SNARKtor: A Decentralized Protocol for Scaling SNARKs Verification in Blockchains

February 23, 2024
min read

A collaborative effort between researchers at Telos (encompassing tEVM and Telos Zero) and IOHK (known for its contributions to Cardano and Daedalus) has culminated in the publication of a Whitepaper, containing pivotal findings that offer developers insights into scaling blockchains with heightened efficiency and security across numerous untapped use cases through the incorporation of zk-SNARK technology.

Real-world applications for zk-SNARKs abound, ranging from trustless authentication and credential verification to cross-border payments, healthcare privacy, business administrations, private prediction markets, Proof-of-Reserves, and decentralized finance (DeFi), among others.

Despite blockchain's current impact on the operational world, technological challenges persist in scalability, privacy, and interoperability. Enter zk-SNARKs, an innovative cryptographic proving system that can enable massive blockchain scalability while fortifying end-user security. Unfamiliar with zk-SNARK technology and its implications? Here's a primer:

What are zk-SNARKs?

zk-SNARKs, short for Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Arguments of Knowledge, are cryptographic proofs enabling one party (the prover) to convince another party (the verifier) of a statement's truth without revealing the statement's underlying data. The 'zero-knowledge' property ensures that the proof does not disclose any supplementary information beyond the statement's truth.

In the realm of blockchain applications, zk-SNARKs offer enhanced user data protection by facilitating transaction verification without revealing all necessary information for on-chain execution.

While zk-SNARKs are not novel, the White Paper introduces SNARKtor, a groundbreaking advancement in zero-knowledge technology, promising substantial leaps in efficiency and cost-effectiveness, thus bolstering mainstream adoption.

How does Telos plan to integrate zk-SNARKs into its ecosystem? SNARKtor.

SNARKtor is a scalable and robust protocol for decentralized recursive proof aggregation. It allows aggregating many proofs for different transactions into a single unique proof.  

This aggregation of what would be many on-chain events into a single proof will create a magnitude of increased efficiency.

SNARKtor enables unprecedented scalability for ZKSNarks, unlocking a myriad of use cases and positioning Telos as the center for practical Zero Knowledge technology applications. Once implemented, it will empower developers to craft more complex and intricate, privacy-preserving, and secure systems–without compromises on performance or security.

Alberto Garoffolo, Telos’ Head of ZK Technology, will be publicly expanding on the White Paper's intricacies and implications across various forums in the following weeks starting with the following events:

  • A 40-minute Town Hall featuring Alberto on February 28, time TBA.
  • A live presentation at the ZK Summit on April 10, 2024, in Athens, Greece.


Quote from Alberto Garoffolo:

"I am proud to announce the publishing of the SNARKtor Whitepaper, a fully decentralized protocol scaling ZK proofs verification in blockchains. In the past months, we have been working hard in collaboration with IOG researchers on the design of a novel decentralized protocol that can massively scale SNARKs verification by leveraging recursive proof composition. 
The protocol is designed to potentially inherit the level of decentralization of the underlying chain, incentivizing an ecosystem of actors to cooperate in all the protocol phases. The design also introduces a new fast-proof gossiping protocol that can be used by the network to further scale the throughput.
This research is the first important milestone that will be followed by a new exciting development phase and additional research activity that will expand this topic."

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About The Telos Foundation
Telos is a growing network of networks (Layer 0) enabling Zero Knowledge technology for ultimate scalability and privacy to support all industries and applications. The expanding Telos ecosystem includes over 1.2 million accounts, hundreds of partners, and numerous dApps. Launched in 2018 Telos is known for its impeccable five-year record of zero downtime and is home to the worlds fastest Ethereum Virtual Machine, the Telos EVM. Telos is positioned to lead enterprise adoption into the world of borderless Web3 technology and decentralized solutions.