If you care about zero-knowledge proofs and their ability to improve financial systems, then you need to understand Findora’s place within their history.
While it’s technically only a few years old, the Findora Foundation has become an important player within the growing industry of blockchain startups, especially those focused on DeFi and new forms of regulatory compliance.
Findora’s outsized impact on the blockchain industry can be linked to the vast experience — and proven innovations — of the cryptographers who created the foundation of what makes the company special: Findora zero-knowledge proofs.
For those still new to the game, zero-knowledge proofs (or ZKP for short) have been around since the late 1980s.
Benzinga recently published an excellent explainer of ZKPs, writing that “ZK proofs seek to minimize the amount of knowledge transferred from the ‘prover’ to the ‘verifier’ in a transaction verifying something about a quantity of data. The measurement is also known as the knowledge complexity of a transfer.”
These proofs have become more important in recent years with the rapid increase of digital transactions. That’s because ZKPs can minimize the amount of data required to securely prove a transaction’s legitimacy, increasing the “speed and security of a proof by reducing a transaction’s bandwidth demand and by reducing the potential to reverse engineer the transaction,” Benzinga wrote.
Findora zero-knowledge proofs have become more valuable because the company’s cryptographers, some of whom started as Stanford University researchers, have already made big improvements to the types of ZKPs available.
Among Findora’s ZKP innovations have been Bulletproofs and Supersonic proofs. Bulletproofs were a major breakthrough invented by Findora researchers. They are very short and only logarithmic in the size of the proven statement.
“Findora’s application of Bulletproofs are between 0.5 KB and 2 KB,” Findora explains on its website. “Unlike pairing-based zk-SNARKs, Bulletproofs do not rely on a trusted and complex setup, but are slower to verify. Bulletproofs can also be combined with sigma protocols to enable proofs about algebraic statements. This is particularly useful for proofs of committed values.”
But Findora’s researchers didn’t stop there. Bulletproofs helped lead them to Supersonic proofs, described as the first “practical, trustless zk-SNARK.”
Supersonic proofs can be up to 25 times smaller and more efficient to verify than any other trustless zero-knowledge proof system.
As Findora describes it:
“Supersonic is the first complete zk-SNARK system that has both a practical prover time as well as asymptotically logarithmic proof size and verification time. In Findora, we are planning to implement an even more efficient version of Supersonic, using the Darker polynomial commitment scheme.
Supersonic will enable anonymous transactions, and private policies and smart contracts, to run on Findora without needing a trusted setup.”
ZK-SNARK stands for Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge. One of the most important projects to use them is ZCash, which taps zk-SNARKS to ensure the privacy of its users.
With transactions on ZCash, only the blockchain “knows” the amount transferred and the destinations of the sender and receiver. The real identities of users remain secure, allowing the blockchain to preserve anonymity while still offering a tamper-proof transaction.
In short, Findora ZKPs have improved the ability of these proofs to keep data anonymous while protecting that data’s journey through the blockchain.