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We were joined by Founder Adam Perlow and Developer Asher Manning of Zen, a public blockchain project focused on building a decentralized financial system. The core premise of Zen is that none of the public blockchain networks are focused on financial asset. Zen is aiming to fill that gap through a Bitcoin-like UTXO architecture that supports multiple asset and smart contracts to enforce complex ownership rules.

We talked through their original design choices, their use of formal verification, connection to Bitcoin and vision for a fully decentralized financial system.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Why existing public blockchains are ill-suited for financial instruments
  • Why Zen chose to use a Bitcoin-like UTXO architecture
  • How Zen uses formal verification to allow smart contracts without a virtual machine or needing gas
  • How the Active Contract Set reduces the burden on the miners
  • Walking through creating, trading and settling a call option on Zen
  • How Zen allows payments to be settled in Bitcoin
  • Getting data from the outside world with oracles
  • Zen’s use of Proof-of-Work regulated by on-chain governance

Episode links:

This episode was hosted by Brian Fabian Crain, and is availble on YouTube, SoundCloud, and our website.