Zero-Knowledge Proofs Now Part of Bitcoin Ecosystem, Will Support Scalability, BTC and ETH Bridging

STARK Proofs, the zero knowledge technology supported by Starkware to bring scalability to Ethereum, have taken their first major step towards the Bitcoin network.

The ZeroSync non-profit is working on the world’s inaugural ZK light client for Bitcoin. This development could:

  • Pave the way to Bitcoin full nodes run on mobile devices
  • Lead to the establishment of a Layer 2 protocol that could bring tokens, like stablecoins, to Bitcoin, and deliver a substantial 20 to 50 times increase in throughput without requiring a fork.

ZeroSync, which announced its plans in March, “has now hit its first major milestone, releasing a verifier for the Bitcoin network’s header chain.”

Bitcoin light clients, which are wallets, “use block headers and a mechanism known as Simple Payment Verification (SPV) to verify transactions.”

ZeroSync’s verifier is key development “for light clients, enabling them to verify a transaction near instantaneously with the client storing only a header chain proof rather than downloading the entire block header, as with SPV.”

The next step for ZeroSync is “to provide a verification of the entire network to nodes without the need for them to download and process the data.”

Zero-knowledge startups Proven and RISC Zero are some of the players “who have secured multi-million dollar deals this year. Yet, the technology hasn’t made inroads on the Bitcoin network till now.”

Zero-knowledge proofs leverage cryptography “to verify information is correct without revealing the information itself.”

Zero-knowledge rollups, which are “used to scale Ethereum, bundle together dozens of transactions that are verified off-chain and submit a validity proof to the Ethereum network to confirm the accuracy of the transactions.”

Once confirmed, the bundle of transactions is “added to the network, reducing the processing load for Ethereum.”

The Bitcoin network relies “on the intensive proof-of-work consensus mechanism, which makes the network highly secure.”

Though the network has never been compromised, that “comes at the cost of speed.”

Bitcoin can handle “on average seven transactions per second (TPS) compared to the average 12 TPS handled by Ethereum.”

When activity is high, during bull runs or “when new applications launch, such as Ordinals, the network struggles with congestion and sky-high fees.”

This rigidity has, until now, led “to many developers choosing to build Web3 applications on other networks such as Ethereum.” With the introduction of zero-proof technology, the pendulum could “start swinging back to Bitcoin.”

ZeroSync is developing a software development-kit (SDK) that will “help developers generate custom validity proofs for the Bitcoin network.”

It harnesses the power of STARKs “via Sandstorm, a fast, SHARP-compatible Cairo prover that was built by reverse engineering StarkWare’s open source verifier.”

ZeroSync’s initiative, built on Cairo, will “enable Bitcoin users to validate the state of the network without having to download the blockchain or trust a third party.”

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