**What's Up Wednesday Bites - Aug 17** 💣

  • Tornado Cash. :tornado:

Today’s call focused on digging a little deeper into the Tornado Cash case and all the activity this event has generated in the community.

For those members who haven’t read it yet, we have posted an interesting interview with our co-founder, Shumo Chu. Where he talks specifically about the TC sanctions and the implications for both privacy projects and projects in the Web3 space in general.

We recognize that the U.S. government’s ban was allegedly done in the interest of national security, as the North Korean hacker group Lazarus is known to use Tornado to launder the funds it steals. But, by banning the protocol, we can question regulators’ understanding of how the Blockchain works and how decentralized open source-based systems can be located, replicated, and operated again from anywhere else.

Based on the actions that were taken, the general consensus on the Web3 related to privacy projects and legal compliance measures is that the authorities did not adequately delve into the privacy aspect of the rest of the legitimate users, and preferred to take totalitarian measures over these natural rights to prevent the proliferation of illicit money laundering actions.

We may think that these sanctions, never seen before in history, were somewhat hasty, as an emergency. However, they do not solve the root of the problem. Hackers not only steal money or assets but also information from users. And in a Web3 where everything is transparent, immutable, and public, unless you have a privacy intermediary that allows you to protect yourself, you cannot practice your privacy in a self-sovereign way. Therefore, it is important to fundamentally inquire about the importance of the exercise of privacy and adequate regulatory measures that do not attack the fundamental right of customers to practice it in a sovereign way but that protect them from these clandestine businesses sharing their data. If privacy is limited to just privatizing asset transactions, we will always have these problems with Data and this is something that the government must also be aware of.

All of this brings us back to the original approaches to privacy and the possible uses we can provide around privacy issues and the uses we must develop on Web3 in order to protect our users and provide the appropriate tools to demonstrate good compliance and self-regulation to the authorities.

For our part, Manta Network works on audit-ability; permissions to share your transaction data, in a self-sovereign way, in case any application or regulator requires it and thus demonstrate that you are not a criminal without giving up your right to all your personal information.
Here we are talking about the responsibility of the network and the responsibility of the Dapp. Where the Network, such as Calamari or Manta, will be responsible for providing the appropriate tools so that you can exercise your right, while the Dapps will have to decide what type of use or enablement they will allow users to take advantage of. As well as taking into account measures to prevent Dapps from turning a blind eye, for convenience, to these bad actors who use their applications with bad intentions.

  • zkEVM libraries.

On the other hand, we had a community member participate with very interesting comments and questions about how privacy will be deployed in the space with the regulatory and legal challenges that privacy faces today.

We talked about our libraries on Github and how other projects could use them to their advantage. However, on Github, we have all of our work open and public. Our current intention with Github is that the community can validate every line of our code and be assured that everything is properly crafted and safe.

We are also working on having SDKs and other tools for them to use in the future, which will also be open source. This will be able to be used by other developers to have plug&play access to ZKP libraries and other general abstracts for ZKP developments.

In addition to the SDKs, we have also been working on Open ZK Lib. as a new initiative of ours to start building these abstraction tools for zero-knowledge proof libraries so that those devs who do not have deep knowledge of cryptography can also integrate ZKP privacy into their applications. All this is on the way but, for now, the Repositories that are now enabled are more for the community to audit our work.

We also clarified issues about the projects and their early versions of zkEVMs that we have seen in the space, such as Polygon, Scroll, or Matter Labs, these zkEVMs do not provide privacy, these zkEVMs are specifically designed to be compatible with ZK Roll-up systems. They are L2 solutions for scalability. They use the ZKP specifically as a compatible way between ZK-based Layer 2 solutions to deploy applications in a more scalable, not more private way.

  • Calamari :squid:

We remind the Community that today was the last unlocking of Calamari CL rewards. You can now claim your last quota of KMA tokens from Polkadot.JS. Thank you for giving us your support and we hope you won’t miss out on all the new stuff coming in mid-September! Stay connected to the community and stay tuned for new uses of your rewards within our Network coming soon.

That’s all for this week!
We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday with more news and important developments about Privacy in the space!

*If you would like to listen to the full call, go to this link