Projecteuanthe - DeFi through zkSNARKS on Ethereum

Nick Sawinyh on 17 Aug 2021

Anonymous co-founder of a Projecteuanthe, 0xNovachrono, told us how they are building an open organization that wants to empower anonymous peer-to-peer transactions through ringCT and non-custodial NFT & DeFi interactions through zkSNARKS on Ethereum.

Disclosure: This article was sponsored by Projecteuanthe

Hello! What’s your background, and what are you working on?

I am 0xNovachrono, and I’m the project lead and founder of Projecteuanthe, a project to develop a set of Decentralized Invisible Transaction Scheme built on Ethereum. I came from a traditional development background but got caught by the Blockchain fever from Devcon3 and hooked with Zero-Knowledge Proofs from ZCON 2018. After going through the Pinocchio paper, I knew I wanted to work with privacy and stay in this field. A couple of years later, I was able to form a team and work on a couple of solutions that would ease and enable multi-dimensional private encoding on layer one Ethereum.

Projecteuanthe

Projecteuanthe is an open organization aimed at developing decentralized, non-custodial privacy layers for the native Ethereum ecosystem. It seeks to build two protocols, namely Ebb and Elara. Ebb helps you gain access to a green and streamlined one-time privacy service for any fungible assets on Ethereum. It is built with One Time Linkable Group Signatures embedded with stealth addresses to support decentralized and Uni-directional transactional privacy for the Ethereum ecosystem. Whenever a user in ebb decides to withdraw assets from the system, the user can sign independently by using his private key and the public key of the other members in the group, which help provide absolute anonymity and exculpability for the signer while transacting.

Ebb: Monotonic privacy Framework for uni-directional token transfer

Elara helps you import your open ledger fungible and non-fungible assets and export them to destination-specific Elara dark hubs. Users are allowed to make multi-dimensional value exchanges, all anonymously and confidentially. It grants access to and helps connect to an open ledger smart contract through an Elara hub enabling the hub users to access modifiable private DeFi. The dark hubs check for validity proofs in any state upgrades and help synchronize them, essentially creating multi-sharded app-specific virtual black boxes on Ethereum.

What’s Projecteuanthe backstory?

My co-founders and I were initially motivated to close the existing privacy gaps that we observed in the Ethereum ecosystem. We observed how anonymity and confidentiality were excruciatingly lacking from the operational layer and how they affected the users and made them a target for the folly. Much of the existing solutions were highly cost-ineffective and had no working framework to provide efficient, multi-dimensional privacy to existing token networks or smart contracts. This lack of usable privacy infrastructure on Ethereum motivated us to work on a project that would bring the benefits of on-chain privacy to existing substrates. We aimed to scale the adoption of decentralized privacy technologies to a much bigger audience and facilitate many other real-world use cases.

We looked into how different privacy technologies work, such as grin, monero, zcash. Furthermore, after spending the initial few months between our lab and our whiteboard, we presented multiple design simulations and concluded building two protocols, Ebb and Elara. Ebb provides a one-time uni-directional privacy solution for fungible tokens. Elara provides a multi-dimensional privacy service for both FT and NFT token networks and smart contracts. We figured a ZKP system based on ring signatures and stealth addresses would be the best suited for uni-directional privacy construct and would bore the best result in terms of service efficiency and provide a guaranteed anonymity set compared to existing solutions. For Elara, we choose to work on a system designed with Simulation Extractable zkSNARK, public address registry, and message parsers. It proved to have the best impact in helping us carry out our multiple analogical operations inside our private system. We desire to build a global, borderless, unbiased system where everyone cannot see your funds and rate you a score. This is what we call Private DeFi or True DeFi.

Elara: Private Smart Contracts and Token Networks

What’s your business model?

Projecteuanthe was built to serve clients with multiple privacy opt-in services in the Ethereum ecosystem. Ebb’s existence stems from the need to provide a privacy solution that had guaranteed anonymity set for individual transactions and provides a ZKP framework that was efficient and greener compared to the existing solutions. Whereas Elara was conceived to provide a blanket solution on top of our web3 instances and help hide our token transactions and interactions with DeFi networks. Elara darkfi hubs guarantee correctness and system availability while encouraging zero MEV tolerances for operations inside the hubs. The core of projecteuanthe’s business model is rooted in an essential need to satisfy anonymity for our solutions while exiting the system constructs, i.e., solving the requirement of ‘gas’ for an empty wallet to process a state update. Users can plug into the Euanthe relayer node to successfully process through such barriers. This is where our game-theoretic business model starts to play out. We marry our need and ideology for a decentralized protocol through EUAN token. EUAN tokens are used to run relayer nodes for Ebb and Elara and help govern the process of the value flow in the network. Any decentralized protocol that has the structure for an economic flywheel embedded into it; has 4 participants at a high level-

  • Service Providers: The participants that help run relayer software to provide end-to-end anonymity for users.
  • End Users: Users who opt in to use Ebb or Elara’s product offering.
  • System Contributors: A set of users who are incentivized to upgrade, maintain and improve the system.
  • Capital inducers: Users who let this flywheel start.

The EUAN token is designed to operate as a work token. It helps the service providers run relayer nodes for Ebb and Elara and get paid based on the network influx. This model creates a direct relationship between the service producers and the end-users and helps bake a layer of defensibility into the network. EUAN tokens are also used to route value back to the global system participants by having a ‘BuyBack and Make’ entropy implanted within the system, derived from the fees collected through system operations from individual node operators. This creates a closed value loop for all the system participants and encourages equivalency leading to system growth. In the end, the EUAN token is utilized to bring in any change in the protocol through its governance.

What’s your position on the regulatory landscape today?

Regulations in crypto have always been a hot topic for most of us. There have been many recent headlines such as Uniswap’s debatable DeFi fund, crypto derivatives crackdown, the “Digital Asset Market Structure, and Investor Protection Act,” Etc. We can see that regulators have started to react and take action. This is a healthy shift aimed at making general retail investors aware of the existing asset structure and, hopefully, making the ecosystem more institution-friendly. However, for example, regulators have suggested treating ‘any’ digital assets as “monetary instruments” and help regulate requirements for these assets to comply with anti-money laundering, record keeping, and reporting requirements. It is a progressive development for the whole space but a little too heavy on individual software developers. When asked in a recent podcast about current industry uncertainties, CFTC commissioner’s Dan Berkovitz and Brain Quintenz explained how under current laws existing smart contracts are mostly illegal and in the presence of a tricky situation, be it for any reason, even in a system that’s highly decentralized how the developers could be held responsible, and might even be prosecuted. From the current situation, it is evident how the government supports Licensed DeFi/CeDeFi. In the future, it is likely to see the rise of more and more lending protocols, exchanges, and entities that provide such services to be regulated. So, coming back full circle, who will benefit if our web3 credentials are leaked from interacting with all these protocols, with a single point of failure, suppose like the one that happened with ledger last year? This is why on-chain privacy will play a crucial role in the lives of people who want to keep their freedom and be able to transact privately. Our web3 identities are our bank statements, lifestyle, our on-chain DNA, and making it public might bring many unwanted side effects. The new govt infrastructure bill has language that would shred apart the privacy on-chain crypto users currently enjoy, mandating that miners, AMMs, and any entity or individual have. This is a feat, even if necessary, but does not bode well with the construct and ethos of this space. Therefore Projecteuanthe wants to be there, when it is needed, providing multi-dimensional privacy service to anyone who needs it, whether it be for a uni-directional token transfer or for building private token networks and for enabling confidential and anonymous smart contract interactions, through Ebb and Elara.

What are your thoughts on DeFi and your goals for the future?

I still remember when MakerDAO started to get adopted and when we didn’t even come up with the term DeFi, from back in the day. It has been a wild and exciting development since then. In a short blimp, the overall sector grew from a 700mm USD TVL in Jan 2020 to a ~70 B USD TVL in Aug 2021. This YOY growth was a notable success and proof of our dedication to improving and disrupting the traditional financial sector. Moreover, it helps us reconfirm our reasoning towards building in DeFi, and staying in this field for the long term, even if winds get rough. Whether it be the lending market, DEXes, insurance, fixed-rate lending, stable coins, or decentralized derivatives, among others, DeFi has left no stone unturned and has confidently ventured forward into every inch of the financial landscape that it could tap into. Projecteuanthe wants to add to the spirit and help aggregate all the financial building blocks into a private domain and help end-users gain access to private DeFi.

The core focus of our team is to develop an infrastructure that will enable cheap and efficient privacy ZKP framework. We are going through a few more r&d cycles and continuing our development for both our modules in a biweekly sprint. We aim to make our MVP public soon and wish to release and provide privacy services to token networks and smart contracts on mainnet by Q1 2022.

Where can we go to learn more?

To find out more:

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About the author
Nick Sawinyh
Nick Sawinyh is an LA-based crypto entrepreneur. After having spent over four years in the blockchain industry, Nick founded DeFiprime in 2019, with the idea to provide information about emerging DeFi ecosystem. He owns modest amounts of various cryptocurrencies.

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