Devcon in Review: ZK House @ Bogota, UPA, Trusted Setup Ceremony

#ZKHouseBogota meets Edward Snowden

We would be surprised if you were actually able to catch everything happening with Manta this past week, let alone all of Devcon. Being that our Twitter page looks like a battlefield, we’ve compiled everything here for you to read with calm 🧘

#ZKHouseBogota

This was our first edition of what could become a recurring, core asset to the ZK community: the idea of ZKHouse is to provide a comfortable space for the greater ZK community to meet, collaborate, cowork, and exchange ideas. The two days were filled with talks, swag, parties, and over 500 participants passing through the space.

The talks, The live streams

Day 1 TL;DR

Day 1 Livestream

(note: there are three sessions, you can parse through on the top left corner)

Day 2 TL;DR

Day 2 Livestream

Amidst the talks, we had some major developments including the UPA launch, Trusted Setup Ceremony, and a message from Edward Snowden.

Trusted Setup Ceremony

Manta has launched one of the only decentralized Zero Knowledge Trusted Setup ceremonies in Web3 history. This is a participatory event for anyone in the Manta Community, and the more participants, the more secure our ZK infrastructure. You can learn more about this in our announcement blog post or just head straight to our documentation to get started.

The Universal Privacy Alliance

The Universal Privacy Alliance aims to envision, build and defend a post-surveillance society. What started as a telegram chat of crypto privacy advocates has now become something much bigger, including the UPA Legal Defence Fund “defending the right to experiment, build, and use full-stack privacy technologies.”

“The Universal Privacy Alliance [UPA] aims to protect privacy regardless of the blockchain or technology stack. It provides the foundation for privacy at the native level, thereby providing the security and democracy emerging technologies need to thrive.”

The Alliance, which includes p0xeidon labs, Manta Network, Nym Technologies, SCRT Labs’ Secret Network, Orchid, Railgun, Status, and Oasis Foundation’s Oasis Network, was announced during #ZKHouseBogota, and is open to participation from other projects via the website.

You can follow the alliance on twitter @priv_alliance for more updates and plans for future events.

Messages to the ZK community from Edward Snowden

Following the announcement of the UPA, we had a keynote speech from Edward Snowden from an anonymous location. You can watch the full recording here (note: the first ten minutes of the talk are muted to technical difficulties).

Overall, the message on the importance of privacy was clear. Edward argues that the most successful project in crypto was created by an anonymous person. If Satoshi was known, would they be allowed to live? Live in peace? As a tool built to challenge the current system, chances are that Satoshi could not live a normal life.

A big question we face in the privacy ecosystem is: how do we get people to care? Snowden states: “The data collection problem is very much like pollution — we don’t see the harm until 10, 20, 50 years on. By the time we do, we are so poisoned by it that it is very difficult to heal.”

The best thing we can do now is focus on building all the tools we can, with the people who care, so when that day comes of global consciousness around privacy, we are the most prepared we can be.

What’s the future of #ZKHouse?

It was clear during this year’s DevCon that developers and the ETH community care about ZK. There were many workshops, stalls, and side events revolving around ZK. After seeing the success of the #ZKHouse, we hope to continue this in future events and provide space specifically for the ZK community ❤. Stay tuned to learn more about future events!

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