The developers at Zcash consider that this method can become reality as they have been working and developing it. Its name is zk-SNARK which stands for “zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive argument of knowledge”. The protocol allows users to execute transactions anonymously. Zcash are themselves crypto currency creators. They also create the zero-knowledge proof cryptographic protocol which can prove no doubt existence of something without revealing the actual information and thus keeping it private.
While Zcash develops their own crypto currency they also find extremely useful and practical to perfect the emerging tool called a zero-knowledge proof. It seems that science researchers have worked on this technology for a while and it hasn’t become so desired until today when the crypto currency transactions industry experiences high growth and most of the crypto currencies are not private.
What is the application of this tool? If you need to do something online that requires sensitive information, like your date of birth, and the bank account balance so the transaction can be successfully closed, this becomes possible since the new protocol allows the subject to prove these requirements without revealing sensitive personal information which could expose them to identity theft or risking their privacy.
The tool is available now for the increasing economy demands. Important key companies developing and / or using this remarkable tool are: Zcash, JPMorgan Chase and ING. As seen, some major financial institutions keep interested in this, as it could allow them to use blockchains in payment systems and in the same time protecting their clients’ privacy. Just recently JPMorgan Chase implemented the protocol called zk-SNARKs to its blockchain-based payment system to enhance the privacy of their transactions. For instance, most public blockchain systems including Bitcoin expose their transactions to the public and certain parameters within including users can be identified even though these transactions are considered anonymous.
As normal with the first appearance of such complex and novel tool, the computation seems slow and convoluted. The initial setup involves the implementation of a “trusted setup,” which generates a cryptographic key still vulnerable to system breach when used involving the wrong intentions. Even having barriers of this sort, the scientific research continues to improve this tool. They are looking at more efficient alternatives to implement and execute zero-knowledge proofs without using the compromising cryptographic key. Even with all obstacles intrinsic to new-born technologies, the zero-knowledge proof is described by Vitalik Buterin, creator of Ethereum as an “absolutely game-changing technology.”
Author: Cory Popescu