If Sokrates only knew… Enhancing Privacy in dApps through Zero-Knowledge Proofs
Zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) and zk-SNARKS in particular have been receiving increased interest in the blockchain community and beyond, mostly for reasons of both improving scalability and enhancing privacy in decentralized applications. Higher-level languages and tooling like ZoKrates make creating verifiable off-chain programs and linking them to smart contracts possible even for the non-crypto-expert, hiding some of the complexities associated with programming ZKPs. First-of-a-kind applications demonstrate the enormous power and benefits when combining blockchains and ZKPs, but many more applications are still to be developed and learned from. We call to focus attention on practical applications of ZKPs and invite everyone interested to participate in a new validation initiative aimed at identifying general guidelines and best practices for using ZKPs. With ZKPs, the possibilities of dApps both in what they can do and what qualities they can ensure in hybrid on-/off-chain environments will be significantly enhanced.
Stefan Tai is Professor and Head of Chair Information Systems Engineering at TU Berlin, Faculty of Computer Science. Stefan has over 25 years of experience in cutting-edge IT research and development, having led and been involved in numerous, both industrial and scientific projects in the US, in Europe, and in Germany. His research interests center around creating quality-driven enterprise software systems, especially cloud- and blockchain-based systems.