Espresso Systems, a scaling and privacy system for Web 3 applications, recently launched its first product in testnet. The product, Configurable Asset Privacy on Ethereum (CAPE), is a smart contract application that allows asset creators to define customizable privacy policies that will determine what type of information can be seen about the asset holders and their transactions under certain circumstances.
The launch of CAPE came three months after Espresso Systems raised $32 million in funding in a round led by Greylock Partners and Electric Capital. Sequoia Capital also supported the funding round. One of the company’s officials said Web 3 tends to have a black and white approach to privacy. It is either transparent to everybody, or like in the case of Zcash or Tornado, everything is shielded from view.
The co-founder of Espresso Systems, Jill Gunter, in an interview, said, “What we’re trying to do is crack open the area in the middle to make privacy a flexible, programmable, configurable feature of how we interact with Web 3 products. With CAPE, this is our first showcase of the functionality we’ve developed.” She continued, “CAPE is specifically oriented towards being able to configure different privacy policies for different assets, such that different people under different circumstances will be able to see different transactional data about what’s happening within a given asset.”
Gunter cited that the implication is that CAPE can be used by institutional players who want to be involved in crypto but do not want their investment strategies or proprietary data to be leaked to the world. CAPE also has crypto-native use cases. A stablecoin provider with a U.S. dollar product could hide user transactions from the public, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) could move its treasury into CAPE to limit access to its balance and transaction information, and many more.
CAPE is the first showcase of Espresso Systems’ solution for scalability and privacy on Ethereum. Espresso is also building a layer one blockchain that will be Ethereum Virtual Machine compatible, which is expected to be on testnet later this summer.
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