Zero knowledge proof is a concept of cryptography, most commonly used to prove that a particular statement is true without revealing the facts or veracity of the statement.
In this definition...
What does zero-knowledge mean?
The concept of zero knowledge proof was first introduced in 1985 by MIT researchers. The reason it is called “zero knowledge” is that the verifier does not learn anything other than the fact that the statement is true, therefore does not gain any knowledge from it. The concept of zero-knowledge has applications in authentication systems, nuclear disarmament, finance, online voting, and blockchain.
How is zero-knowledge proof related to blockchain?
There are different use cases of zero knowledge proof in blockchain technology. While blockchain offers incredible advantages in decentralization, transparency, and immutability, there are some privacy concerns with blockchain. That is where zero-knowledge proof can play a major role as it can be used as an encryption scheme where the prover can prove a cryptocurrency transaction statement to the verifier without revealing any additional information.
Zero knowledge proofs offer flexibility to blockchain users to have control over their information as it can be used to encrypt data, for private transactions, blockchain messaging applications, and the secure sharing of complex documentation.
How does it work in blockchain?
There are different methods of using zero knowledge proof. For example, in the case of Zcash, a key generator is used to create a key pair; one is used for proving, while the other is used for verifying. The prover uses their key to prove their knowledge, while the verified will use the key to validate the authenticity of the statement. As is the case with all zero-knowledge applications, no information is divulged as part of the transaction.
Zero knowledge proof’s pros and cons
One zero knowledge proof’s key advantages is that without using any complex encryption methods the throughput and scalability of blockchain can be increased. Simplicity is one of the major attributes of zero-knowledge proof. The privacy of blockchain users can be protected without revealing personal information on the blockchain network.
The protocols for zero-knowledge proof rely on numerical formulas, calculations, and answers, which means using any other method will require translation. There is significant processing power required to complete over 200 computations that are required to complete each zero-knowledge proof transaction. The originator of the transaction holds all the information for the transaction, and if that information is lost, all the data associated with the transaction is also lost.