Recently, the Founder and CEO of Zcash Zooko Wilcox tweeted on Sergey Brin’s apparent statement that ‘zk-SNARKs’ are so new that it is crazy that Zcash has succeeded at deploying them in a real-life application so fast’. On this, Zooko expressed his agreement in the tweet stating that most people do not understand Zcash’s role in compressing the ‘normal timeline by several years’.
However, in his comments, Zooko also admitted that Zcash is built on ‘new’ and ‘unproven’ technology that may be carrying risks that the computer scientists and engineers just have not figured out yet.
On Zooko’s tweet, Andrew Glidden, Head of Legal Research, Blockchain at Berkeley Law, made a remark that he finds it cool how Zcash has directly monetized advanced cryptocurrency research, along with an open and adversarial network for testing/proving the research.
Bowser, a Twitter user and Zooko follower, to Zooko’s tweet also commented:
“yup, I remember seeing the zerocash paper when it came out in 2014. usually takes 10+ years for academic ideas to end up in a production environment. you guys did it in… two?”
To which, Matthew Green, a professor who teaches cryptography at John Hopkins added:
“And Sapling in another two.”
zk SNARKs is a form of zero-knowledge cryptography developed by Zcash with a widespread usage. zK SNARK proof enables transactions in Zcash to be entirely encrypted on the blockchain, by verifying the transactions as valid under the network’s consensus rules.
zk-SNARK is an abbreviation for ‘Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge’, and uses a proof construction wherein it enables one to prove the possession of specific information, without having to actually reveal what it is. This way, the prover can verify the holding of that information to the verifier without compromising one’s privacy. This is why it is known as zero-knowledge cryptography.
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