What is the Zero-Knowledge proof (zk-proof)?

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A Zero-Knowledge proof, also known as zk-proof, is a component from the Zero-Knowledge technology, born in the 1980s from research in computer science and cryptography fields as a method for information validation with more privacy, security, and processing speed.

This is a technique that uses mathematical models and cryptographic protocols to enable a third party authenticator to validate a certain statement as true without needing to or being able to know the statement's content. Such a statement is usually called a zk-proof.

For a zk-proof to be valid, it must satisfy three principles:

  1. Completeness: the proof must be verifiable. An honest verifier can always validate the proof by applying the zk-SNARK protocol.
  2. Soundness: the proof must be incorruptible. A deceitful prover can't convince an honest verifier the proof is valid.
  3. Zero-knowledge: the proof must be sealed. A prover doesn't need to send any additional information to a verifier, except for that which is essential to run a zk-proof validation protocol. The content of the statement can remain private.

In other words, a zk-proof is like a sealed envelope that nobody can open except for its owner. The owner can prove to anyone that the information inside the envelope is true  by using a specific protocol. When verifiers run that same protocol, they can confirm that the envelope contains the information it was said to contain without opening it. 

Learn how Bitso is using the zk-proof in here:

  • The application of a Zero-Knowledge proof to the Proof of Solvency
  • How is Bitso providing a Zero-Knowledge proof?
  • The advantages of a Zero-Knowledge proof?
  • What is zk-SNARK?


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