of the database , While keeping the volume very, very small .
in fact , A proof is just a constant size , And only a few thousand bytes , So once you have , You don't need to download the whole blockchain . You only need to save the current state of the database and proof that the database is what you want .
Justin： Can that be understood ？ When each participant gets this very concise proof of the blockchain , Others must download the entire historical transaction , Am I right? ？
Evan： Not exactly , They can choose to hold it , Then you know it's the same as any other blockchain , If they want to , They can see the whole history . But to become a consensus node , All you have to do is keep the blockchain in its current state , This means that you only need to maintain all current account balances at the current time , If things change , You can ignore old data .
Justin： It's interesting , Can you talk about the problems and use cases that blockchain is trying to solve ？
Evan： Yes , So I mean, we just discussed a simple , Just like it takes a few days to download a complete node now . When you have a synchronized blockchain , You can download the full node now . This means that it is usually in cryptocurrency , There is a tension between the scalability and decentralization of blockchain . Take bitcoin for example , They keep the block size very low , It's because they want to maximize decentralization . If the block volume , You need to add more and more data to the blockchain , And its size will grow faster and faster . For traditional blockchain , Dare not make the block volume too large , But once your blockchain size remains the same . You can set the block size to the size you want , As big as the network can handle . Because it's just folded into this small zero knowledge proof , It also does not affect the decentralization of the chain , This is a big advantage you get , Throughput and decentralization can be maintained .
Justin： How can a simple blockchain achieve scalability and throughput at the same time , You can share it with everyone ？
Evan： Yes , So let's consider what throughput is , Throughput is the number of transactions you add to the blockchain per unit time , This is actually the block size . Because if your block size is every minute, you know each individual block , And you double the block size , Then the throughput is doubled .
So usually it's bad , Because you are increasing the growth rate of blockchain , This is detrimental to decentralization . But with Coda, Once you have a block , There are all these transactions , You turn this block into a new zero knowledge proof , You don't need to keep this block anymore . You have a new zero knowledge proof of your new database , So this means that you can make the block size very large , But your proof size remains the same .
Justin： Let's have a deeper understanding of ZK-snarks, It's like a magical observation technique , Encryption magic , Cryptography magic . Although I have a background in mathematics , But I tried to understand several times ZK-snark, But it's hard for me , Even because it's Coda Protocol The core of . I wonder if you'll take a moment to explain ZK-snarks How it works ? In fact, how do they eventually create a very concise proof ？
Evan： I think we can understand zero knowledge proof at several levels , Let me start with something a little technical , Then I will use analogy to make it easier for you to understand .
If you imagine that you want to run a calculation , Generally speaking , If you want to know the result of that calculation , You have to run it yourself , You must know what to tell your computer ：“ ok , I have entered the data , Let's see what the output will be ？”, Let's see if the calculation results really meet our expectations .
Zero knowledge proof , Let's do something different , That's it , You don't need to run the program yourself , Others can also run the program , Someone randomly gives you some proof on the Internet , These proofs are the same as those you got by running your own program “ Prove the result ” It's the same .
So it's great , Because using blockchain , You do not have to run calculations that check the entire blockchain , You only need to check the zero knowledge proof that represents the calculation .
Excluding technical understanding , It's understandable , Think about it ： Just like you know a boulder , I want to prove to you that I know it exists . One thing I can do is take you to see the boulder , Or I dragged the boulder , And get it in front of you .
Another thing I can do is take a picture of that boulder , Then I can show you the photos , Because you can see it in the picture , Do you believe it exists , This is zero knowledge proof , It's like there's little evidence that something really exists , You don't have to really see things , Because it proves （ This photo ） Completely proved its existence .
Justin： interesting , Zero knowledge proof essentially encapsulates the state of the blockchain into a small piece of data , This is a recursive proof , How recursion works in Coda Play a role in blockchain ？
Evan： Imagine , If every time we add new data to the blockchain , We have to recalculate this proof . That's really a headache , Because when the blockchain is long 10 When rice , Maybe that's your size 10KB prove , But when the blockchain is long 10,000 When rice , Now your proof is 10,000KB size , It's also very big .
So you need a way to update the blockchain with a constant workload every time you update the blockchain , This is where recursion comes in
For example, now we need to update the blockchain , We have adopted the existing blockchain for so far coda Blockchain , For example 5000 Block
We look at the evidence we have for this , We combine this evidence with one , It shows that the data we want to add to the evidence is also correct . So now we have evidence that we have a length of The first 5,000 Blockchain of blocks , Then we'll add another new piece .
Now we can create a second 5001 A new proof , So it is also proved by recursive update , So this is very time-saving, labor-saving and workload saving .
Justin： I don't know if there can be a simpler way to understand ZK-Snarks? It's too technical ! What I understand is , Recursive proof is a proof superimposed on proof , Superposition proof . So whenever someone needs to join coda When ecosystem , All they need is the current recursive proof , The proof is a zero knowledge proof in coding , But there is actually a blockchain behind it , Connected by all other blocks , And code there , And encode the transaction root . There is a ledger somewhere , All these have been mathematically proved and verified .
Evan： Yes , It's like a picture , A picture , A photograph of a photograph , Or each photo is included in the photo , One represents the previous blockchain , Just like what you added , It's understandable . It's more like a photo tunnel , It can trace you back to the founding block .
Justin： Yes , Photo tunnel , Keep looking down the creation block . So when we think about what this means for end users ？ I mean, how many of you have run complete nodes in any blockchain ？ I don't think there are many answers . Because it is difficult for today's all nodes and any other blockchain to have the whole transaction history , You have to let history scroll forward in each block as you apply each state change .
While using Coda, You only need a very small amount of data , It contains a proof that there is a blockchain .
Evan： Yes , So we discussed some issues about scalability , But we discussed the impact on end users , More than that , Because this proof is not only constant in size , And it's very small , About a few thousand bytes , So anyone who uses a web browser , You can get a complete blockchain on the device just like using a mobile phone .
CODA Compared with the other one , You'll see. Which is more awesome? . If it is an end user , You won't think about what third party you'll trust , Because you can connect your device directly to the blockchain , Connect to the network and make sure it has the most powerful chain , And ensure the real state of world data .
If you are a developer , Then you don't have to consider building infrastructure to connect your users （ Like an application 、 Their user equipment ） Connect to blockchain , Because your user device can complete on behalf of your application, it can connect to the blockchain .
Justin： So what kind of application do you think it will have ？
Evan： The most exciting thing before was to be able to build things like developers , Things that end users can quickly access and quickly build new things for . And what really excites me is ,App Can be downloaded from the digital currency store , Just like you know the value of digital money and can embed it into applications and build new applications .
As soon as I want to, I'm more excited about developing applications that coordinate a large number of users , It's like a lot of people visit the website ,
Justin： fantastic , So we really want to bring it to a little technology , Because I think it's coda The core of the agreement . I have a few questions about building a concise blockchain and using it ZK snark Questions about the meaning behind ;ZK snarks Like the truly innovative new cryptography magic , At present, it is relatively novel , At present, the field of cryptography should use more those who have been tested in practice .
Because they've been around for a long time , When you use ZK-Snarks when , You are more confident that we understand the boundaries of the system , They are very novel , And only a few experts in the world know them . So I wonder if we should worry that at some point in the future, someone may find a novel way to poke it or break it . For example, how should we consider this risk ？
Evan： Just like an encryption system ,snarks It's like a good practical test , I think it's just because they will be stronger in the future because of innovation .
The speed at which people renew their cognition also changes with the speed of Technological Development , It makes them a bit like public knowledge , Not like they're just new or anything around them , I'm glad people think about it in the same way. Imagine you know public key cryptography. You're hashing us, just like you don't necessarily know all the details of why hashing works , But just as you know it has been tested and you believe it works, people really understand snark.
Justin： Yes , So one of the key innovations you make here is how to improve snark Computational efficiency , And you mentioned one point , Traditionally , Use any type of ZK-Snark All projects require a lot of computing power , This has certain constraints and limitations on your system , How can you improve computing efficiency , And how it affects the developer experience ？
Evan： The biggest impact is , When you decide to use different encryption languages in your protocol （ Like hash functions and public key cryptography ） When such encryption primitives , stay snark Internal will be more effective than others . So if you look at something like bitcoin , For example, it uses hash scheme and signature scheme in snark Internal efficiency will be lower , But if you change the lip parameters of the curve you use and the hash function you use , You can go to snarks Find a very effective solution in , The overall experience will be very good .
Justin： The last technical question , So if we really have to limit our use ZK snark The way , So that they are more effective ？ Does that mean in coda People who develop and build these applications on must use and confirm that they like this ZK-snark Library or language of system boundary ？
Evan： therefore , up to now , Everything you want to do in the real world seems to have an alternative ,ZK-Snarks There will also be alternatives in the zero knowledge proof .
If you think about how you would actually encode a zero knowledge proof , So there are two ways of thinking . The more special is the use of Coda when , You can write code similar to the original zero knowledge proof code , Um. , We wrote this programming language snarky Or the other is that we can write one snarky Program , The program acts as a virtual machine of assembly language , Then you write the program, compile it, and pass it recursively snark, You can compile any language you want into assembly language .
Justin： We can make all this better in some ways , tell the truth , read CODA I blew my head when I read the technical white paper , By the way , This is very opaka's mathematical knowledge. Let's talk about other topics , I want to talk about your personal role as the founder , You know you're right CODA What is the five-year development expectation ？ What do you want in the next five years , What kind of progress do you want to see ？
Evan： Over the next few years , I want to see people basically use cryptocurrency to develop and build what people like , There will be a wider user base , They can also like cryptography as much as they like cryptocurrency . It's not like reinventing things from the old financial system , It is building something new for people 、 Interesting and exciting things , I think I've begun to see this happen slowly , People's enthusiasm and awareness of cryptocurrency are rising , Or you know, try new applications on the Internet, and I want to see this change affect those who like to really use cryptocurrency to provide financial transparency , Today's Internet system is very opaque , Like it's impossible, like creating a new thing , I'm really happy to see cryptocurrencies and things like O(1) Labs Such things hope to have an impact there , Because we can build a new fair and transparent system .
Justin： Yes , Interestingly , You mentioned financial transparency , On the other hand , I noticed that others were based on ZK snarks All items on apply it to anonymous private payments , and Coda It is used to create a concise blockchain . And you? ？ Have a plan to let Coda For privacy protection ？
Evan： Yes , I think privacy is very important , This is what we want to add . So what we have worked for us so far is , Like zero knowledge proof SAR It's already a bit like native code on the protocol . So it's easy to , You can recursively validate a new block recursive private transaction . So at the core , As you know , It is necessary to do this recursive combination of zero knowledge proof , But sometimes we want to increase privacy, too .
Justin： fantastic , Personally, I'm curious , establish Layer 1 Have you encountered any challenges in the agreement ？
Evan： Yes , I mean, a lot of ideas go around our minds every day , We'll want to write a security protocol , Who will use it ？ How to iteratively upgrade the technology ？ What will the user experience look like ？ It's like a ！ For the future development of the whole project , The future planning , Is the most challenging thing .
Justin： Is there any risk in or how you think you can successfully get developers and users and people to use this new technology , It's very important .
Evan： I think for what we are doing , We have to move forward step by step , A little bit of optimization . Just like I used github This kind of online toolbox or something I can start using , I think we must ensure a good user experience , Only let the user experience , This can influence their thoughts imperceptibly .
Justin：Layer 1 The construction of the protocol is full of challenges , You need to connect all these different little details in a very perfect way , What stage has the project reached now ？
Evan： So it's very simple to touch less , As I think , Because we can build like you know phone notes and run anywhere, it simplifies how we develop things , Because every platform gets the same treatment , I also like each platform, which is a bit like dealing with the whole infrastructure and back-end , So this helps ensure a better user experience , Because we don't have to consider all middleware and intermediate components . This may be possible. coda One of the main benefits of writers , We are getting rid of the middleware constraints between developers and users ;
In our Roadmap in , Next, an open test network will be launched soon 、 Then we will start the public test network and when we test the network , Make sure everything goes well before release , Developers can start in Coda Build small projects on .
Justin： Is there a clear release date for the main website ？
Evan： I hope to launch the test network first in the next few months , Then we'll you know we'll see you know it looks like the workload from there, but hopefully not too high , Before the main network starts , We need to ensure that , That is, it is very close to functional integrity , All components passed the security test ;
Justin： As a technology founder , You must learn very quickly , What do you think is the most valuable lesson you have learned so far ？
Evan： Or will you ask for help as usual , I also listened to many suggestions from our consultants and investors , They have seen a lot of projects in this circle and given a lot of suggestions , We can avoid many detours , I also think intuition is important , But your intuition tells you that what you do is right , You have to move forward bravely .
Justin: The interview is coming to an end . thank you Evan. As coda Investors , We are happy to help you in the process of operation , In our own way , Provide guidance to you where feasible .
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