A Recap and Top Quotes From Interop Summit

Kevin Dwyer

Kevin Dwyer

March 6, 2023

6 min read


On Ankr and Microsoft's collaboration, the convergence of AI and Web3, ZK creating a better UX for blockchain, speeding adoption, and more.

Web3 is evolving quickly, and we’ve seen enormous growth in the industry in what felt like the blink of an eye since ETHDenver 22’. We felt both the love and the magic at Interop and ETHDenver, with many conversations that had our minds working overtime. In this article, we’ll take a look at one such talk that was especially enlightening. We’ll explore the top highlights, topics, and quotes from Ankr and our recent collaborators during the roundtable discussion at the Interop Summit in Denver on Feb. 28th.

How Ankr, zkSync, and Microsoft Are Collaborating to Bring the Next Billion Users to Web3

  • Vassilis Tziokas, Web3 strategy & business development at Microsoft
  • Josh Neuroth, Head of Product at Ankr
  • Alex Gluchowski, Founder of Matter Labs

Watch the whole talk on Ankr's YouTube channel.

Incredible Growth Since ETHDenver 22’: Almost Every Major Company Developing Web3 Strategies

Following the example of top brands like Nike, Disney, Adobe, Meta, and the NFL, there has been a massive movement of companies looking at Web3 and wondering how they can participate. Many of these companies have infrastructure on Azure and are actively looking for ways to get started.

Vassilis: “Every day, we receive signals from our existing enterprise Web2 companies that they want to enter Web3. We’ve started seeing more and more retailers, manufacturers, media, and entertainment companies wanting to enter the space with NFTs, circular economies, supply chains, traceability…”

Why Did Microsoft Partner With Ankr Instead of Building Web3 Solutions Alone?

Microsoft is in no way short on its own resources, so why partner with Ankr to build out Web3 products? Ankr has grown right along with the industry to become of the largest node infrastructure and staking-as-a-service providers in the world, with 50 million unique IPs using our RPC endpoints every month.

Vassilis: “We are approaching the Web3 space with a very humble and learning mindset. We want to learn from leading Web3-Native companies like Ankr and zkSync. “

Josh: “We’ve effectively become a developer hub. RPC providers are now functioning as an onboarding experience for developers, because one of the first things a developer needs is a high-quality endpoint and connection to the blockchain.”

The Demand Is There... How Is ZK Improving Scalability To Meet It?

Zero-knowledge technology is breaking the blockchain trilemma without sacrificing any of the critical elements and original purpose of blockchain. With scalability solved, we can begin to tackle challenges like user experience and some of the final puzzle pieces standing in the way of mass adoption.

Alex: “What we’re doing is building the zkSync Era, which uses zero-knowledge proofs and the distinct properties of new cryptographic protocols that allow you to prove an unlimited amount of computations in a way that makes it very easily verifiable by anyone – by mobile phones, by Ethereum nodes, etc.”

How is ZK Improving Web3 User Experiences?

The user experience with blockchain now is far from ideal. Newcomers need to learn esoteric and complex processes that can be a turn-off, like storing seed phrases, paying gas fees, and many other things that compound as friction points. Simply put, ZK is hiding the technology behind the user experience for a more pleasing experience.

Alex: “With Zk Proofs, you are only paying for the actual amount of computation that you need which will be cheap and flat. So you can build really interesting experiences like account abstraction, you don’t have to bother with secret phrases as you can just log in with an email and password, pay in any token, and you can do many complicated things under the hood hiding complexity from the user without incurring insurmountable costs.”

This is Where the Magic Happens: The Convergence of AI & Web3

Like many other technologies, AI is heralded to expedite tasks and development, taking Web3 one step closer to realizing its potential.

Josh: “We started looking at this and asking things like, could this technology be used to automate smart contracts to interface with the blockchain? I think what we’re seeing here is definitely a convergence of all these things. The tech scene has had these technologies that start working together, like the internet and the smartphone, which were able to make the sharing economy work. Now we’re seeing AI and Web3 in the baby steps of them working together.”

Vassilis: “If we want to discuss about AI and web3, I do see those two forces creating something amazing – things that we cannot even think of now. “When you combine technologies, this is where the magic happens. It could be developers building smart contracts ten times faster, it could be an indexer on a blockchain having Chat GPT capabilities that you can ask all kinds of questions… And these are just horizon 1 use cases – imagine the things we could do in the future.”

How Our New Cloud Integrations Will Speed Adoption

By placing Ankr’s technology in front of Azure’s millions of monthly customers, we can reach an enterprise audience that needs an easy onramp to blockchain.

Josh: “By partnering with clouds, we can help that adoption happen faster because Azure customers can use their computing credits for Web3 services through Ankr where they can access zk infrastructure and zkSync.”

Vassilis: “There is another aspect for our partnership in the marketplace – these are currently the environments where most of the big transactions take place. So having node connections and zk solutions in on the marketplace can make the adoption super fast with literal one-click node deployments.”

2023 Will Be the Year of Multi-Chain, L2s, ZK EVM

Will the future be multi-chain, or will we see the popularity and use funneled into fewer blockchains?

Alex: “I personally tend to think that we will observe some consolidation of these chains on the most decentralized fundamental L1 base which I think is likely to be Ethereum, simply because it makes bridging much more efficient. When you have two separate blockchain systems with separate validators and fully sovereign. You can’t really bridge within them. When you have one single one system that everything settles on, that’s easy. Lately More big players are realizing that bridging is really the core issue. We’re going to solve scalability with zk proofs and rollups. Bridging is something that you can’t solve unless you do it right from the beginning. We see Coinbase deploying to Ethereum specifically quoting concerns about bridging. They are going to be natively bridgeable between users of Ethereum.”

Josh: “It seems like 2023 will be the year of L2s”

Alex: “I couldn’t agree more. Moreover, this will be the year of zk EVMs. Optimistic rollups have given us a scalability factor of 10x. With zkEVMs, we will have a factor much higher than this.

Final Thoughts

Interop Summit and ETHDenver were a massive success this year – thank you to all those who stopped by Ankr’s booth or chatted about projects with our team. As a parting message, Vassilis said it best:

“We all want to grow the Web3 space. It’s better to do it slowly with the right initiatives and mindset rather than break the whole thing going too fast. It’s time to build.”

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