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An Introduction to Zero-Knowledge Proofs in Blockchains and Economics

Difference between the UTXO model in Bitcoin and the Zcash Model

Working Paper by Aleksander Berentsen, Jeremias Lenzi and Remo Nyffenegger

With a zero-knowledge proof (ZKP), a party can prove that a statement is true without revealing any information except for whether it is indeed true or not. The obvious benefit is privacy since the prover does not need to reveal any additional information, and the second benefit is that it can significantly reduce the cost of verifying the correctness of a statement. ZKPs are increasingly adopted in blockchain applications, where privacy and efficiency still have a lot of room for improvement. While it is expected that ZKP technology will also become ubiquitous in many other areas, the term remains cryptic to many people without a computer science background. In this review article, we shed light on what ZKPs are and how they improve privacy and efficiency and describe applications for blockchains and other use cases.

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