Bitcoin Receives zk-proofs Courtesy of ZeroSync

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Three German computer scientists have formed a new Swiss non-profit organization called the ZeroSync Association. Its goal is scaling Bitcoin using zero-knowledge proofs (zk-proofs). 

This cryptographic technique has become increasingly popular on rival chain Ethereum, and now ZeroSync aims to bring its benefits to Bitcoin.

Thanks to crypto investment firm Geometry Research and software company StarkWare Industries sponsorship, ZeroSync has already produced a working prototype. It allows users to validate the state and transaction history of the Bitcoin blockchain without downloading the entire chain or relying on a third party. 

This is achieved through zk-proofs, which use cryptography to prove the validity of information without revealing the information itself.

Downloading the Bitcoin blockchain’s 500GB of data can take hours or even days. However, ZeroSync’s prototype allows nodes to sync almost instantly. 

While the prototype can verify Bitcoin consensus rules, it cannot yet verify transaction signatures and still needs to be optimized for speed and security. However, the fact that it works is an important milestone.

Light clients or simple payment verification (SPV) nodes have always been part of the Bitcoin ecosystem. More importantly, they will continue to play an important role.

However, ZeroSync goes further by verifying transactions through cryptographic proof. That approach differs from trusting honest nodes, as suggested by Satoshi Nakamoto in his original whitepaper

A fully functioning zk-proof mechanism could be used for many applications beyond node syncing. It is up to builders and users to experiment with the new technology and maximize its potential. However, the tech seems suitable for various use cases to make crypto more transparent and appealing. 

ZeroSync’s goal of bringing zk-proofs to Bitcoin has the potential to improve the network’s scalability and functionality greatly. 

With the support of its sponsors and the dedication of its founders, the ZeroSync Association could be the key to unlocking Bitcoin’s full potential.

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