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.