Investing in Gevulot: A Performant Market for Zero-Knowledge Proofs
The role of zero-knowledge cryptography in securing data and verifying compute on the internet is becoming increasingly important. The technology has become both significantly faster and materially cheaper, unlocking the ability for new cohorts of developers to experiment with unique applications. Rollups are maturing and, as activity on their chains grow, so too will the need for zero-knowledge proof (zkp) generation. Even beyond the realm of blockchains, AI and abundant deep fakes are driving demand for greater computational integrity. As these factors grow, so too will demand for zero-knowledge proofs. We’re at the cusp of an exponential inflection point.
As this new paradigm emerges, access to cheap, performant, and reliable zkp generation will become forefront in the minds of developers. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that Variant has led a seed round in Gevulot.
Built as a layer-one general-purpose proof network, Gevulot enables anyone to deploy a prover or a verifier onchain. It’s low lift and simple: deploying these programs is largely akin to deploying or interacting with a smart contract.
Cheaper and faster. Gevulot’s open supply side allows specialized provers to compete for demand, helping drive down prices for zkp buyers. Simultaneously, creating a logically centralized point for demand to consolidate reduces discovery and coordination costs for provers to find buyers. It also helps maximize utilization rates across the network: proving hardware is less likely to sit idle if it can fulfill demand from disparate sources. It’s a win-win-win. Over time, we anticipate that it will be possible for zkp buyers to split the proof workload across multiple provers, further improving cost and performance in a way that singular / centralized services cannot.
More flexible and reliable. A decentralized network is preferable to any centralized solution. Not only is it inclusive of every option within the centralized set (because a buyer can just specify a single prover to fulfill the request), but it also opens the market to specifications like having multiple provers generate a proof for redundancy. Furthermore, because Gevulot operates as a L1, it has an expanded set of options for promoting prover liveness—native incentives can work to encourage prover uptime, while slashing acts as a deterrent for malicious behavior. All of the above are options that exist beyond the realm of what a centralized service can offer.
Teemu Päivinen, Tuomas Mäkinen, and the rest of the Gevulot team bring deep systems experience and category knowledge from their time at Equilibrium. While there, they worked closely with rollup and infrastructure projects like Starknet, Avail, Aleo, and more. Helping teams across the stack gave them a front-row seat into the missing pieces of the infrastructure landscape: namely, a performant decentralized prover network. This hands-on expertise, coupled with well-earned respect and longstanding relationships with industry projects, positions Gevulot as the right team to build such an important, credibly neutral piece of infrastructure.
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