ZeroSync to Bring ZK-Proofs to Expedite Bitcoin Validation

ZeroSync Association, a Swiss-based nonprofit organization, is pioneering the use of zero-knowledge proofs (ZK-proofs) for the validation of the Bitcoin network. ZeroSync’s open-source tooling allows users to validate the state of the Bitcoin network without having to download the entire blockchain or trust a third party for verification.

The organization is developing and maintaining software that enables succinct ZK-proofs on the Bitcoin blockchain. The group uses StarkWare’s proprietary Zero-Knowledge Scalable Transparent Argument of Knowledge (zk-STARK) validity proofs to generate succinct ZK-proofs for the Bitcoin network.

The use of ZK-proofs by ZeroSync promises to overhaul the process of verifying the Bitcoin blockchain. Node operators currently have to download a large amount of data to synchronize the correct state of the Bitcoin network. However, with ZK-proofs, ZeroSync aims to generate valid proof and verify the latest state of the blockchain almost instantaneously.

While ZK-proofs have been a revelation for the Ethereum ecosystem, powering several layer-2 scaling platforms, ZeroSync’s announcement highlights the promise of ZK-proofs for blockchain scalability and privacy by providing “almost-fixed-size” proofs verifying large computations.

ZeroSync is pioneering the application of ZK-proofs for the Bitcoin network, with the organization describing Bitcoin’s relative simplicity and the Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) model as a unique value proposition for applying recursive proofs. ZeroSync notes that the ZK-Proof tools do not require consensus changes or additional trust assumptions for the Bitcoin network and its users.

The organization is building a software development kit that will allow developers to generate custom validity proof for specific use cases without requiring in-depth domain expertise. The kit will enable users to implement ZK-proofs for specific use cases while also ensuring compatibility with Bitcoin’s rules and regulations.

ZeroSync’s tool is currently in the prototype state but has the ability to prove the validity of individual assumed valid blocks, which verify all Bitcoin rules except for scripts. The team also has a working in-browser demo verifier for STARK proofs of Bitcoin blocks.

ZeroSync is using the Cairo programming language, pioneered by StarkWare, to create STARK-provable programs for computations. The organization is building a client for fast initial block download and implementing the first complete proof of Bitcoin consensus. The client will allow users to sync a full node without making code changes to Bitcoin core.

Geometry and StarkWare initially funded the ZeroSync Association, but the organization is establishing a nonprofit entity to enable ongoing development and maintenance from stakeholders within the Bitcoin community.

Overall, ZeroSync’s tooling will revolutionize the validation process of the Bitcoin blockchain, bringing ZK-proofs to the forefront of the Bitcoin ecosystem. The use of ZK-proofs will enable Bitcoin users to validate the state of the network more efficiently and securely, without having to trust third-party verifiers.


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EU Passes Vote for Digital Wallet

A majority of members of the European Parliament voted in support of establishing a mandate for interinstitutional discussions to bring about a digital wallet that is applicable throughout the whole EU. The new European Digital Identification (eID) framework plans to develop what will be known as the European Digital Identity Wallet. This wallet will be a digital one that EU people and enterprises may use (EDIW). The digital wallet gives individuals and businesses in the EU the ability to store their identity information, such as names and addresses, as well as digitized documents, such as data from bank accounts, birth certificates, diplomas, and other documents that can be used across international borders.

The eID modifications that were proposed by the ITRE committee contain the norm of zero-knowledge proofs. This provides EU individuals with complete control over their identification data. This would make it possible for individuals to identify and verify themselves online without having to rely on commercial providers, which is the practice that is now being followed and which has given rise to problems over trust, security, and privacy.

The electronic identification legislation proposal is scheduled to be presented in June 2021. Its purpose is to provide EU residents an approach to accessing internet services that is both safe and simple to use. The development of a digital wallet would make it possible to store personal data in a way that is both safe and secure, and it would also give an alternative to using commercial providers. The modifications that were approved in February by the ITRE committee will serve as the foundation for the stance that the European Parliament takes throughout the negotiating process.

The transition toward a unified digital wallet throughout the EU has the potential to improve the efficiency of online services and make it simpler for individuals and companies to use services that are offered in other member states. The implementation of zero-knowledge proofs would result in an increased degree of security and privacy for people, who would retain complete control over the information pertaining to their identities. The formation of a European Digital Identity is one step closer to becoming a reality as a result of the negotiations that are due to begin immediately on the final form of the law.


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