- zk (zero-knowledge) proofs are at the heart of the project
- The research will be conducted to also improve interoperability between chains
- Ehtereum may inherit a “zero-knowledge virtual machine” from this research
- Filecoin hopes to benefit from increased computational power to store data
- The discovery by Zcash has been hailed as a ‘game changer’ by MIT advisors on digital currency
- Zcash is looking to ship this Halo upgrade on their own mainnet this year
Zcash, the pioneer of Zero-Knowledge proofs, (which are used for many different purposes, but for simplicity, they are a groundbreaking cryptographic solution for privacy and data compression) has partnered with the Ethereum Foundation, the Filecoin Foundation, and Protocol Labs to further explore the uses of Zero-Knowledge proofs in crypto. More specifically, it was the Electric Coin Company, which is the developer team for Zcash that partnered for this research. There are different versions of Zero-Knowledge proofs, for example, zk-SNARKS, which are the main usage of the technology. For a primer on this cool tech, see the link below.
Suggested Read: What are zk-SNARKs?
To drive home the importance of this tech, Vitalik himself said that for scaling solutions, Zero-Knowledge tech will win out in the long run. However, it is in its very early stages of development, and Zcash was the first to successfully implement the technology, this is why Zcash is considered extremely private and secure. Now, they are linking up with two major players in the space, Ethereum and Filecoin, to further develop it.
Without getting too much in the weeds, the research will be focused on recursive proofs. This is in line with Zcash’s upcoming Halo upgrade. The upgrade is supposed to take place this year and will include these recursive proofs. “Halo 2 is the next iteration of recursive proof research.” These recursive proofs allow much fewer data to be verified on the chain and this computational bottleneck has plagued blockchains, such as Ethereum, for years. Using these recursive zk proofs will allow for more scalability, security, and privacy–it could be a game-changer for the space.
This type of technology would be huge for Filecoin, as they already use zk technology which is critical for their data storage system which requires a large amount of scalability. According to the announcement, “the engagement between the ECC, the Filecion Foundation, the Ethereum Foundation, and Protocol Labs will partly focus on exploring the integration of Halo 2 into the existing Filecoin proof system.”
Filecoin Foundation mentions that “successful implementation of Halo 2’s recursive proof solution would mean significantly less proof data stored on-chain, freeing up Filecoin’s network to store more of humanity’s most valuable information. This means greater network scalability and greater access to cheap, efficient, and user-friendly storage solutions.” Josh Swihart from Zcash’s Electric Coin Company stated: “The partnership could improve interoperability between Filecoin, Zcash, and Ethereum; and it could open up avenues for greater privacy across all of these projects.”
It could be even bigger, too. This partnership could open the door for a “zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine’. There will be millions of dollars of funding for this research and Halo 2, the upgrade for Zcash that uses this technology could see Zcash finally score a major moment that interests investors. VP of engineering at Zcash’s ECC Steven Smith stated: “Cross-chain proof verification enables a number of interesting possibilities.” Zcash has been working on this Halo upgrade for a few years now, and it has been hailed a “game-changer” from Michael Casey, a senior advisor at MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative.
To quote Casey: “If the discovery by ECC researcher Sean Bowe holds up to scientific scrutiny, it could one day unleash a host of powerful, real-world applications for the digital age that go far beyond cryptocurrency.” It could potentially change the way centralized databases share information. Zcash founder Zooko Wilcox pointed to the hack of Equifax, which resulted in millions and millions of people’s data being leaked.
We see this all the time. These zk proofs can solve this. Speaking to this sharing of information between companies which leads to constant hacks, Wilcox said: “Now instead of them spitting out copies of a full report of the data, they keep the only copy but spit out zero-knowledge proofs,” Wilcox said. This is an announcement and partnership that doesn’t grab the headlines, but don’t let it escape you. Zero-Knowledge technology has the ability to scale blockchains massively, improve privacy to allow for wholly secure data sharing, and improve the privacy of digital currencies in an auditable way.
The post Ethereum Zcash and Filecoin partner for game-changing research project appeared first on CryptosRus.