Zero Knowledge Proof: The Next Level Of Blockchain Technology
On a daily basis, there is lots of digital development, enhancement and sophistication on the blockchain technology. Zero Knowledge protocol seems to be an age long idea that will create new dimensions, and extra layers of security and privacy to the blockchain through a no authentication system. It’s a landmark process because it will drastically reduce exposure and enhance the privacy of all and sundry.
By Blossom Denwigwe
February 15th, 2022
- Zero Knowledge Proof Hides Details Of a Particular Activity
- A Typical Example of this technology Model is ZCash
- It was first experimented in 1980 by a group of mathematicians
- In 1985, some researchers; Shafi Goldwasser, Charles Rackoff, and Silvio Micali explained the technical concept to people.
- The name of the first book published in this subject is “the knowledge complexity of interactive proof systems”
Since all financial records are held on the blockchain with our financial activities accessible for everyone to see, it means that transactions can be traced to originators. It makes it easy to track perpetrators of crimes by monitoring their activities and tracing their transactions.
Similar circumstances played out when the Silk Road drug dealers were caught trying to launder Bitcoin. Also, the recent capture of 2 alleged conspirators of the BitFinex hack where $3.6 billion in Bitcoin was seized by the United States Department of Justice points to the fact that as much as there is privacy, protection is not totally guaranteed. Zero Knowledge Proof functions to guarantee the privacy of blockchain users 100%.
This does not in any way encourage crime; perhaps all criminals should get caught, rather it functions to ensure the freedom cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin promises are fulfilled. This freedom was liberation from the domination and subjugation of nation states, such freedom can’t be achieved without complete privacy.
What Is Zero Knowledge Proof?
Zero-Knowledge Proof is a cryptographic method where the Existence of a subject matter is known without its information directly accessible. It permits private records to be kept secret on exchanges while proving the existence of such records. In more simple terms, it is like the proof of owning a property without revealing the kind of property that is. Here, you actually prove you are being factual without revealing the details of the fact.
Who are Provers and Verifiers in Zero Knowledge Proof?
These are the parties to a transaction. Provers and Verifiers are the basic roles associated with the system. The duty of the prover is to prove that the secret is known, while the verifier must be able to confirm whether or not the prover is correct (telling the truth).
How Does Zero Knowledge Proof Work?
It works through a question and answer model, where the Prover is asked to perform activities that can only be done by one who knows the secret. Per adventure the prover is guessing, the verifier’s test would fail, while if he knows the secret, he would scale through the test’s at all times.
It’s similar to pass phrases where you are asked to arrange words in the right pattern for you to access your account. Here you are not communicating the content of the account, rather the secret to verify your identity.
Zero Knowledge Proofs; What Can Be Done With It?
Like stated earlier, this is used for privacy enhancements. The ethereum blockchain seem to be adopting this innovation fast, judging from the fact that Aztec project looks forward to implementing the idea by developing a privacy-oriented Smart Contracts. Also, Decentralized Organizations (DAOs), and private ethereum tokens will be created using these private ethereum tokens.
To crown it all, an ethereum upgrade code-named Istanbul has been designed to cut the cost of the Aztecs model of Zero Knowledge Proof. Adopting these developments include Tron network which already deployed a version of zk-SNARKs with most transactions being private.
Who Invented Zero Knowledge Proof
In 1985, some researchers; Shafi Goldwasser, Charles Rackoff, and Silvio Micali explained the technical concept of Zero Knowledge Proof to people. Details of this explanation were contained in the first ever published book on the subject “the knowledge complexity of interactive proof systems”. Accompanying these activities was a name formation “zk-SNARKS” by Alessandro Chiesa and a group of researchers
How Is Zero Knowledge Proof Deployed In Blockchain?
In a Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge (zk-SNARKs), the base protocol has to be a “secure setup” to begin the system. The reason for this stems from how delicate the information used to start the system is. If such information falls into the hands of hackers or unreliable persons, it can be used to destroy the entire system soon after it’s been deployed.
Carefulness is highly important, that’s why Zcash had to destroy their private keys and all digital devices used in launching the project.
Talking about Zcash, it is considered the first widespread experimenter to apply the Zero Knowledge Proofs since crypto history. They implemented on their privacy coin using a Zero-knowledge proofs model called zk-SNARKS, a short form for “Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge.
In zk-SNARKS, proofs become more complicated when interactions are deleted, thus guaranteeing better efficiency and reduced data requirements as opposed to the interactive basic –zero-knowledge proofs model where provers and verifiers engage in few conversational rounds to ensure the legitimacy of the provers.
After many considerations, innovations were needed since the trusted setup phase was perceived as a threat, especially when people didn’t buy the idea that setup information was completely and properly destroyed. To fix this threat, an improved model “zk-STARKs was created. The zk-STARKs being a model of zero-knowledge proof that requires a less rigorous setup, it is considered to be more efficient and scalable than zk-SNARKS.
Alessandro Chiesa, one of the heads behind the naming of zk-SNARKs has gone forward to set up StarkWare, a company specializing in the production of zk-STARKs materials tools and software. the aim of this company is to enhance the overall performance of blockchain, ensuring they are more efficient and scalable than the zk-SNARKs.
Blossom Denwigwe is a detail-oriented writer capable of breaking down technically challenging subjects to a broad audience in a way they will understand. He helps companies and individuals realize these goals through detailed analysis of the subject matter. Reach out to Blossom on Twitter @DenwigweU or on LinkedIn blossomd.
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