One of the most important technological developments in the blockchain space is zkSNARKs. They enhance privacy and decentralization in blockchain, NFTs and games, among other niches. But what are zkSNARKs?
Let’s look at zkSNARKs and why they are essential for true decentralization
What do zkSNARKs do?
To explain this tech, consider the following analogy from a Twitter user:
“Imagine you draw a painting. Cool. You don’t want your mom to see it but you need her to know you made a painting that is this size. How? You take 2 rulers, put them on the side of the paintings then bend over really low and take a picture at a very angle. Your mom can’t see the painting, but she can see the size of it.”
by Roxel | Seb-NFTech
What Roxel|Seb-NFTech is explaining is the basic working of zkSNARKs. They help prove that an object is present and has certain properties, withouting revealing the object itself. These zero-knowledge proofs are powerful and complicated in terms of how they work and how they can be used.
Factoring in the Math
Suppose you have a function (f) that takes in two inputs – one public (x) and one private (w) – and returns either True or False, then that function can be used to prove definitively that certain properties are present in the private input.
For instance, you could use zkSNARKs to check whether a certain wallet has a specific amount of a certain token, without revealing the rest of the tokens held in that wallet. This gives this technology its two main properties of privacy and scalability.
The applications for zkSNARKs are numerous. They can be used to verify proof of membership, proof of humanity, building anti-denial-of-service networks, building reputation systems that keep internet forums clean, and keeping centralized node validators accountable among other use cases.
zkSNARKs will be essential to the future of Play-2-Earn, Metaverse, NFTs, DeFi and so much more.