Zero Knowledge Proofs (ZKP)

Dive into the world of Zero Knowledge Proofs within the Kyōdō Protocol. Understand how this revolutionary cryptographic technique ensures privacy and security in decentralized systems.


Zero Knowledge Proof is a cryptographic technique allowing one party (the prover) to demonstrate to another party (the verifier) that a statement is true, without revealing any specific details about the statement. Think of it as proving you possess a secret without actually disclosing the secret.

Basic Components of ZKP

  • Statement: A claim or assertion the prover wants to prove.
  • Witness: Secret information known only to the prover.
  • Verifier's Challenge: A random value generated by the verifier to ensure the proof isn't precomputed.
  • Prover's Response: The answer to the verifier's challenge, demonstrating the statement's validity without revealing the witness.

Fundamental Properties of ZKP

  • Completeness: If the statement is true, an honest prover can convince an honest verifier.
  • Soundness: If the statement is false, a dishonest prover cannot convince an honest verifier.
  • Zero-Knowledge: If the statement is true, the verifier learns nothing other than the fact that the statement is true.

How ZKP Works: A Simplified Example - The Two-Color Map Problem

Imagine a map where adjacent regions have different colors. The prover wants to convince the verifier that the map is correctly colored without revealing the actual colors.

  • The prover places a screen around the map, hiding it from the verifier.- The verifier randomly selects two adjacent regions and asks if they are differently colored.
  • The prover answers without revealing the actual colors.
  • This process is repeated multiple times. If the map is incorrectly colored, the prover will eventually get caught.

Mathematical Foundations

ZKPs often rely on hard mathematical problems as their foundation. Commonly used problems include:

  • Factorization: Given a number, find its prime factors.
  • Discrete Logarithm: Given bases g and h, find an integer x such that g^x = h in a finite field.
  • Elliptic Curve Pairings: Leveraging the properties of elliptic curves to construct proofs.

zk-SNARKs and zk-STARKs

These are specific types of ZKPs:

  • zk-SNARKs (Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge): Allows one to prove possession of certain information without revealing it and without any interaction between the prover and verifier.
  • zk-STARKs (Zero-Knowledge Scalable Transparent ARguments of Knowledge): Similar to zk-SNARKs but doesn't rely on a trusted setup and offers better scalability.

Applications of ZKP

  • Privacy-Preserving Transactions: Cryptocurrencies like Zcash use ZKP to validate transactions without revealing transaction details.
  • Secure Authentication: Proving identity without revealing the actual identity-related data.
  • Private Smart Contracts: Executing contracts on platforms like Ethereum without revealing contract details.

ZKP in the context of Kyōdō Protocol

  1. ZKP in Action: Identity Verification: When members join the protocol, they undergo identity (KYC) checks. With ZKP, members can prove their identity is valid without revealing personal details, ensuring both privacy and trustworthiness.

  2. ZKP for Transaction Validation: When payments are processed, the protocol handles the distribution of funds and records the skills used in services. ZKP is employed to validate these transactions, ensuring the amount and the recipient are correct without exposing the actual data.

  3. ZKP and Proof of Resume: Professionals can showcase their skills and experience to potential employers. With ZKP, they can prove they possess certain skills without revealing specific projects or clients they've worked with.

  4. Benefits of ZKP

    • Enhanced Privacy: Data is verified without being exposed.
    • Security: Reduced risk of data breaches as data remains concealed.
    • Efficiency: Operations are streamlined as there's no need for data transfer.
  5. ZKP in Voting Systems: In communities functioning as DAOs, voting is crucial. ZKP can be utilized in voting processes to ensure a member's vote is valid without disclosing their identity or how they voted.


Zero Knowledge Proofs offer a revolutionary approach to data privacy and security. The Kyōdō Protocol serves as a testament to the practical applications of ZKP in real-world scenarios, emphasizing the importance and versatility of this cryptographic method.

Last Updated:
Contributors: Daniel Cukier