Introducing Pluto

Tracy, Matt

May 22nd, 2024

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Our Mission

Pluto is on a mission to solve the challenges of today’s blockchain applications using applied cryptography. Our master plan is to unlock affordable, spam-free, fraud-free, and private-from-your-peers financial and identity rails for the world.
Concretely, this mission means that we are building low cost, easily programmable proofs of data provenance. These proofs are key to solving broader problems, such as sybil attacks, spam, data privacy and more. Extending this technology, we are building infrastructure for cheaply contextualizing transactions with real world data.
Today, we are announcing our first step down that path: Web Proofs.

Introducing Web Proofs

First, what are Web Proofs?
Web Proofs demonstrate authenticity of, and access to external data sources, like data from Uber, Shopify, your banking provider, an e-mail client, or any other internet server. This gives blockchain developers access to internet data in their on-chain applications. It is a new primitive enabled by powerful cryptography including Multi-Party Computation (MPC) and Zero Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs). Web Proofs unlock the internet for blockchain developers.
For a few examples, Web Proofs could be used to prove that a company achieved sustainability metrics by buying climate credits, that you contributed to open source development on Github, or even that you didn’t buy your Taylor Swift concert ticket from a scalper. In each case, a user will be able to use our Web Proof service to create a proof of the data. The Web Proof could be verifiable either onchain, or even by other web applications.
Read more about how TLSNotary and Web Proofs work on our post on How Web Proofs Work.

Launching the SDK and Testnet Verifiers

Our Web Proof launch consists of three main components: The web & mobile SDK, the Pluto hosted proof generation infrastructure, and the onchain verifier. Our SDKs allow developers to easily integrate Web Proofs into your application front end, and to simply integrate onchain Web Proof verification.
At launch, a handful of Web Proof types will be accessible. Developers will be able to incorporate proofs of Venmo Transactions, Reddit posting history, and Amazon purchase history. If you have a request for specific data, please reach out to us. Over time, we will add more flexible and generic tools for Web Proof generation, supporting an ever widening range of developer needs.
Our SDK and Testnet verifiers will launch in 4 weeks. Until then, developers can:
  • Try the demo to see how the Web Proofs work
  • Sign up to be an early user of Web Proofs via our ➡️ waitlist. We are offering product and design support to our earliest partners
  • Read our blog and our documentation to further dive into Web Proofs and the technologies that come soon after.

The Pluto Team

Pluto is built by a small team of experienced product, engineering, and operating leaders from places like Stripe, Y Combinator-funded startups, Uber, Aztec, and Hubspot. We’ve built tools in crypto for the last several years, and deeply understand the challenges developers face when dealing with advanced cryptography due to the state of available tools today.
We’re building a company that will lead the way in solving these problems for the next generation of useful blockchain applications. What we uniquely bring to this challenge is our expertise in existing financial and technology systems, as well as expertise in the cryptographic tools of this new financial system.
We’re backed by some of the most thoughtful, experienced investors in crypto: Geometry, Variant, Nascent, and Figment Capital, and pioneering angel investors.

Why We Care

Our passion to solve these problems stems from our shared experiences in building the internet as it currently exists. We have played a role in building the current system, and we desire for better.
The current internet is broken.
We live in the information age. Information is power. Power is preserved through surveillance. Applications in the information age are driven by network effects to centralize power, disincentivizing application interoperability, while surveilling application users to monetize attention to the greatest possible extent.
We envision an interoperable and private internet, where data is not siloed into surveilled walled gardens, but instead may be controlled by user intent. A world where trust is not gated by the reputability of a few corporations, but can be attained by any person with a cryptographic proof of the authenticity of their data.
Compounding these challenges is the advent of AI. AI is a powerful tool, but it can also be a tool for accelerating the rate at which information centralizes, generating unlimited synthetic data. We need tools for proving the authenticity of data, preserving signal in the already noisy internet.
Cryptography gives the world the capacity to distribute power equitably, rather than centralizing trust in the hands of a few. With advanced cryptography, we can tear down data moats, disrupt the attention economy, derail centralization, and defend ourselves against surveillance.
However, today’s usage of cryptography in blockchains is limited and full of challenges. We’ve seen these challenges play out in the last several years — poor usability, spam, scams, fraud, a lack of privacy, and exploits. For the blockchain industry to have any hope of fixing the things that are broken with the internet, we must first get our own house in order.
We are the every-developer. We are building cryptographic tools to place in the hands of developers, so that we may together construct the technology to build a better internet.

To summarize

  • Pluto builds tools to supercharge blockchain applications with the power of internet data
  • Web Proofs are a type of zero knowledge proof that enables developers to bring web2 data onchain
  • Our Web Proofs SDK and Testnet will launch in the month of June
  • To get notified of Pluto’s launch, sign up here
Tracy, Matt, and the Pluto Team

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