007 – zk-SNARKs are a type of cryptographic proof designed to guarantee the highest possible privacy within the world of digital financial transactions. To achieve this, zk-SNARKs are built using zero-knowledge protocols or proofs, an interesting technique that allows validating and verifying information without having to give access to it.
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Zk-Sanark is the acronym for “Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge” which means “Zero Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge”. zk-SNARKs are highly reliable and secure zero-knowledge proof systems. Tests that allow us to prove possession of information, demonstrating that said information is also correct.
But at the same time it is never revealed, but is kept strictly confidential and secret. It is a very powerful cryptographic implementation that allows you to prove ownership over any information or data, without the need to reveal said information or data to any user or network, at any time.
The technology surrounding zk-SNARKs is profoundly complex and novel. The bases of its construction were designed by the cryptographers Shafi Goldwasser, Silvio Micalli and Charles Rackoff in 1985. This gave rise to the first protocols to say that there is knowledge of a secret that exists and that it is correct but without revealing it.
Zcash and zk-SNARKs
The first cryptocurrency to apply zero-knowledge proofs to ensure user privacy and security was Zcash (ZEC). The implementation of zero-knowledge proofs allows Zcash to verify the transactions carried out on the network. All this without the need to reveal who the sender, the recipient or the amount of money that has been transferred has been.
In Zcash, the chosen ZKP protocol is the zk-SNARKs implementation. A choice that allows you to completely change the way data is shared on a network. Allowing transactions to remain encrypted but still to be able to verify and certify their authenticity and validity.
Zcash supports private and transparent addresses, where both are fully interoperable with each other and rely on users to activate or remove information protections. So, transparent addresses on the Zcash blockchain operate in a similar way to Bitcoin or Ethereum. Where the information is publicly visible.
It also implements zero-knowledge protocols, known by its acronym in English as ZKP, to establish a mechanism by which one party can prove to another its possession of certain information. Without revealing anything more than proof that confirms that said statement is true. Thanks to the implementation of the ZKP protocol, this cryptocurrency can enjoy a high level of security and anonymity, if required by users.
There are other zero-knowledge tests similar to zk-SNARK are zk-STARKs. These were created as an alternate version of the zk-SNARK tests and are considered a faster and cheaper execution of this technology; although the really important thing about this system is that the zk-STARKs do not require an initial configuration of trust.
Added to this, the zk-STARK have greater strength against quantum-type attacks. As a result of this, they are considered a more reliable form of cryptography against this type of system.