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Zero Knowledge Pioneer on Mass Adoption of Blockchain and Financial Freedom

Zero Knowledge Pioneer on Mass Adoption of Blockchain and Financial Freedom

Oct 13, 2020

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Alex Gluchowski grew up in Ukraine where he suffered first hand the blight of hyperinflation as a whole population lost its savings and families were left scrambling to put food on the table. That experience inspired Alex to search for alternatives to the traditional financial system and led him decades later to found Matter Labs, a research and development company pioneering blockchain scalability and privacy solutions.

"Losing life savings is like losing years of life," Alex said on the latest episode of Follow the White Rabbit podcast. "You lose all that you expected, all that you worked hard for -- for yourself, for your kids. It was an enormous loss. For many people it was an existential crisis."

Alex noted times have not changed much, pointing to the latest of the world's financial crises this year in Lebanon, where a currency collapse has robbed people of the purchasing power they need to buy food staples.

"It is really, really crucial to give people an alternative to the system that is imposed on them through their local government. Not all governments are honest and accountable. We have billions of people living in corrupt regimes where they are hostages in a system that is based on corruption and bribery," he said. "We need to give them access to global financial instruments, global savings and investments possibilities."

The answer for Alex lies in cryptocurrency and the transfer of value on public, permissionless blockchain technology outside the banking system with its requisite middlemen. And he is helping to build the alternative by developing products that scale blockchains for mass adoption while providing the privacy necessary for financial transactions.

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"Nobody is going to bring their fortune onto a system which is completely transparent, where every neighbor, every merchant they interact with can see the entire balance of all their financial history and all their contacts. (Blockchain) is just not usable like this. It is just unthinkable -- so we have to solve privacy completely," Alex said.

This is why Alex's technological innovations have centered on zero knowledge proofs, and specifically his company's recently released main product zero knowledge synch, to scale blockchains while preserving privacy.

Zero knowledge proofs "can prove to someone that you have some data which satisfies certain properties without revealing that data," he explained. "You can perform very large computations and get some result, and then prove to the public that this is the result of this large computation computation, and then let them verify it with much less effort than was required from you to generate the proof."

"Zero knowledge synch is our main product, the first step in the big vision of making decentralized blockchains in general scalable to reach the scale of mass adoption. So we want to bring blockchain service to millions and billions of people and we want to do this without losing the properties of blockchain that make them valuable."

To hear more about the breakthrough technology, follow us down the rabbit hole: listen to the conversation here or on your favorite streaming service.

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