Zero-Knowledge Proof is a method where a party can prove to a verifier that a particular statement is true without conveying any information about the statement. The essence of ZK proofs is to prove what one knows without revealing it or giving additional information.
The ZK proofs encryption scheme was a project by MIT researchers Silvio Micali, Charles Rackoff, and Shafi Goldwasser in the 1980s. Their research ensures that no one except you can access your secure data.
ZK proofs are better than other data transmission methods since they are simple, secure, and efficient. However, they also have some cons. ZK proofs are imperfect since their message is sent via limited encryption and takes a long time to process.
Types and Properties of ZKPs
Zero-knowledge proof is of two types. There is an interactive and non-interactive proof method. In the interactive proof method, the prover performs a series of logical mathematics probabilities to convince a verifier of a particular fact.
In Non-interactive Zero-Knowledge proof, there is no interactive process. A prover can generate some challenges at once for a verifier to respond to later. However, this functionality restricts the possibility of collaboration since it only requires machines and software during verification.
Additionally, all Zero-Knowledge protocols require specific properties for them to be complete. These properties include:
- Completeness: If a statement is true and both parties follow the rules well, the verifier will have a simple time doing their work.
- Soundness: If a specific statement is false, the verifier cannot believe it is true even in any scenario.
- Zero-Knowledge: In any case, the verifier won’t know anything apart from whether it is true or false.
Where can ZK Proofs be used with Blockchain Systems?
ZK proofs can improve systems like messaging apps that have end-to-end encryption. This usage is a prime application since the world is moving towards secure communication systems.
Blockchain technology is up-and-coming and can become better with the integration of ZK proofs. This proof protocol will help to keep its transactions anonymous and add layers of security to its files. It can also secure the documentation of certain blocks during blockchain transactions.
This proof technique can also solve a very rampant issue in the current world. It can help to democratize the vote verification process and do away with rigging.
Real-Life Applications of the Zero-Knowledge Proofs and Blockchain Technology
ZK proofs are already in use on some digital platforms. These live applications include:
- ZCash: It is the first cryptocurrency in the world to deploy the use of ZKPs.
- ING: It is a Netherlands bank that has a zero-knowledge blockchain. However, they use it to lower down the need for computational power.
- ZCoin: This coin uses Zero-Knowledge proof to enhance the security and anonymity of its transactions.