How Zero-Knowledge Proofs Are Changing Blockchain?

One of the most striking elements in the discussions surrounding cryptography in recent times is zero-knowledge proof. It has a wide range of applications, including nuclear disarmament and facility of anonymous and highly secure transactions across public blockchain networks. Therefore, it is reasonable to consider zero-knowledge protocols as crucial milestones in modern cryptographic innovation. So, how can zero-knowledge proofs bring evolution to blockchains? Let’s find out!

Zero-knowledge proofs or a ZKP is a cryptographic method through which a particular party could prove that they know a particular value to another party without disclosing the value. So, zero-knowledge protocol undermines the necessity of revealing information to prove that you know of it. So, zero-knowledge proofs address this setback by taking away the necessity of revealing information or any additional information to justify that you possess the information. Zero-knowledge protocols can achieve this objective by focusing on the following notable parameters,

  • Complete

If a particular statement is true, then an honest verifier would be convinced of the fact by an honest prover only.

  • Sound

If the particular statement is false, then any cheating prover could not convince the verifier about the fact, other than some small form of probability.

  • Zero-Knowledge

As the name implies, ZKPs are aimed at avoiding disclosure of information. The verifier does not learn anything else other than the fact about truth of a statement.

Although the first two traits of completeness and soundness are evident in common interactive authentication systems, zero-knowledge brings additional advantages for verification processes.

How Does Zero-Knowledge Protocol Work?

Before reflecting on the potential impact of zero-knowledge proof in blockchain, it is important to understand its general structure. The common structure of zero-knowledge protocol focuses on three sequential activities between two participants. The activities are known as a witness, challenge, and response.

  • Witness stage involves affirmation that the prover knows a secret and leads to certain questions that only the prover can answer correctly at any time. The prover has to choose any question randomly and calculate a proof followed by sending it to the verifier.
  • In the challenge stage, the verifier selects a particular question from the set, followed by asking the prover to answer.
  • In the response stage, the prover answers the question and sends back to the verifier. Now, the verifier can check whether the prover knows the secret on the basis of their response.

Impact of Zero-Knowledge Proofs in Blockchain

So, it is quite clear that zero-knowledge proof can revolutionize blockchain technology with its advantages in cryptography. On the other hand, it is also important to note the wide range of application areas in blockchain that can benefit from zero-knowledge protocols. Let us take a look at the different ways in which ZKPs can result in evolution of blockchain technology.

  • End-to-end encryption is a major requirement in messaging applications as no one wants that someone could read their private messages. So, messaging platforms often ask users for identity verification procedures. On the other hand, zero-knowledge protocols can develop end-to-end trust mechanisms in the messaging world. These applications of ZKPs can find prominent recognition in the blockchain landscape.
  • Zero-knowledge proof in blockchain can also foster better prospects for authentication as it can ensure transmission of sensitive information without security fails. Users can access a secure channel for employing their data without actually revealing it alongside avoiding data leakage in worst-case scenarios.
  • Zero-knowledge protocols can also provide safeguards for anonymity on blockchain. Anonymity is a major requirement for transactions where you don’t want to disclose identity or independent transactions. So, ZKPs can help users in making different transactions while maintaining secrecy of their identity. For example, private blockchain transactions must always stay out of bounds for third parties. ZKPs can help in reducing the possibilities of intercepting any private blockchain transactions.
  • ZKP can also be helpful in implementing file system control by adding different layers of security to logins, files, and user accounts. On a cumulative basis, zero-knowledge protocols can provide additional safeguards for data stored on a blockchain.
  • Zero-knowledge protocol can also provide encryption for data in chunks while enabling users to control certain blocks. Therefore, they can help in providing access to specific users only. As a result, the ZKPs can safeguard complex documentation from unauthorized users.

Therefore, it is evident that zero-knowledge protocols have a promising scope for strengthening the capabilities of blockchain technology. However, it is also important to note the challenges that might affect adoption of ZKPs in the field of blockchain. For starters, there is no fixed system or standard for leveraging the capabilities of zero-knowledge proofs optimally. The addition of zero-knowledge protocols in blockchain would also require additional computing capacities for high-level operations. So, it is important to weigh the opportunities and challenges with zero knowledge protocols before implementing them.

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