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What is zk-SNARKs and how does it work?


The zk-SNARKs system which is an acronym that stands for Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge is a system that is used in a safety coin, Zcash (ZEC). This system is unique in the blockchain network. It is a form of cryptography that enables an individual to prove that they are the owners of a particular set of data without necessarily revealing what the data is.

Thus, this system involves only two parties; the provers and the verifiers. Prover proofs that a certain item, information or word exists and is correct without having to reveal what that item or information is. This is the reason behind the name zero knowledge. The process involved in proving and validating information is a quick one and can be verified in a split second even for data programs that are very large.

How zk-SNARKs Works

With the new age of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, the need for privacy is increasingly becoming a necessary factor in the daily activities surrounding these technologies. In the blockchain technology, it is easy to follow through and track transactions that are being carried out by individuals. This is known as blockchain analysis and can be used by any enforcement agency including the government.

These factors have resulted in people looking for more private ways of carrying out their transactions. Thus, private coins come in handy for this purpose. These private coins include Zcash. This is the first most used application for zk-SNARKs. These two ideas are introduced to each other with the encoding of a specific system’s accord control into zk-SNARKs. This is known as a transaction validity function and each blockchain arrange has its own validity function. Therefore, the protection framework associated with this validity work is required to restore a response to whether the capacity is valid or false and ought not to uncover any data gotten from the calculations it has made.

It in this manner takes after the standards of a condition; for example, an arithmetical condition where the information to be demonstrated is shaped into a condition and the verifiers at that point comprehends it without essentially getting the real esteem spoke to by the condition.

History of zk SNARKS

Initially, the concept behind ZK SNARKS was referred to as a myth by its developers. This concept began as a system that was meant to solve problems that were related to the interactive proof systems, where the approvers and verifiers exchanged messages in order to convince the verifiers that they have information of a certain proof without having the need to declare what this information was. The developers were able to achieve this milestone when they started using the morality of the verifier in their system instead of the soundness of the prover. This brought out a question which focused on the ability of the verifier to not leak the information he got.

Therefore, this was a major contribution to the Zero Knowledge proof concept; three MIT researchers Silvio Micali, Charles Rackoff and Shafi Goldwasser introduced it in the early 1980s.

The Team Behind zk-SNARKs

The developments started in early 2015. Now, zk-SNARKs has an up to date development team; it is comprised of researchers and investigators of the earlier work done by the MIT team in the 1980s. This new team’s members are Zcash’s Eli Ben Sasson, Ynon Horesh, Iddo Bentov and Michael Riabzev. The team is geared towards the use of zk-SNARKs in sidechains. Hence, this would increase the privacy achieved through allowing the occurrence of payments from separate blockchains with a self-destruction feature after the completion of the transaction. This further enhancement of the systems shows that there is a great potential ahead. Furthermore, it only proves that the system aims to be an integral part of the future of blockchain technology.


Encrypted transactions in the blockchain networks offer much-desired protection in the public blockchains. Soon, this will additionally enable parties, at their own discretion, to selectively uncover information about their protected transactions. These systems also assist in the development of cryptocurrency technology and the general acceptance by the public; that way they would have a safe environment to carry out their transactions.

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