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Adam Gagol

Adam Gagol is the CTO and co-founder of , a public that uses a custom algorithm leveraging technology to create an efficient and decentralized system. [1]

Education & Career

Gagol earned his Master’s in Mathematics from Jagiellonian University in 2011 and his Ph.D. from Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in 2019. He worked as a senior data scientist for Jagiellonian University until June 2018. In April 2018, he co-founded with , , and . From January to April 2021, he worked as a technical advisor for Minterest Finance, a decentralized lending protocol. [1]

Interviews/Panels

Web3 Advice

At the Next Block Expo in November 2022, 10Clouds interviewed Gagol about security and working with young , starting with how can be used: [2]

“First and foremost, it can be utilized similarly to most other . We're, of course, constructing our own ecosystem. Currently, our focus lies predominantly on privacy-related applications. We're heavily investing in Liminal, our privacy framework. Essentially, our current objective is to offer individuals a platform that ensures privacy and compliance. This means enabling selective reveals, allowing users to disclose, for instance, to regulators or exchanges, information indicating no association with blacklisted addresses or illicit origins of assets.”

“Actually, just yesterday, we introduced Liminal Zero, which marks the inaugural step in our journey. Concurrently, we launched a hackathon at this conference, providing attendees with an opportunity to experiment. Currently, Liminal Zero is solely operational on our development network. It will require some time before it's deployed onto the testnet for further refinement. Nevertheless, we're immensely thrilled to share it with individuals eager to explore its capabilities. Speaking of privacy, which is somewhat intertwined with security.”

He then provided some advice to future developers and builders: [2]

“The top recommendation for those constructing their own is to avoid building from scratch unless equipped with substantial resources and time. Currently, two prominent frameworks stand out: Substrate, developed by Parity, and . My advice to builders is to leverage one of these frameworks and focus on innovating in a specific aspect, rather than attempting to overhaul every component. As for developers, our documentation offers abundant tutorials on getting started. Additionally, we're finalizing a partnership with an auditing company, which will furnish tutorials on security-related matters. These tutorials will cover topics such as what to specifically look for during audits and which aspects you can assess independently. This initiative is slated for release in the first quarter of next year.”

When asked about challenges young builders have faced or experienced while building their projects, Gagol responded: [2]

“One notable observation pertains to the landscape of projects, particularly in regards to emerging ecosystems. There's been a notable shift in focus towards identifying and supporting teams of young builders. Comparing the current situation to that of one or two years ago, there's a marked increase in teams showing openness to building on new, burgeoning ecosystems, as opposed to solely concentrating on . Previously, seemed like the default choice for most young builders, alongside options like or a few others. However, the scenario has evolved significantly. Many now perceive value in being among the first projects to deploy on a particular ecosystem.”

“This shift is driven by the understanding that achieving success by deploying a on or is increasingly challenging, given the saturation and competition. Instead, there's a growing belief that opportunities lie within new ecosystems where the race for the best or lending protocol is still wide open. Success in these nascent ecosystems demands strong execution skills and programming expertise, with a somewhat lesser emphasis on intricate financial instruments. This reflects a shift from the past one to two years.”

Blockchain Privacy

Gagol's presentation at the Next Block Expo in November 2022 delved into the evolving landscape of privacy, focusing on the role of ZK-Snarks and exploring potential limitations and alternative solutions. ZK-Snarks, a cryptographic primitive, offered a means for parties to prove knowledge of data without revealing the data itself, thus enhancing transactional privacy. However, he highlighted that while ZK-Snarks enabled private transactions, they failed to facilitate private interactions with smart contracts, a crucial component for applications. To address this, he discussed alternatives such as Trusted Execution Environments (TEE) and Multi-Party Computation (MPC), each with advantages and challenges. TEE, relying on hardware-based solutions, ensured data privacy even from machine owners but faced concerns regarding reliance on a single manufacturer like Intel. On the other hand, MPC, a software-based approach, leveraged a committee of to collaboratively secure secrets, offering a decentralized solution reminiscent of models. [3]

Exploring Private DEXes

At ETHDam 2023, Gagol comprehensively explored privacy-enhancing features in . He delved into the conceptual distinctions between anonymity, privacy, and pseudonymity in transactions, highlighting the need for greater privacy in operations. Gagol introduced "Shielder," a privacy tool akin to those used in existing protocols, which aims to anonymize user transactions by mixing tokens within a cryptographic black box. He discussed the challenges of implementing private order books to mitigate market manipulation. He proposed two approaches: protocols and aggregated reveal methods, each with advantages and limitations. Finally, he outlined a draft architecture for their proposed solution, emphasizing its potential to provide enhanced privacy while maintaining efficient user trading conditions. [4]

Future of Anonymity

Gagol presented on anonymity in transactions at ETHWarsaw 2023. He discussed the distinction between pseudonymity, anonymity, and privacy on the blockchain, highlighting users' challenges in maintaining anonymity, particularly when interacting with others. He explored existing solutions such as third-party mixing services and cryptographic techniques like ZK snarks, noting their limitations and susceptibility to abuse by malicious actors. He delved into potential tradeoffs between anonymity and combating illicit activities like money laundering, proposing strategies like voluntary reveal mechanisms, proof of innocence, and external reveal controllers. Gagol suggested that while cryptographic breakthroughs may be necessary to address technical challenges, ongoing exploration into more robust solutions is essential. [5]

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Adam Gagol

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Edited On

June 17, 2024

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