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Crypto Analyst Explains Zero-knowledge Proofs Using Fables


coinedition.com 12 December 2022 17:36, UTC
Reading time: ~2 m

Venture and research executive at Mechanism Capital, Brian Fakhoury, has posted a thread on Twitter sharing insights on Zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs). Fakhoury emphasizes that people like Vitalik Buterin have publicly commented that they’re likely on par with blockchain in terms of ideological importance.

🧵 The logical conclusion of zero knowledge computation.

Zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) are an absurd technological breakthrough, and people like @VitalikButerin have publicly commented that they're likely on par with blockchains in terms of ideological importance for this decade.

— Brian Fakhoury (@brianfakhoury) December 11, 2022

Fakhoury explained the capability of ZKPs. He says that the ZKPs can be generally split into two superpowers, namely, privacy and compression. Fakhoury notes that either side of this technology is incredibly vital.

He turned the applications of ZKPs into a fable adding that if one considers compression like receiving a college degree, the graduation diploma, issued by an “accredited” university, would serve as a form of proof.

The graduated individual can convince a third party that they have been through years of academic training. Instead of showing the third party dozens of syllabi and exam scores, the diploma serves as a source of compact proof.

Furthermore, the diploma used in the example can be generalized to be a “receipt,” which is proof of validity that something occurred. A verifier runs the danger of being duped by a bogus proof if a ZKP is not entirely math based when it comes to computers (no human trust).

Each zero-knowledge proof system has its own specialized circuit language. As a result, the ZKPs can be considered to be virtual computers, similar to high-level language interpreters, smart contract platforms, operating system emulators, etc.

Fakhoury further elaborated on how crucial it is to examine the proof system language in relation to the high-level human programmer language if users consider ZKPs to be virtual computers.

While concluding the thread Fakhoury added, logically, the puck is moving toward ZKP systems, which communicate like that of a standard computer and can thus be directly programmed by anyone familiar with compiled languages. “I’ll make an effort to analyze the many consequences that this has.”

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