Miden Pioneers: How Rize Labs is Building Fairness into Online Poker with Aze

How do you restore trust in the perilous realm of online poker? Polygon Miden holds the key

March 15, 2024
Case Studies
Image source: Dribbble

Aze, developed by Rize Labs, the team behind Banana SDK, is a next-generation multiplayer Texas Hold ‘Em game that will revolutionize online poker as we know it.  What’s the secret sauce? Polygon Miden, of course.

As a Miden Pioneer, Aze leverages the unique actor-based execution model of Miden VM. A well-known design paradigm in concurrent systems, in an actor model, actors are state machines responsible for maintaining their own state. One account can send a message to another, but it is up to the recipient to apply the requested change to their state.

In the context of Polygon Miden, every account is an actor. Accounts communicate with one another by producing and consuming notes, messages that carry assets and a script that defines how the notes can be consumed.

Polygon Miden achieves this with zero-knowledge proofs. Accounts not only maintain and update their own state, but use ZKPs to ensure the validity of their state. 

For a game like poker, this unlocks one thing every player needs: Trust. 

Aze uses Polygon Miden to verify every shuffle, every hand, every bet, and every payout. The end result is decentralized trust—fair play without needing to rely on the game operators and the platform itself. Players will be able to trust other participants and the house itself with cryptographic security. 

Aze is building on Polygon Miden and leveraging math to prove trust. In this interview, we speak with the Aze co-founders Rishabh Gupta, Nitanshu Lokhande, and Haque Farazul about the value proposition of Aze, and why they chose to build on Polygon Miden..

What is the value prop of Aze?

Ever since poker came online, trust issues have plagued the game—with some bad actors leading to major losses. Even if a website that hosts poker games seems reputable, players have had no way to verify that everything is aboveboard.

Blockchains solve this problem by doing what they’re best at: Creating decentralized trust. When draws, bets, and payouts are all verified on-chain via ZKPs, everyone at the table knows the score. 

In theory this sounds great, except there’s one obvious drawback to using blockchains in this way: Most currently available options are too expensive and inefficient. It doesn’t make sense to have an Ethereum L1 transaction every time a player needs to verify an offsuit Jack/seven—and it doesn’t preserve the privacy of each player’s hands.

So this is how Aze plans to use Miden: Proving truth with math without showing everything—exactly the magic trick for which ZKPs are so famous. 

Aze can offer a seamless, secure, and fair gaming experience.

How does Aze work?

Aze uses a few key principles to create more robust trust than any game host in the history of online poker:

  • Players don’t need to trust each other or any host or provider, including Aze itself. Instead, every action in the game will be verified with ZKPs.
  • Each players’ cards in a given hand are securely verified, but will only be visible to that player. 
  • Shuffling and dealing will be randomized, with each player contributing some randomness for encrypting and shuffling the card deck.
  • Players can receive winnings discreetly, using Polygon Miden’s privacy features.

All of this takes place in an environment that looks and feels familiar to those who have played online games, including poker. Aze’s UI/UX will allow players to seamlessly access online poker, with the matchless guarantees of a blockchain.

Remind us—why Miden?

It’s all about scaling: Privacy scales better.

Polygon Miden allows dApps like Aze to hyper-scale private transactions with the actor-based model, and unlocks parallel execution for simultaneous gameplay. The actor model means accounts can independently prove state transitions, enable local smart contract execution, private smart contracts, and much more—which is the perfect, extended set of capabilities for an online, decentralized, and secure poker environment. 

What this means in practice is that a poker game hosted on Miden will have verifiable records of action, without the state bloat and sequential transactions that make most blockchains slow and expensive. 

Polygon Miden is the best solution for a game as complex and fast-paced as Aze.

Learn more about the unique capabilities of Polygon Miden, and get ready for a Web3 poker adventure on Aze—follow them on X (formerly Twitter). And tune into the blog and our social channels to keep up with updates about the Polygon ecosystem.

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