Published on: February 16th, 2021 • Duration: 59 minutes
Thomas Walton-Pocock, CEO and co-founder of Aztec, joins Sebastian Moonjava, Real Vision associate crypto editor, to discuss Aztec, financial privacy, and the different privacy solutions built on Ethereum. Walton-Pocock describes Aztec as a layer 2 privacy protocol, meaning that it is built on top of Ethereum as opposed to building directly in Ethereum mainnet. This allows for greater scalability for Aztec privacy as it verifies or checks in with only the main chain periodically, which also reduces the burden to Ethereum. He contrasts Aztec’s approach with Tornado Cash, explaining that Aztec makes the smart contract logic private whereas Tornado Cash is more of a mixer for transactions. Walton-Pocock urges blockchain users to be aware that every transaction ever made is public, and all of one’s financial history can be consumed by anyone. He believes that eventually privacy on blockchains may be required by regulators. Filmed on February 3, 2021.
Key Learnings: Blockchains are public and expose all of one’s financial history to anyone with the desire to look. Privacy is important to the widespread adoption of crypto because many large institutions will not want to reveal their positions and activities publicly to their competitors. Privacy will become increasingly important as more people utilize blockchains for their financial activities, and eventually regulators may require privacy solutions to protect users.