Ethereum Privacy Startup AZTEC Gets Backed By ConsenSys In $2.1 Million Funding Round 

In support of the blockchain startup, AZTEC, ConsenSys Labs has led a funding round of $2.1 million. AZTEC is a blockchain startup that aims to make Ethereum transactions private so that banks and other financial institutions can use the blockchain efficiently. The announcement was made on Thursday and it stated that other participants of the investment round are Samos Investments, Entrepreneurs First, Jeffrey Tarrant, and Charlie Songhurst.

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Tom Pocock, the well-known mathematician was the creator of AZTEC. Zachary Williamson, a nuclear physicist, uses zk-SNARKs, a fork of zero-knowledge proof similar to the one that is used for zcash, to enhance the privacy on the shared ledger. According to the startup, their technology is more efficient than any other existing protocol. It was made specifically for banks and other financial institutions. Any actor who is interested in the tech will have to partner with an Ethereum-based platform known as CreditMint for corporate debt insurance. Pocock said:

“We have been in negotiations with over 20 leading financial institutions that specialize in corporate private debt. Among this number are some of the top 10 banks in the world. The names of the first set of users will be announced in January 2019. Apart from enhancing privacy, the startup is also going to boost the speed of settlement loans.”

Already, many big banks are gravitating towards permissioned and private blockchains like the one that was launched by CLS on Tuesday. The first users of this blockchain are Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Pocock said he believes that financial institutions that are already established will benefit from using a public blockchain. In his words:

“Elimination of settlement risk, immutability, and access to single-source data are some of the benefits of a public blockchain but these financial institutions need full privacy.”

Pocock states that it is impossible to have this kind of privacy on Ethereum’s public blockchain and this is why these institutions have restricted market activity to private blockchains. The team behind the AZTEC project has been talking with ConsenSys for months now.

The executive director at ConsenSys, Min Teo, said that AZTEC’s technology is effective. In his words:

“We are happy with the resilience our zero-knowledge proof technology provides. Compared to other technologies available, AZTEC is the closest to production and in terms of gas cost, it is also the cheapest as only a small amount of ether is required for the system to run.”

In a press release, Joe Lubin, the founder of ConsenSys and co-founder of Ethereum, said that his studio is ready to support CreditMint and AZTEC in introducing zk-SNARKs-based scalability, privacy and confidentiality.

Scaling, Speed And The Blockchain

Right now, no one knows whether AZTEC’s technology will deliver in terms of scalability and speed so that it will be ideal for enterprises. It will need to fix the scaling issues these enterprises face if it is to gain wide adoption.

Still talking about the technology, Pocock said:

“If the technology doesn’t scale efficiently, it wouldn’t be useful. If it can process one transaction per second through a public network, this would be way faster than the already existing scaling solutions. Today, it is sufficient for CreditMint to move the private corporate debt market to a public blockchain. It would take only milliseconds for the system to construct and verify the zero-knowledge proof.”

According to reports, the startup is going to create more features that will boost its efficiency in the next few months. The company is still raising funds for the project.


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