Rozmanova ulica 12
1000 Ljubljana
Prostori: osmo/za

Zencode workshop

Zencode: How to Write Smart Contracts Using Natural Language

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The workshop is part of the programme of Tactics & Practice #13: From Commons to NFTs.

DATE: 12th of November 2022 | 10.00-13.00
MENTOR: Puria Nafisi Azizi (Dyne.org)
LOCATION: Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture

REGISTER HERE: Free admission | Registration required. Participants will be selected on the basis of a motivational statement | Minimum knowledge required: basic programming concepts | Participants need to bring their own laptop

The workshop is co-produced by the Aksioma Institute, Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory and Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture, under the auspices of project konS.


data commons | technological sovereignty | algorithms | data processing awareness | privacy by design

About the workshop

Zencode is a project inspired by the discourse on data commons and technological sovereignty. The established goal is that of improving people’s awareness of how their data is processed by algorithms, as well as facilitating the work of developers to create applications that follow privacy by design principles.

The main use case taken in consideration is that of distributed computing, capable of processing untrusted code and executing advanced cryptographic functions. For instance, it can be used with (but not limited to) any distributed ledger (blockchain) implemented as an interpreter of smart contracts.

The Zencode language makes it easy and less error prone to write portable scripts implementing end-to-end encryption with operations executed inside an isolated environment (the Zenroom VM) that can be easily ported to any platform, embedded in any language and made interoperable with any blockchain.

The implementation of Zencode is heavily inspired by modern research in language-theoretical security and uses Lua as a direct syntax parser to build a non-Turing complete domain-specific language enforcing coarse-grained computations and data recognition before processing. Its interpreter, the Zenroom VM, supports secure isolation, protects its hosts from errors, and has no access to the calling process, the network, the underlying operating system or the filesystem.

Zenroom VM is a process virtual machine: a restricted execution environment designed to safely process any – even malicious – Zencode instructions. Upon any failure during the phases of interpretation of code, validation of data or execution of operations, Zenroom doesn’t report any meaningful error messages that would help programmers assess what problem had occurred. Zencode language scenarios follow a declarative approach and provide functional tools for efficiently manipulating even complex data structures.

About the mentor

Puria Nafisi Azizi is currently a resident hacker at one of the largest and most politically exposed free software foundations in Europe (Dyne.org). In the past years, he has dedicated himself to techno-politics and has introduced some major solutions within the DECODEproject.eu, and he is currently active on democratic and participatory digital platforms & processes for citizens.



The workshop is co-produced by the Aksioma Institute, Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory and Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture, under the auspices of project konS.

Project konS – Platform for Contemporary Investigative Art is a project chosen on the public call for the selection of the operations “Network of Investigative Art and Culture Centres”. The investment is co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia and by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union.

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