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Manta Network Receives First-Ever Polkadot Pioneers Prize Worth 750K $DOT for Zero-Knowledge Advancement

By May 19, 2022 No Comments
Polkadot Pioneers Prize

The first-ever Polkadot Pioneers Prize winner was revealed this week. According to the announcement, Manta was awarded 750,000 $DOT to help the advancement of zero-knowledge technology toward building mainstream privacy adoption.

The Polkadot Pioneers Prize was created to address some of the biggest challenges facing the entire Polkadot ecosystem and Web3 as a whole. The funding for the prize comes from the 20 million $DOT that currently sits in the Polkadot on-chain treasury – managed by an on-chain governance system through holders of the $DOT token. 

The prize intends to fund two major categories of innovation; zero-knowledge advancements for improved privacy on blockchains and Polkadot infrastructure. 

Manta Network is now tasked with a zero-knowledge challenge that is part of the larger ZPrize, another contest aimed to accelerate the advancement of zero-knowledge prover technology to help the acceleration of mainstream adoption. 

The funds for ZPrize are sponsored by many big names in the industry, including the likes of Algorand, Celo, and the Ethereum Foundation itself. 

The partnership between these two separate prizes was taken in order to allow winners to collaborate with other groups that are also focused on improving ZKP moving forward. The Polkadot Pioneers Prize Curator had the following to say;

“By partnering with Zprize, the Pioneers Prize curators along with Manta are able to collaborate in a consortium of zero-knowledge research experts who are specifically looking to improve privacy and increase ZKP impact within the blockchain ecosystem. We feel Zprize and its challenges are a great first bounty to kick off the ZK category of the Pioneers Prize and will have a positive impact on the larger Polkadot community.” 

The first prize winners aim to solve the multiscalar multiplication (MSM) and number-theoretic transform (NTT) operations, two essential building blocks for Zero-Knowledge computations. Manta Network provides end-to-end privacy protection for blockchain users through cryptography tools such as zkSNARK. 

Manta Network offers interoperability, high performance, and auditability for users that conduct private transfers and transactions between any parallel chain of assets. 

The innovation of improving Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKP) is expected to be a game-changing technology this century. The ever-growing concerns for privacy are central in today’s society, and it will be imperative to continue to innovate this technology moving forward. 

Specifically, the Polkadot Pioneers Prize winners will focus on maximizing throughput and minimizing the latency of the WebAssembly (WASM) runtime, a client-type device and blockchain-based Virtual Machine (VM). According to Manta Network’s internal benchmark, WASM currently gives users a 10x – 15x performance penalty compared with the native speed.

Shoumo Chu, co-founder and core contributor for Manta Network, had the following statement;

“We are aiming to solve the ‘last mile problem’ for mass ZKP adoption, in order to further massive ZKP and privacy adoption. This will enable a better, faster and more seamless user experience and allow the community to build out more easily integrated use cases.” 

As part of the terms of the prize, Manta Network will now have to open-source the solutions they come up with from their challenge to help the entire community in advancing ZKPs.