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The Web3 and AI Newsletter 20

The Web3 and AI Newsletter 20
Image generated using OpenAI's DALL-E 3

Hello, everyone, and warm welcome to all newly joined subscribers!

This is the Web3 + AI newsletter, where we explore the intersection of blockchain and artificial intelligence. As promised, this week I send out my first Web3 and AI Funding Bulletin, summarizing the latest money rounds in the space. However, I have plenty more news to share with you today!

Thank you for being here! Let's dive in!

What's New in the Web3 + AI Startup World?

aelf Blockchain Pivots to AI

The Layer-1 modular blockchain aelf has announced a pivot towards AI and support for decentralized AI through a partnership with AgentLayer, a Layer-2 AI Agent network.

As we envision AI to be the next catalyst for the future of blockchain, we are excited to announce that aelf will be undergoing an AI transformation, pivoting its focus to integrating AI technology into its blockchain.
Together, aelf and AgentLayer aim to jointly transform AEVOLVE Labs into a cutting-edge decentralized AI hub for open research, project incubation and acceleration to drive the sustained growth of the decentralized AI ecosystem. 
aelf Leads the Fusion of AI and Blockchain to Shape the Future of Technology
/PRNewswire/ -- In a transformative move for the blockchain industry, aelf, a pioneering blockchain network, has announced its strategic shift to integrate…

Moreover, aelf's investment arm aelf Ventures intends to dedicate $50M to support AI initiatives and further the convergence of blockchain and AI.

Worldcoin Reveals World Chain

Worldcoin, OpenAI's Sam Altman's proof-of-personhood protocol, has introduced World Chain, a new Layer-2 blockchain based on Ethereum.

The network will be deeply integrated with the Worldcoin protocol to accelerate growth and leverage World ID’s Proof of Personhood. It will also be secured by Ethereum as an L2 and engineered for scalability with the Superchain ecosystem.

The network intended to launch in the summer will prioritize verified humans, i.e., users who have voluntarily sold their biometric data to Worldcoin, to bots when giving out its blockspace. The main value proposition to developers is that through building on World Chain, they'll have direct access to these more than 10M of World ID holders.

Introducing World Chain
Worldcoin launched nine months ago to accelerate the adoption of Proof of Personhood and decentralized finance, which will be fundamental in the age of AI. Already more than 10 million people in 160 countries have created a World ID and a compatible wallet, which they’ve used to perform 75 million transactions. As of today, millions of people have also verified their World ID using an Orb. Continuing to onboard people at this accelerated pace will require significant leaps in blockchain technology, particularly around efficiency, user experience, and utility. This is an initial preview of World Chain—a blockchain designed for humans, built to scale the Worldcoin protocol and the broader Ethereum community to 1 billion people and beyond. Blockspace for all humans Worldcoin user transactions currently represent about 44% of OP Mainnet’s activity, making it the largest application on the network. Often during spikes this rises over 80%, and at times it flat out exceeds the limits. Given the scale and growth rate of the community, it’s time to graduate to a dedicated network. World Chain is designed first and foremost to significantly increase capacity so new people can continue to join at scale, and existing users can enjoy faster, cheaper, and more reliable transactions. Migrating to a dedicated network will already yield meaningful gains. After this, World Chain will be on the forefront of scaling and decentralizing the Layer 2 paradigm on Ethereum with the Superchain ecosystem. For more details visit the technical post. Priority & gas for humans Much like the rest of the internet, many of the problems blockchains face today are aggravated by “bots”. By some estimates, as many as 80% of blockchain transactions are automated, and while many are for valid use cases, unproductive bots like airdrop farming ones often lead to congested networks and high fees. Ironically this tends to get worse as blockchains optimize for low gas fees and high throughput. World Chain will address this with World ID. Just as people can use World ID to anonymously prove their humanity on apps—like Discord servers and Subreddits—they will have the ability to verify their addresses on World Chain. This is optional and anonymized through zero-knowledge proofs, meaning addresses are fully delinked from the person’s identity, and they simply get a verification akin to a blue checkmark. As a permissionless network, everyone will be able submit transactions to World Chain, but those created by verified humans will be prioritized for faster confirmation times. Verified addresses will also receive an allowance of some free gas. The goal is not just to be more inclusive, but to minimize the friction to get started. The protocol will seek to reach an equilibrium where gas for casual users is ultimately covered by fees from bots and power users. In the meantime, it will be sponsored by the Worldcoin Foundation. Lastly, in addition to ETH which will remain the native token, it will be easy to pay fees using WLD. This means that when verified humans claim their WLD grants every two weeks (where available*), they will immediately be able to use it for their favorite apps. Real world apps for millions of humans For developers, World Chain will be a place to reach onchain users at scale. From day one more than 10 million people across 160 countries will be able to explore and use onchain apps through compatible wallets, starting with World App. Rather than trying to cover every possible blockchain use case, World Chain will be an ecosystem of decentralized financial and identity apps focused on utility for everyday life. This will be uniquely enabled by World ID’s sybil resistance and built around Worldcoin, stablecoins, payments, rewards, ramps, lending, swapping, and more. Future Worldcoin Community Grants, including the recently announced Wave 1 program, will support developers in the community, and they will also be eligible for consideration in Optimism Retroactive public goods funding. For any other types of World Chain partnerships you can reach out to the Worldcoin Foundation. By humanity, for humanity Along with the rest of Worldcoin, for World Chain to succeed it must be built, owned and governed by all of humanity. From day one it will be open source, permissionless and Ethereum aligned. Developers supporting the Worldcoin protocol will continue to contribute directly to the Ethereum network (just like they did for EIP-4844) and collaborate with the developers working on the Optimism and Base networks, as well as the rest of the Superchain ecosystem, on shared infrastructure, scaling, security and interoperability. Importantly, World ID and WLD will remain neutral public goods able to be used and deployed on networks beyond World Chain. We expect a developer preview of World Chain very soon, and a full launch later this summer. You can apply for a Worldcoin Community Grant to build on World Chain today, reach out for partnerships and join the conversation on X and Discord. Mint this announcement

PADO Unites with AO to Supercharge zkFHE

The crypto FHE (Fully Homomorphic Encryption) revolution seems to be upon us, as more and more fascinating projects integrating the FHE cryptographic scheme appear weekly. However, this case is even more interesting since it combines FHE with another privacy mechanism, namely ZKP (Zero-Knowledge Proof) to bring about verifiable confidential computation.

zkFHE is designed on top of the FHE algorithm, which synchronously performs ZK proof on the homomorphic computation process. The simultaneous integrity constraints ensure the reliability of homomorphic operations and the correctness of the encrypted result while preserving data privacy during the whole process.

Moreover, PADO Labs is now bringing zkFHE to AO, the Arweave's hyper-parallel computer I told you about a couple of months ago. That way, PADO will be able to use AO's nearly limitless computing capabilities while also deliver trustless and confidential computing functionalities to the AO ecosystem.

When integrated with AO and Arweave networks, PADO swiftly launches the zkFHE network in practice. Its computing, scheduling, and storage functionalities operate independently, allowing for an indefinite expansion of computing power. Furthermore, the AO ecosystem can leverage PADO’s zkFHE technology to access verifiable confidential computation and comprehensive privacy protection capabilities.
Enable PADO’s Verifiable Confidential Computation on AO Hyper Parallel Computer
PADO and AO unite to spearhead verifiable confidential computation (VCC), revolutionizing blockchain confidentiality and integrity with…

Gnosis AI with Nevermined

The latest edition of the monthly Gnosis community call on AI topics featured Nevermined, a decentralized AI payment protocol. Nevermined is building an infrastructure for AI commerce, aimed at enabling AI-to-AI interactions and providing AI agents with a native payment solution.

The Nevermined team is already working with AI Agent builders like Olas, Polywrap, and FLock to equip their agents with a viable and secure payment method. During this call, they demoed an authentication mechanism (employing the account abstraction paradigm) for smart subscriptions, a credit system including price and time period for access, and number of unique requests a user can make to a specific AI agent.

Image generated using OpenAI's DALL-E 3

Noteworthy Podcasts, Articles, Events

Presenting the Web3 and AI Funding Bulletin

Motivated by venture capital firms' growing interest in the Crypto x AI space, I decided to spin off all investment news into a separate weekly publication. I am happy to present the Web3 and AI Funding Bulletin, whose first edition came out on Tuesday and covered all capital round announcements of the month of April.

The Web3 and AI Funding Bulletin 1
A summary of all funding rounds and investment news into startups building at the intersection of blockchain and artificial intelligence.

Emerging Privacy Enhancing Technologies

Since I mentioned the impending FHE revolution, here's an interesting talk on the matter from ETHGlobal. Miguel de Vega of Nillion, Ravital Solomon of Sunscreen, Remi Gai of Inco Network, and Pascal Paillier of Zama came together to discuss confidential computation, FHE's efficiency and performance variation when handled by experienced and trained FHE engineers. Listen to it below to learn why the next frontier, beyond the algorithmic side, lies in hardware enhancements.

Disclaimer: None of this should or could be considered financial advice. You should not take my words for granted, rather, do your own research (DYOR) and share your thoughts to create a fruitful discussion.