Zero-Knowledge Projects on Blockchain: An Overview

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The use of zero-knowledge technology has solved the scale and privacy constraints present in many Layer-1 blockchains. The technology enables blockchain projects to conduct complicated computing, protect user data while still being able to authenticate identities, and promote higher transaction throughput. It also helps businesses to utilize blockchain technology while safeguarding their intellectual property. Zero-knowledge proofs serve as the foundation for each of these application cases. In this article, we will provide an overview of projects that are providing zero-knowledge technology on the blockchain space.

Why Does Zero-Knowledge Technology Matter?

Zero-knowledge solutions give developers a way to take advantage of the security of a layer-1 blockchain that already exists, such as Ethereum, while also allowing dApps to scale through higher throughput and faster transactions, protecting users' personal information by keeping it hidden off-chain, and reducing the cost for end users by publishing transactions in batches. In the end, these benefits enable initiatives to create sophisticated decentralized applications (dApps) that compete with the functionality and performance of Web2 systems while preserving the advantages of decentralization.

An Overview of Zero-Knowledge Projects on Blockchain

zk-SNARK Based Projects

  • Zcash
Zcash was the earliest project to apply zk-SNARKs, a revolutionary kind of zero-knowledge encryption. The Zcash technology provides a strong privacy guarantee thanks to shielded transactions in Zcash may be entirely encrypted on the blockchain while still being validated as legitimate under the network's consensus rules by employing zk-SNARK proofs.
  • Loopring
Loppring is a zkRollups layer 2 that facilitates order-book style trading without taking possession of customers' assets. Built on Ethereum, Loopring is a decentralized exchange protocol and "automatic execution system" that enables users to swap assets between exchanges. This exchange is not decentralized. Instead, it makes decentralized trading possible through order matching and ring-sharing. It enables low-cost, high-throughput Ethereum trade and payment.
  • zkSync 2.0
zkSync 2.0 is a layer-2 Ethereum scaling solution that leverages a volition architecture and allows smart contracts, much like StarkNet does. zkSync employs zk-SNARKs to verify transactions and a proof-of-stake system called zkPorter to ensure data availability. Aside from their validity proof, zkSync 2.0 and StarkNet's key distinction is that zkSync 2.0 is EVM compatible.
  • Mina
According to claims, the Mina protocol is the world's lightest zk-SNARK blockchain since its size is planned to remain constant even as usage rises. Mina has succeeded in developing a special response to this issue. The Mina Protocol has a constant size of 22 kb, making it accessible to everyone from everywhere via desktops or mobile devices. This improves the user experience and opens up more chances for app developers to create new applications.

zk-STARK Based Projects

  • Immutable X
Immutable X is an NFT platform that makes it easier to produce and trade NFTs and tokens. It is employing an application-specific zk-rollup with StarkEx. Even when the Ethereum network was congested, the platform facilitated tens of millions of NFT mints and trades all with little costs.
StarkNet will also host the debut of Immutable X. Immutable X will submit its proofs to StarkNet rather than directly to Ethereum, and StarkNet's rollup will then recursively upload those proofs to Ethereum. After that, Immutable X may use StarkEx to introduce app chains on top of StarkNet, thereby giving projects a layer-3 scaling option.
  • StarkNet
Developers may use StarkNet, a general-purpose platform, to implement smart contracts on an Ethereum-based zk-rollup. Aave and Maker, two well-known Ethereum dApps, will also debut on StarkNet. Notably, to improve an application's scalability, StarkEx zk-rollups may be deployed on top of StarkNet.
Cairo is a brand-new, very effective, and Turing complete programming language for creating STARK proofs that was developed by StarkWare to fully use the superior processing and scalability made available by STARKs. Therefore, StarkWare must provide a developer ecosystem with supporting documentation, frameworks, and tooling.
  • StarkEx
Developed on Ethereum, StarkEx is a layer-2 scalability solution that employs STARK proofs to validate self-custodied transactions, allowing trading and payment apps to be built on top of it. DeversiFi, Sorare, and dYdX are examples of projects based on StarkEx that have produced hundreds of millions of transactions and hundreds of billions of dollars in trade volume. However, StarkEx does not support the smart contract features that permit fully functioning dApps.

Final Words

Zero-knowledge proofs, along with layer-1 blockchains and decentralized oracle networks, are expected to revolutionize the blockchain sector by making it possible for projects to create extremely scalable, economical, and cutting-edge applications while protecting user privacy.
Other layer-2 solutions could offer a superior architecture for specific applications, but as the blockchain industry progresses toward widespread use, zk-rollups, validiums, and volitions are expected to draw a sizable user base from both individuals and businesses.

About Orochi Network

Orochi Network provides missing building blocks for Decentralized Gaming and Metaverse, the first infrastructure that provides Verifiable Computation.
We allow computation to be processed off-chain at zero cost without sacrificing decentralization. Using Zero-Knowledge Proof to prove and verify the computation, projects can inherit the solutions to be verified on-chain by using smart contracts efficiently.
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