Aztec Network is proud to announce $100 million in Series B financing led by a16z crypto, with participation from A Capital, King River, Variant, SV Angel, Hash Key, Fenbushi, and AVG.
At Aztec, our goal is to take the original promise of Ethereum–a decentralized and verifiable world computer–and expand its capability immensely by making it fully encrypted.
Why is encrypting Ethereum such a big deal? Transparency, after all, is why Ethereum is so powerful, auditable, and secure. It’s core to the transformational impact of Ethereum’s innovation: transparency begets verifiability.
But in the current public blockchain paradigm, users and entities unknowingly broadcast data in the public, compromising privacy and security to get trustlessness.
Not only are unencrypted blockchains inherently privacy-exposing, they require significant redundancy to compute and verify the legitimacy of transactions.
It’s clear: we can’t forge ahead with public-only blockchains.
Breaking the Unencrypted Blockchain Paradigm
Aztec is building blockchain encryption without trade-offs.
Our partnership with a16z will fund development of a next-generation encrypted architecture, allowing users to verify that blockchain rules were followed correctly without revealing any underlying information.
Aztec’s architecture enables blockchain applications to be verifiable, trustless, and secure.
“What we’re building is a revolutionary piece of technology that transforms how we interact with each other online, in which the end user is the customer, rather than the product. End-to-end encrypted blockchains protect individuals, obviating the need for centralized financial systems.”
– Zac Williamson, CEO
The New Architecture of Encryption
Aztec’s advanced cryptography has already been battle-tested in production with Aztec Connect, powering hundreds of thousands of transactions. Through Aztec Connect, DeFi protocols can integrate privacy without forgoing interoperability.
Build private Ethereum applications with the Aztec Connect SDK
The Aztec Connect ecosystem encompasses the leading Ethereum DeFi protocols, including Aave, Curve, Lido, Element, Set Protocol, Compound, and Liquity.
We’re now developing a completely new public-private execution layer secured by Ethereum, allowing for the seamless interplay of encrypted and unencrypted applications, all on our own blockchain.
“From PGP and SSL to end to end encrypted messaging, we rely on encryption in our daily lives for businesses and commerce to thrive. With a16z we are standing on the shoulders of giants to bring the encryption we have enjoyed since Netscape to our digital Web3.0 lives. We couldn’t think of a better partner to help us scale Aztec to mainstream.”
– Joe Andrews, Co-Founder
A new financial system on decentralized payment rails is only possible with encryption. With encryption, intermediaries will have no access to user data, which remains with users; enterprises can conduct business activities confidentially; and developers can create zero-knowledge programs and games that selectively reveal and revoke access to information.
“Encryption and privacy will be essential for blockchains to gain widespread adoption, and Aztec is laying that foundation with innovative products like Aztec Connect and Noir,” said Ali Yahya, general partner with a16z crypto. “Zac and Joe are insightful and driven technologists, and we’re incredibly excited to lead this round and help their incredible team pursue their goal of building fully-encrypted Ethereum.”
– Ali Yahya, General Partner, a16z crypto
This would be impossible without Aztec’s commitment to cryptographic excellence. As the inventors of PlonK, our goal is to fully unleash the potential of zero knowledge proofs, utilizing advanced cryptographic techniques not only for computational succinctness, but encryption.
And now, we’re ready to unveil another leap forward.
The Age of Noir
To enable this new world of verifiable encryption, we’ve completely upended the paradigm of writing encrypted blockchain programs by inventing a universal language for zero knowledge called Noir.
Noir allows anyone to abstract away the complexity of writing zero knowledge circuits and programs. Building provably secure encrypted applications is now as simple as writing their plaintext counterparts. With Noir, developers can develop in familiar Rust-based syntax, making zk applications more readable, more secure, and easier to reason about than ever before.
Get started building with Noir.
Noir is a transformative technology, and we’re building an entire zero-knowledge ecosystem around it.
Working on tooling, applications, documentation, or education that unlock Noir’s potential?
Apply for an Aztec Grant.
Back to Building
Verifiable encryption isn’t just a “blockchain problem.” It’s a problem inherent to systems writ large. Solving for the shortfalls of web3 solves for the shortfalls of the internet.
The problems of financial privacy, security, and autonomy are faced by people around the world. We’re excited to partner with a16z crypto and welcome a diverse group of investors who recognize that the push for blockchain encryption has global relevance.
Now back to building.
Aztec is growing rapidly and seeking world-class engineering talent to fulfill our mission of building a fully encrypted blockchain supporting generalized compute.
Aztec is hiring across Noir tooling, SDK development, P2P network construction, data science, crypto, and full stack engineering.
The internet is currently built on trusted systems. With zero-knowledge encryption, we can move away from extractive legacy business models, where data and attention are monopolized and monetized.
Join us and make blockchain encryption a reality.