Zaki Manian, co-founder of the Sommelier Protocol, a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform that automates liquidity provision, boasts an impressive resume in the blockchain industry. Prior to co-founding Sommelier Protocol, he has held key roles as Executive Director of Trusted IoT Alliance, co-founder of iqlusion, and advisor for Tierion's ICO.
Manian's journey began with self-directed learning
Although he majored History of Science at University of Pennsylvania, he self-taught himself into software engineering, programming, and computer science after graduation. In 2008, his professional voyage commenced as an SI developer at ReaMetrix, where he excelled as a leader and core developer overseeing various aspects of the system, including embedded systems, data analysis, and customer APIs.
His passion for crypto, security, and privacy blossomed with the establishment of the civic freedom organization "Restore the Fourth." In 2014, he founded SKUChain, a groundbreaking blockchain platform revolutionizing supply chain industries, officially marking his entry into the blockchain industry. SKUChain's primary focus lies in developing blockchain-based solutions to revolutionize supply chains.
Manian's contributions to the blockchain domain extend far beyond his entrepreneurial ventures. He has actively contributed to open-source projects like Bitcoin, Zcash, Tendermint, and Ethereum.
A trailblazer in the Cosmos ecosystem,
In 2017, he co-founded Trusted IoT Alliance and Iqlusion. The Trusted IoT Alliance, an open-source consortium, aims to integrate blockchain into the IoT by establishing trust in data generated by IoT systems, enabling digital identities for physical goods, documents, assets, sensors, and machines, regardless of the type of distributed ledger or blockchain used. Iqlusion serves as a research and advisory entity conducting research and development across the cryptocurrency sector, offering counsel to projects like Cosmos, Sommelier, Agoric, and 0L.
His active contributions to the Tendermint deterministic BFT consensus algorithm and the Tendermint open-source ecosystem solidified his pivotal role in the Cosmos ecosystem. As an executive at Tendermint Labs, he played a crucial part in building the Cosmos ecosystem. Involvement included participating in the creation of the first validator dashboard for the Cosmos ecosystem, operating Figment, a comprehensive staking solution provider, and contributing to the design and implementation of Inter-Blockchain Communication(IBC), a framework to ensure scalability and interoperability within the Cosmos ecosystem.
Over the past year, Manian has raised concerns about the stagnation of the monthly active user count in the Cosmos network, warning of potential serious consequences for the network's future. He has called on the community to address UX-related issues and has proposed potential solutions. Despite the availability of account abstraction technology, enabling the use of personal and contract accounts as a single entity in the development environment for nearly two years, its usage on the mainnet remains limited, according to Manian.
The introduction of privacy measures into the Cosmos ecosystem has posed challenges in selecting specific on-chain data, complicating wallet and dashboard development. He has suggested improving the use of session keys in Cosmos to streamline user interactions. By delegating limited functionality to short-lived keys instead of requiring all transactions to be signed by hardware wallets, the user experience could be significantly enhanced.
(source : Cosmos Research Primer | 21shares)
Launch of Sommelier Protocol
Manian’s keen interest in the evolution of liquidity providers in Automated Market Maker(AMM)s like Uniswap and PancakeSwap led to the co-founding of Sommelier Protocol in 2021.
The protocol addresses many challenges faced by liquidity providers in Uniswap v3, focusing on capital efficiency and higher fee income. The vision is to empower validators with tools to manage a significant portion of liquidity positions, freeing liquidity providers from the need to constantly manage their positions throughout the day.