Introducing Lava Cash

With each passing day the Solana network grows stronger — exciting new protocols are laying the groundwork for an ecosystem that is uniquely suited to scale to the moon. But whether a blockchain can do 50 or 50,000 transactions per second, protocol participants need access to tools that preserve their privacy.

Privacy is a vital component of any censorship resistant blockchain, without it there exist very clear pathways to breaking the network’s fungibility. For example, if fungibility erodes, using SOL in a smart contract that pools user’s funds could pose taint risk. Unsuspecting users whose coins are blindly tainted may find that they become second class citizens in the network as their deposits to smart contracts are rejected and they are discriminated against when trying to exchange their SOL for goods and services. This would lead to multiple economies of SOL tokens, a clear indication that the network is no longer a truly censorship resistant network.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! We imagine a world in which privacy is fast, cheap and user friendly for all users of Solana. Privacy should be a default, not a series of protocols that are only used by sophisticated users with large holdings. That’s why we are announcing Lava Cash, the first privacy preserving smart contract on Solana. We have designed Lava Cash as a non-custodial smart contract that utilizes zk-STARKs to break any deterministic links between funds that have entered the “Lava Pool” from those that have exited.

The basic flow of this protocol has been deployed and widely tested by popular smart contracts on multiple blockchains. The primary distinction between Lava Cash and these predecessors is our utilization of zk-STARKs instead of zk-SNARKs. This brings a number of benefits, the most significant of which is the shedding of a trusted setup ceremony in favor of publicly verifiable randomness.

We have designed Lava Cash to be as simple as possible while providing a clean and functional interface for the Solana ecosystem. While this contract is an excellent choice for users moving SOL between private addresses, we envision a future in which the “Lava Pool” is additionally utilized as a building block in composable smart contracts. Instead of the transaction graph exposing all inter-contract settlements, an obfuscated web of contract interactions would be anchored to the Lava Cash contract. This for example would increase the difficulty of reverse engineering proprietary on-chain trading strategies and other competitive intelligence.

We’ll be revealing more information in the coming weeks as we open source our smart contract and the crypto libraries we have adapted for the Solana runtime. In the mean time, get ready to melt your SOL with Lava Cash!


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