Originally, it was believed that privacy was an assured feature of legacy blockchains such as Bitcoin. People thought it was impossible to link their offline identity with activity on the blockchain.
However, as time went on, efforts by hackers, law enforcement, and data scientists proved that offline profiles can be linked to activity on a blockchain and that it is relatively easy to do so. With this realization that legacy blockchains aren't as private as initially believed to be, newer blockchain generations prioritized strengthening user privacy on their networks.
One such blockchain is ZCash, which is the first blockchain to implement a protocol called ZK-Snarks successfully as a way to reduce the amount of interaction needed for nodes to prove to other nodes in the network that they possess the information that they say they do. Let's take a look at what ZK-Snarks are in more detail.
ZK-Snarks stands for "Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge" and is cryptographic proof that enables one party to prove to another party that it possesses the information it says it does without revealing the information to the other party. To do this, a private key needs to be created before the transaction takes place. Let's take a look at the different parts that make up the protocol.
The basis of ZK-Snarks is that one party can prove to another party that it possesses information or data that it says it does. The party trying to prove that it has the information is called the prover, and the party that needs to be convinced is called the verifier. In the ZK-Snarks protocol, a prover can send proof to a verifier without revealing any contained information or data. This makes the protocol "Zero-Knowledge" based.
Another characteristic of the ZK-Snarks protocol is that the sizes of the messages are "succinct" and trivial in comparison to the transaction. This makes messages on the ZK-Snarks protocol easily verifiable within a matter of milliseconds. Proof lengths are relatively small in bytes, even for statements regarding massive programs.
Verifiers and provers in a ZK-Snarks network have very little, sometimes no, interaction with each other.
The ZK-Snarks protocol also relies on arguments that serve as protection against a prover sending false transactions to the verifier by setting computational limits.
CORE is giving people their privacy back by prioritizing user privacy within the CORE ecosystem. By using the ZK-Snarks protocol and transaction mixers, which break the link between deposit and withdrawal transactions, CORE protects its users' privacy.
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