Blockchain infrastructure firm ZeroSync has implemented the first-ever client system to boost the privacy and scalability of the Bitcoin (BTC) network. The program built on crypto software company StarkWare’s zero-knowledge (ZK) proof protocol will enable Bitcoin node operators to validate transactions on the blockchain without downloading the entirety of its 500GB worth of data each time.
The client system, programmed using StarWare’s Cairo language, is designed for the Bitcoin header chain – which is used to identify details contained in a particular block or an entire blockchain and is hashed repeatedly to create a proof of work (PoW) to generate mining rewards.
ZeroSync Launches ZK Proof
ZK proofs are an on-chain, cryptographic verification system that can check whether a transaction is true without disclosing any information about the statement itself. The protocol is widely used by proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchains like Ethereum (ETH) to enhance privacy and security, comply with regulations, increase transaction speeds, improve interoperability, and provide a secure identity verification system.
According to ZeroSync, many of the issues faced by Bitcoin when it comes to transaction speeds and network congestion can be addressed with ZK proofs. Its verifier tool will enable light clients on the blockchain to verify transactions instantaneously by storing only a proof of the header chain instead of downloading all block headers and verifying them individually, which is a time-consuming and energy-intensive process.
Light client is a Bitcoin application, like a wallet, that interacts with the network by simply querying other nodes for specific transactions and blocks instead of storing the entire blockchain.
Robin Linus, the co-founder of ZeroSync, says the system “lowers the barriers of entry” for light clients “to participate as a first-class citizen in the Bitcoin network”. Linus said the blockchain firm has designed and implemented a Layer-2 solution for Bitcoin with “remarkable” privacy and scaling properties that will allow the network to process over 100 transactions per second.
Of note, he also added that the company hopes to bring mass scalability to Bitcoin using StarkWare’s ZK proofs in the long run.
As a first step in the process of getting Bitcoin the “scalability it needs”, ZeroSync has released a verifier for the blockchain’s header chain as part of its ZK client. The tool will assist light clients, who use block headers and a mechanism known as simple payment verification (SPV) for transaction validation, by ensuring that each transaction is promptly and accurately authenticated. The company argues that ZK proofs will drastically improve the overall efficiency of the Bitcoin network.
The Ultimate Goal Is To Implement A ZK Proof Verifier On The Bitcoin Mainnet
The next step is to provide all nodes with the entire blockchain data so there will be no need for them to download and process all transactions on the network to identify one specific data. Linus says the “ultimate goal” for ZeroSync is to establish a zero-knowledge proof verifier on the Bitcoin mainnet that would drastically improve the overall efficiency and privacy of the blockchain.
ZeroSync, which was founded by three German computer scientists in 2022 with the intention of scaling Bitcoin using ZK-proof technology, received sponsorship from crypto investment firm Geometry Research and Israel-based blockchain software company StarkWare Industries in April.
Projects such as the implementation of ZK-proofs on the Bitcoin network by ZeroSync and StarkWare represent an important step in enhancing the blockchain’s capabilities. As Bitcoin continues to grow in volume, complexity, and economic importance, the technology is crucial for maintaining its long-term integrity.
At the time of writing, BTC was trading at $27,585 – down 1.7% from the previous day’s price.