HashCloak Update #1

Written by Yahsin Huang

An update about HashCloak team research projects as well as development progress over the past month.

This post marks the first of HashCloak update posts. We will share some of the projects we have been working on, highlight our recent client work, as well as announce some of the research grants we received this past month.

Meson mixnet project

Github repo: https://github.com/hashcloak/Meson

Meson mixnet project is one of the main internal projects we have been focusing on over the past year. Our goal is to build a multi-chain mix network focused on bringing network-level privacy to cryptocurrency transactions. It's based on the Katzenpost software project, which is a series of software libraries for building mixnets.

It currently supports Binance Chain and Ethereum (and its derivatives!). It has received funding from the Binance X Fellowship and the Ethereum Foundation.

For the past year or so, we have been working on mix network R&D which has mainly focused on designing a new mix network PKI called Katzenmint. The implementation of Katzenmint is ongoing and you can follow its development on Github. In addition to the implementation, we will also be publishing a paper draft of the Katzenmint PKI design. In the coming months, we will be launching a more public facing but limited testnet launch for Meson, along with more of our mixnet R&D coming to fruition. Stay Tuned!

HoneyBadgerSwap project

Github repo: https://github.com/initc3/HoneyBadgerMPC

HoneyBadgerSwap is an AMM-based dark pool built using MPC. The goal of the project is to demonstrate the paradigm of using MPC as a sidechain for building more expressive confidential applications on Ethereum. The work was done in conjunction with the Decentralized Systems Lab at UIUC under the leadership of PhD Student Yun Qi Li. Stay tuned for a more formal paper along with more interesting applications of this paradigm!

SoK paper on Universal SNARKs

In order to provide newcomers to the world of SNARKs, for the past year, we have been writing an SoK on universal SNARK constructions, lead by Karl Yu. We will be posting a draft on eprint in the coming months.

PIR library

We have been focusing on developing an ecosystem for using and programming private information retrieval protocols (PIR). The goal is to usher into the world easy to use and scalable PIR implementations that hopefully other developers can use for their applications.

For us, we will be using PIR for several of our current future projects such as Meson and privacy-preserving light clients. Stay tuned for a separate announcement about this!

Grant announcements

We have received two grants this past year for our privacy research. The first, given by Flashbots, was given for our ongoing work on providing mempool privacy and developing alternatives for using SGX in flashbots. The second, given by the Interchain foundation, was given for our work on integrating IT-PIR protocols into Tendermint for our Katzenmint PKI.

Audit reports for clients

Conducted a security audit on Hakka Finance products' smart contracts, as well as a mathematical analysis on the formulas in the Hakka Finance's iGain whitepaper. Ping Chen, the founder of Hakka Finance, expressed his appreciation for our work in a tweet.

The audit report is publicly viewable on Github: https://github.com/hakkafinance/audit-reports/blob/main/Hakka%20Finance%20Urban%20Giggle%20Audit.pdf


On April 14, Er-Cheng Tang, our Taiwan-based research engineer, gave a 20-minute talk on challenges in Internet anonymity at a Taipei Ethereum event. Watch the recorded presentation on YouTube.

On May 20, research engineer Er-Cheng gave a 30-minute talk, entitled “Interactive Oracle Proof of Proximity for Reed-Solomon Code,” discussing FRI protocol and its proof (Fast Reed-Solomon Interactive Oracle Proofs of Proximity) to an audience at Papers We Love Taipei group's first online event. Event link: https://www.meetup.com/Papers-We-Love-Taipei-Taiwan/events/277916656/