Zero-knowledge proofs could be used to solve the “biggest problem” plaguing the internet today — privacy, according to one cryptocurrency executive.
Speaking with Cointelegraph at the Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) the marketing chief at privacy-focused infrastructure platform Aleo, Brennen Schlueter, said while ZK proofs have become a popular solution to provide blockchains with improved scalability through ZK rollups, they have the potential to reshape the entire internet.
ZK proofs enable the transfer of information to take place between two parties in which the originator only needs to reveal relevant information to the receiver. For example, to prove an individual is of age to enter a bar without revealing their actual age or identity to a security guard.
Schlueter said the modern internet was not built to prioritize the privacy of its users.
“When data needs to change hands, when data needs to be custodied, we’re always going to have vulnerabilities there,” Schlueter explained in the context of how easily a user’s privacy can be breached online.
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ZK proofs solve this privacy issue for not only Web3 but the entire internet, according to Schlueter.
“With zero-knowledge proofs, we can actually start to see how data can be secured from the start by revealing the information that’s required to know,” he added.
“I think it changes the route that we are going with the internet broadly.”
ZK proofs could make the lives of developers and data custodians much easier as they’ll no longer have to choose between creating a private environment or optimizing user experience, Schlueter explained, adding:
“Those two things are at war with the way that we currently structure the internet.”
Tiancheng Xie, the chief technology officer of ZK-powered interoperability platform Polyhedra, told Cointelegraph that artificial intelligence tools may also benefit from privacy and censorship-resistant properties offered by ZK proofs.
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) July 19, 2023
Schlueter said finance, identity and gaming are other sectors benefiting from ZK proofs
He claimed that more financial institutions are looking to ZK solutions in a bid to strengthen privacy where the firms see fit.
Additional reporting by Zhiyuan Sun.