Zero-knowledge cryptography has gone from being an academic curiosity to a cutting-edge technology providing solutions to real-world problems within the last decade. From the launch of ZCash in 2016 to enable private money, zero-knowledge proofs are increasingly viewed as the key solution to resolving issues with scalability and privacy on Ethereum and beyond. These solutions have been enabled by the incredible progress across the field. First of all, better algorithms and better implementations have made zero-knowledge proof generation faster than ever. Over five years ago, generating a single zero-knowledge proof in ZCash took around 60 seconds on a laptop. Fast forward to today, networks such as Filecoin and Aleo’s testnet have provers generating tens of thousands of proofs per second, an improvement of several orders of magnitude. In addition, new families of universal proof systems such as Marlin, PLONK, and Halo2 enable more general programmability and flexibility for programs. Although there has been significant progress, there are still challenges to overcome to attain widespread adoption. These challenges include high computational costs of generating proofs. Just as TLS and encryption on the internet took off after basic encryption algorithms such as AES were integrated directly into modern processors, we believe zero-knowledge cryptography will only become practical at scale with hardware acceleration.
On March 28th, Aleo will be partnering with other members of the industry to launch the ZPrize competition where participants will compete for over $2 million of cash prizes. The goal of ZPrize is to bring together the best teams at the intersection of research and engineering, hardware and software to create the fastest, most efficient provers and/or verifiers for different applications/hardware platforms. Through this initiative, we are going all-in on zero-knowledge cryptography to solve the scalability and privacy problems facing Web 3 today. During this competition, participants will have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with leaders in the industry, including the Ethereum Foundation, ZCash Foundation, Mina, Aztec. Participating projects will have the opportunity to sponsor prizes directly relevant to their specific protocols and applications. To start things off, Aleo is committing $2M and up to 8M Aleo Credits (the future token of our decentralized network) to the prize pool.
On March 28th, we will be accepting applications to participate in the competition. *In order to participate in this competition, all submissions must be open sourced.
*Application Submissions: March 28th – April 21st.
*Project Submission Date: August 1st.
*ZPrize Winners Announced: August 8th.
Register here for upcoming announcements and notification of partners contributing to the ZPrize competition or visit our ZPrize channel on discord.
We look forward to your participation in this event and your contribution to accelerating Zero Knowledge cryptography!