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ZPrize for Zero Knowledge proof protocol competition with John Reynolds of Aleo

Originally aired on August 30, 2023

In this episode of the MikoBits show, host Miko Bits interviews John Reynolds of Aleo, who is involved in running the ZPrize competition. ZPrize aims to advance the industry of zero knowledge proofs and the mathematics of cryptography. The competition consists of several categories focused on hardware and software development in the field of zero knowledge proofs. The winners of each category receive a cash prize. The discussion covers the purpose of ZPrize, the prize amounts, the different categories, the concept of zero knowledge proofs, the potential applications of zero knowledge proofs in various industries, and the scalability of the technology.

What is the ZPrize competition?

  • It aims to push the industry of zero knowledge proofs forward.
  • The competition includes several categories focused on different areas of the industry.
  • Winners of each category receive a cash prize, with a total of three categories for the current year’s competition.

The prize amounts for ZPrize

  • There are three categories, each with a baseline prize starting at $300,000.
  • The winners receive the entire prize amount for each category.

The categories for ZPrize 2022

  • Two categories focus on accelerating multi-scalar multiplication (MSM) in zero knowledge proofs, specifically on FPGA and GPU platforms.
  • The third category is sponsored by Aleo and focuses on high-throughput signature verification within a zero knowledge circuit.

The concept of zero knowledge proofs

  • Zero knowledge proofs allow for the proving of knowledge or information without revealing the underlying data.
  • They provide proof of computation, verifying that a value was computed honestly or that a computation occurred without revealing the input data.

Potential applications of zero knowledge proofs

  • Identity verification: Zero knowledge proofs can provide privacy and security in identity verification processes, eliminating the need for centralized providers.
  • Financial applications: Zero knowledge proofs can enhance the privacy and compliance of financial transactions and credentials.
  • Healthcare and telemedicine: Zero knowledge proofs can protect the privacy of health information while allowing for verification in medical care.
  • Education: Zero knowledge proofs can verify educational credentials while protecting the privacy of personal information.

The scalability of zero knowledge proofs

  • The industry is still in the early stages of scaling zero knowledge proofs to be integrated into various applications.
  • Challenges include the transition from legacy systems, but advancements in hardware and web3 technologies are helping to accelerate progress.
  • The goal is to achieve internet-scale verifiable computation at a reasonable cost, meeting regulatory compliance requirements while preserving user privacy.