Cryptocurrency: What Is zk-SNARK?


Zcash transactions may be completely encrypted and certified as legitimate under the network’s consensus rules using zk-SNARK proof that Zcash has a strong privacy guarantee.

It is possible to demonstrate the truthfulness of a statement to a third person (the verifier) using a so-called “zero-knowledge” proof.

“Proof” vs. “Argument” is a complex distinction, and we won’t delve into it in this article.

It took several rounds of back-and-forth communication between a prover and a verifier in the early zero-knowledge protocols.

Still, the proof requires a single message transmitted from prover to verifier in a “non-interactive” architecture.

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Learning about the zk-SNARK

For many early adopters of cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, anonymity was taken for granted as a primary goal and feature.

However, privacy has always been a secondary concern for cryptocurrencies because of its necessity to build a “trustless” method of ensuring the integrity of electronic currency and digital transactions.

Several Bitcoin users believed their transactions were anonymous. 

Data scientists, hackers, and law enforcement worked together throughout the decade to demonstrate that re-identifying individuals who provided pseudonymous data to various sources were conceivable and straightforward.

Since specific early cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin were to lack privacy, developers began working on privacy-focused coins.

The most well-known was Zcash, which relied on a new cryptographic algorithm called zk-SNARKs.

Zero-Knowledge Proofs

In the 1980s, it initially put out the concept for these proofs.

When two participants in a transaction can verify that they have the same information but do not divulge it, a zero-knowledge guarantee occurs.

All of the data must be available to at least one of the parties involved in the case for most other sorts of evidence to be valid.

You may think of definitive proof of the password for an internet network.

When a user enters a password, the network automatically checks to see correct.

The network also requires access to the password’s contents. In this case, the advantages of privacy and security are apparent: 

No one can steal your password if the network does not keep it elsewhere for verification reasons.

To understand zk-SNARKS, one must first understand its complicated mathematical foundations.

Proofs of this sort allow one party to establish that information exists and that the person in issue is aware of that knowledge.

Because of this, it is possible to verify Zcash zk-SNARKs in a matter of seconds without having to communicate with each other.

Construction of Zk-SNARKs in Zcash

According to Zcash’s zero-knowledge privacy policy, the function that determines whether or not a transaction is legitimate must provide only the response of whether or not it is valid, without exposing any of the information it used to make its determination.

When it comes to zk-SNARKs, you first have to transform your proof into an analogous form, such as knowing the solution to a set of algebraic equations.

An “arithmetic circuit” is created by breaking down our transaction validity function into as few operations as feasible to describe it mathematically.

In a circuit like this, the values a, b, and c can see as “moving” along the wires toward the output. Using this example, the R1CS will verify, for instance, that b*c is the value that comes out of the multiplication gate.

Many constraints have to be in this R1CS representation, one for practically every wire in the circuit. 

Wires coming out of multiplication gates are the only ones affected by this restriction.

“Bundling all these limitations into one” was given in a 2012 work by Gennaro, Gentry, Parno, and Raykova.

Polynomials are now the only constraints to be verified, rather than numbers.

Even if the polynomials are enormous, an identity that fails to hold between polynomials will fail to have at the majority of its points. 

Prospective Uses for zk-SNARKs in the Future

Many complicated functions are still too computationally demanding to be practical.

If you have an existing distributed ledger system, you may add Zcash zk-SNARKs as a Zero-knowledge Security Layer for corporate use cases.

They are some of the best zero-knowledge researchers in the world, and they are continually working on new applications and increasing the efficiency of zero-knowledge protocols.

Reach out to our business development team if you need zero-knowledge proofs or blockchain solutions that provide strong privacy.

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