Announcing our Investment in (and Alignment with) Aligned Layer

We’re proud to announce today that Hack VC has led the Series A financing round into Aligned Layer. Aligned Layer is a protocol with an ambitious goal. They’re creating a universal proof verification and aggregation layer—a new entrant into the modular ecosystem. This enables cheaper, more flexible and faster verification of zero-knowledge proofs and is critical infrastructure for any web3 protocol that uses zero knowledge.

There are problems with using existing networks, such as Ethereum, as canonical verification layers. They are expensive, unoptimized for proving and inflexible to new proving systems. Aligned Layer’s goal is to be THE universal proof verification layer, as it is not only cheap and fast, but will be compatible with any proving system.

But they aren’t stopping there. Longer term, having a cheap, universal and easy-to-use proof verification layer could help create several “holy grail” opportunities in web3 by helping foster greater adoption of verifiable systems. This conceivably includes safer multi-language interoperability, trustless and verifiable oracles and coprocessors, economically secured fast finality for roll-ups and verifiable cross-chain interoperability.

Who created Aligned Layer?

The research and development for Aligned Layer has been incubated by Lambda Class, an elite web3 software development firm. They’ve made significant critical contributions to Starknet, Cairo, Reth, Mina Protocol, zkSync and many other cutting-edge projects. They’re one of the most hardcore web3 development shops we’ve met. Lambda Class has historically used technologies to create their projects, such as Elixir, Julia and Erlang. You may not have heard of some of these languages because they’re rarely used, but they are embraced by some of the most elite developers worldwide. Lambda Class has even invented their own internal programming language—a task not for the faint-of-heart.

What is Aligned Layer?

Aligned Layer is a universal proof verification and aggregation layer built as an EigenLayer AVS. It is intended to provide decentralized verification that is fast, affordable, scalable and secured by Ethereum through restaking via EigenLayer. Aligned Layer’s goal is to help foster open innovation in Ethereum through verifiable computation by providing a more cost-effective verification environment that can easily adopt tailored proof systems that were previously cost prohibitive or non-compatible to verify on Ethereum L1.

Zero-knowledge proofs have two steps required: (1) generating the proof and (2) verifying the proof. Aligned Layer squarely resides in that second category. Aligned Layer is a universal proof verification system. 

Aligned Layer is starting with Ethereum, and is built on top of Eigenlayer, which creates capital efficiencies for economic security, with proof aggregation enabling cost-effective verification.  Any type of zero-knowledge proof is supported, enabling wide compatibility with the existing zero-knowledge proof generation ecosystem.

The Aligned Layer team have become experts in the proving area, having done prior work for Starknet and Mina, both of which rely heavily on zero-knowledge proofs. This gave them the necessary experience to pioneer Aligned Layer.

What are the long-term benefits of Aligned Layer?

Aligned Layer is a new platform in web3 development that, if successful, could usher in a new paradigm in web3 development with a multi-faceted value proposition. We believe the following features make Aligned Layer truly unique and valuable at-scale:

  1. Aligned Layer is a flexible, efficient and scalable ZK verification system. Today, Ethereum is the most used proof verification layer; however, it suffers from having high variable verification gas costs, being opinionated towards certain proof systems and being slow to adopt new proving systems. Additionally, developers must write EVM compatible verifiers for all proof systems, introducing development overhead and verification inefficiencies. What other projects, such as EigenDA, and Celestia, are doing for Data Availability, Aligned Layer is doing for ZK: it is making the verification of ZK proofs significantly cheaper and faster, while allowing for more flexibility in the proving systems used. 
  2. Aligned Layer can power verification of proofs for ZK rollups and L1s and make them hyperefficient. Aligned Layer enables ZK rollups on any platform to verify proofs. As Aligned Layer is proof system/language/VM-independent, it enables fast proof verification of rollups in any ecosystem. This keeps verification costs down, allows rollups to adopt new proof systems more easily and offers soft economically enforced finality.
  3. The long-term vision for Aligned Layer is transformative—a single source of “verified truth” enabling interoperability. Imagine having a single system of record that can be consulted to determine the truthfulness of code that runs on any chain and in any language. Such a system would allow for better interoperability between chains in a safe manner. This fits squarely into the modular stack and is an important / new modular primitive.
  4. Aligned Layer can help reduce bridge hacks. Billions of dollars have been lost in the past due to events like bridge hacks (historically, most bridges have been hacked). We believe that solving this issue is critical for web3 applications (e.g., DeFi) to be successful, as serious institutional LPs would not tolerate a system where there’s a small chance that their capital is stolen, compared to web2 financial systems which are much more solid. The web3 bridge market is valued in the billions of dollars on public and private markets (Wormhole and LayerZero each are prominent examples of this). With Aligned Layer and storage proof systems, a proof of code that executes on Ethereum can be verified on Solana (and vice versa). This can help create safer and more trustless cross-chain systems. 
  5. The opportunity for Aligned Layer also expands into other ecosystems. Aligned Layer is useful for both web3 smart contracts and other ZK systems, such as zkML, ZK co-processors and more. It’s conceivable that even web2 systems (e.g., AI/ML, edge intelligence, IoT platforms, etc.) can someday benefit from interoperating with web3 systems and harnessing zero-knowledge proofs and verification for enterprises who desire security and privacy on these platforms. This represents an incremental market that the Aligned Layer team could pursue as time progresses.

We are fully aligned

It was an easy decision for us at Hack VC to back Aligned Layer. Not only is the technology pioneering, but the team has another special characteristic that is hard to find but critical to success: an incredible culture. The engineers at Lambda Class have intense loyalty and have been working together for years, which has led to this defining moment—the inception of Aligned Layer. At Hack VC, we are fully aligned and can’t wait to see the team help web3 take a giant leap forward.


Note that several of the companies and protocols discussed in this article are portfolio companies of funds managed by Hack VC.

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