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Sunday, April 25, 2021

From Blockchain to Contracts

Have been looking at the use of 'smart contracts' in a broader way.  Is this one direction?   Incorporating trust.

Investing in Aleo  by Katie Haun and Ali Yahya  in Andreessen Horowitz

From the beginning, our core thesis has been that the best way to think of a modern blockchain is as a new class of computer that has the ability to run a special kind of program. These programs are sometimes called smart contracts, and they’re different from ordinary programs in that they have a life of their own. They are independent, and once written, they obediently execute themselves subject to nobody’s authority. Because of this property, smart contracts are uniquely capable of earning trust. 

But smart contracts today have two big limitations: (1) they are fully transparent by design and therefore don’t allow for privacy (2) they don’t scale to millions (let alone billions) of users. These limitations exist because trust requires verification. Transactions on a blockchain need to be transparent so that everyone can verify that they are correct. And, they tend not to scale because it takes time and energy for all computers on the network to perform that verification.

But research in a cutting edge area of cryptography called zero-knowledge proofs promises to unlock an elegant solution to the privacy and scalability problems. We spent a great deal of time looking at various approaches and teams working on this. Aleo’s solution is both elegant and pragmatic.  ... '

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