Privacy and Scalability Focused Blockchain Project Espresso Comes Out of Stealth Mode With $32M in Funding

Key highlights:

  • Espresso, a blockchain startup launched by Stanford applied cryptography researchers, has come out of stealth mode
  • The project is working on a layer 1 blockchain that natively integrates ZK-Rollups with Proof-of-Stake consensus
  • Espresso has also developed CAPE, a technology that allows tokens to be issued with customized privacy parameters

Espresso comes out of stealth, unveils privacy and scalability solutions for blockchains

Espresso Systems, a project working on a scalable and privacy-focused blockchain, has emerged out of stealth mode and announced a $32 million capital raise led by Greylock Partners and Electric Capital. Per a TechCrunch report, the project was started by Ben Fisch, Charles Lu and Benedikt Bünz, who have collaborated in Stanford University’s applied cryptography research group. The trio joined forces with crypto venture capital investor Jill Gunter, who’s serving as Espresso’s chief strategy officer.

Espresso Systems is working on two main products. The first is Espresso, a scalable layer 1 blockchain that incorporates ZK-Rollups and a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism. The Espresso Systems team says that they are natively integrating ZK-Rollup scaling with the Espresso platform’s consensus to adequately address the data availability challenge of ZK-Rollups while maintaining scalability and without having to resort to centralized solutions. 

The team is also working on Configurable Asset Privacy for Ethereum (CAPE), an open source technology which allows tokens on EVM-compatible blockchains to be issued with customizable privacy guarantees. CAPE also supports the wrapping of existing tokens to enhance their privacy, and the solution will soon be released in demo mode on the Ethereum Rinkeby testnet alongside a GUI. The Espresso blockchain itself is also EVM-compatible, which means that it will be able to support CAPE. 

According to the Espresso Systems team, CAPE was designed with stablecoin issuers in mind, although it can be used by any token issuer. The technology will enable stablecoin issuers to offer privacy-enhanced versions of their stablecoins while still being able to manage key issues like fraud and theft prevention:

“Stablecoin providers today generally want to maintain avenues to be able to address fraud, theft, and dispute resolution, demanding that they retain insights into the ledger of activity for their assets as well as controls like freezing capabilities. Prior to CAPE, there were no solutions for these types of asset creators to offer privacy-enabled versions of their tokens to users while being able to meet needs around visibility and dispute resolution. With CAPE’s viewing and freezing policies, this is now possible.”

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