Blindfolded Handshakes on the Blockchain
In the rapidly evolving world of crypto and web3, we have witnessed the rise of a powerful concept called zero knowledge proofs (ZKPs). ZKPs strike a remarkable balance between privacy and trustworthiness, making them a game-changer for various applications. This article aims to make the concept of ZKPs accessible to everyone. It will cover what ZKPs are, their history, why they're gaining popularity, potential future uses, and some important companies working on ZKP-related projects.
ZKPs are a cryptographic technique that allows one party to prove the validity of a statement to another party without revealing any additional information. In the realm of digital transactions, this means that an individual can prove they possess certain knowledge or have performed a specific action without disclosing specific details. This balance of privacy and trustworthiness is at the core of ZKPs' appeal.
The origins of zero knowledge proofs can be traced back to a groundbreaking 1985 paper by three researchers, Shafi Goldwasser, Silvio Micali, and Charles Rackoff. The paper is titled “The Knowledge Complexity of Interactive Proof-Systems.” The group earned the prestigious Turing Award for their work on this paper.
Zero knowledge proofs offer a balance between privacy and trust previously unavailable on totally transparent blockchains and legacy systems. By understanding the concept of ZKPs, their potential applications, and the companies working on related projects, both newcomers and seasoned experts can appreciate the profound impact that ZKPs can have on the future of distributed systems.