101 BlockChains

Dec 10, 2020

4 min read

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.

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.

Conclusion

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.