- Cardano’s own Zero Knowledge Proof, called “Sonic”, will be presented at the third ZK Proof Workshop, starting on April 20.
- Sonic aims to improve both the privacy and scalability of the Cardano blockchain.
In another video update, Charles Hoskinson spoke about the importance of zero knowledge proof protocols and the upcoming third annual ZK Proof Workshop. The event is being held online because of the coronavirus and, according to Hoskinson, will include the “Who’s Who” of the crypto industry who are doing active research around the zero knowledge proof protocol.
Hoskinson emphasized that the research is not just any trivial research, but probably the most important of all. Speaking about zero knowledge proofs, the CEO of IOHK said
It is the only way in long term we will preserve the concept of inclusive accountability. So the first question you of course ask is what is inclusive accountability? So this is something that has been here since the very first day of Bitcoin, January 03 of 2009. It’s the simple idea that we each check each other’s work. So it’s no ‘you got to trust me’. […] So I say, ‘here’s my blockchain, here’s my history’, you run an algorithm on your computer and you know what I am giving you is correct.
For the moment, according to Hoskinson, this is not a problem. But as blockchains grow and elections are held on it or property rights are registered, blockchains can quickly get into the realm of much terra, peta and exabytes. Then it will no longer be possible for “normal” users to verify the entire history of the blockchain, which means that fewer and fewer people can actively participate in the blockchain. Furthermore, many transactions will need to be private. Zero knowledge proofs offer a solution for both, as Hoskinson pointed out:
So zero knowledge cryptography provides a very beautiful path for achieving both, privacy and scalability, while maintaining inclusive accountability. So this is a very important workshop. […] Because basically it’s a no bullshit academic conference.
Cardano’s own zero knowledge proof “Sonic”
Hoskinson also referred to the fact that IOHK published a research paper on Cardano‘s own zero knowledge proof, called “Sonic”, in December 2018. The implementation in Rust code took over a year. The results will be presented to IOHK representatives at the ZK Proof Workshop, Hoskinson said.
According to Sonic’s whitepaper, zero knowledge proofs have become an important tool for addressing privacy and scalability concerns in cryptocurrencies and other applications. Unlike existing zk proof protocols that require a trusted setup (e.g., Zcash) or a verification complexity that scales linearly with relationship complexity, Sonic features a “universal and updateable structured reference string, however the string scales quadratically in the size of the supported relations”.
In the following you will find the video of Charles Hoskinson talking about zero knowledge proofs.