Proof of Security Summit 2023 took place in the Tech Capital of India — Bengaluru. The line-up of speakers and panel discussions from the start piqued my interest. I guess I did make a good choice coming to Bengaluru 1 day before the start of Indian Blockchain Week 2023. Do you know what would have been a better choice? Coming to Bengaluru 2 days before!
I had plans to attend the Indian Blockchain Week 2023 since I got the chance to attend EthIndia 2022 and the side events that year. So when Indian Blockchain Week 2023 was announced, I wasn’t late in buying a ticket (though I must say that the prices for tickets were too damn high by Indian standards). I wasn’t late either in applying for EthIndia 2023 when the applications opened and was selected for it as well.
My plan was to attend FIL Bangalore as well. But I guess fate had other plans. While reaching Howrah through Janshatabdi (2 hours late no less), I received a piece of news that SMVB Duronto was cancelled. Never before had I heard of a premiere train like Duronto getting cancelled. Call me a cheapskate but I like train travel and enjoy being economical.
This forced me to book a Spicejet on Monday (which, again was almost 2 hours late — a recurring theme in this journey till now). Finally, I reached Bengaluru and geared up to attend the next side event — Proof of Security Summit.
Thankfully, I didn’t reach the event 2 hours late, heh.
Proof of Security Summit 2023
The summit featured the participation of multiple Web3 players ranging from SolidityScan to Panther Protocol. The itinerary was mailed the night before to the participants.
I was able to summarize the following from the discussions and talks which took place at the summit. Unfortunately, I had to run before the end of the summit so I missed a couple of talks including the closing keynote. The takeaways recorded by me are:
- App-specific Chains with ZK Rollups are not coming, they are already here. They are what combine the two golden words in Web3 right now like QML (QC + ML) in machine learning a couple of years back.
- While manual audits are irreplaceable, the process can be automated to an extent to reduce labour and improve overall quality. A manual auditor’s pathways to it:
- Map Privilege / Access Control of the contract
- Map the above to the contract functionality
- Check the edge cases
- Read the contract doc but with the intention to disprove it.
- Scalability — more specifically, being compute intensive is currently an open challenge in the ZK sphere of Web3
- Circuits being underconstrained is a major problem. These under-constrained circuit issues are quite often hard to catch.
- From paper to implementation is often the place where the devil resides.
- There is a high need for “reactive” and “zero-day” tooling — tools for formal verification, static and dynamic analysis of smart contracts are aplenty.
- Compliance is still an open problem — especially compliance with Travel Rules & VASPs. ZKP might hold an answer to providing compliance embedded protocols.
From the panel discussions, a point came up which might not fall in the category of the list above but is worth discussing. The point was raised by Mads Pedersen. He observed that there was a move of VC investments to the infra side of things in Web3 during Crypto Winter. This has left many VCs somewhat under-exposed. During the upcoming cycles, it might lead to investments to compensate for that. Special care needs to be taken to assess the feasibility, tech moat and quality of such investments to be made during the upcoming cycle.
People I Met
There were many people I had the opportunity to meet during the event. Some I might meet again during the upcoming events. While I cannot list out every person in this blog, a few of them were:
Gandhi from Blockchain Lab, Samsung R&D:
Mudit Gupta from Polygon:
Pradeep Rao from Kyndryl:
Rahul Saxena from zkSync:
Shrikrishna Srinivasan from Accelchain:
I must say that I enjoyed the event — especially the panel discussions and the people I met. The week is far from over and I am eagerly looking forward to having a great time. Afterall, it's a short break from my work combined with the thing I love the most — Web3. If any of you are attending IBW 2023, let’s hang out and have a chat! Until then, bye!