We present a new succinct zero knowledge argument scheme for layered arithmetic circuits without trusted setup. The prover time is O(C+nlogn) and the proof size is O(DlogC+log2n) for a D-depth circuit with n inputs and C gates. The verification time is also succinct, O(DlogC+log2n), if the circuit is structured. Our scheme only uses lightweight cryptographic primitives such as collision-resistant hash functions and is plausibly post-quantum secure. We implement a zero knowledge argument system, Virgo, based on our new scheme and compare its performance to existing schemes. Experiments show that it only takes 53 seconds to generate a proof for a circuit computing a Merkle tree with 256 leaves, at least an order of magnitude faster than all other succinct zero knowledge argument schemes. The verification time is 50ms, and the proof size is 253KB, both competitive to existing systems. Underlying Virgo is a new transparent zero knowledge verifiable polynomial delegation scheme with logarithmic proof size and verification time. The scheme is in the interactive oracle proof model and may be of independent interest.
This paper introduces Spartan, a new family of zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge (zkSNARKs) for the rank-1 constraint satisfiability (R1CS), an NP-complete language that generalizes arithmetic circuit satisfiability. A distinctive feature of Spartan is that it offers the first zkSNARKs without trusted setup (i.e., transparent zkSNARKs) for NP where verifying a proof incurs sub-linear costs—without requiring uniformity in the NP statement’s structure. Furthermore, Spartan offers zkSNARKs with a time-optimal prover, a property that has remained elusive for nearly all zkSNARKs in the literature.
To achieve these results, we introduce new techniques that we compose with the sum-check protocol, a seminal interactive proof protocol: (1) computation commitments, a primitive to create a succinct commitment to a description of a computation; this technique is crucial for a verifier to achieve sub-linear costs after investing a one-time, public computation to preprocess a given NP statement; (2) SPARK, a cryptographic compiler to transform any existing extractable polynomial commitment scheme for multilinear polynomials to one that efficiently handles sparse multilinear polynomials; this technique is critical for achieving a time-optimal prover; and (3) a compact encoding of an R1CS instance as a low-degree polynomial. The end result is a public-coin succinct interactive argument of knowledge for NP (which can be viewed as a succinct variant of the sum-check protocol); we transform it into a zkSNARK using prior techniques. By applying SPARK to different commitment schemes, we obtain several zkSNARKs where the verifier’s costs and the proof size range from O(log2n) to O(n√) depending on the underlying commitment scheme (n denotes the size of the NP statement). These schemes do not require a trusted setup except for one that requires a universal trusted setup.
We implement Spartan as a library in about 8,000 lines of Rust. We use the library to build a transparent zkSNARK in the random oracle model where security holds under the discrete logarithm assumption. We experimentally evaluate it and compare it with recent zkSNARKs for R1CS instance sizes up to 220 constraints. Among transparent zkSNARKs, Spartan offers the fastest prover with speedups of 36–152× depending on the baseline, produces proofs that are shorter by 1.2–416×, and incurs the lowest verification times with speedups of 3.6–1326×. The only exception is proof sizes under Bulletproofs, but Bulletproofs incurs slower verification both asymptotically and concretely. When compared to the state-of-the-art zkSNARK with trusted setup, Spartan’s prover is 2× faster for arbitrary R1CS instances and 16× faster for data-parallel workloads.
Spartan’s code is available from: https://github.com/Microsoft/Spartan.
We construct a practical lattice-based zero-knowledge argument for proving multiplicative relations between committed values. The underlying commitment scheme that we use is the currently most efficient one of Baum et al. (SCN 2018), and the size of our multiplicative proof (9KB) is only slightly larger than the 7KB required for just proving knowledge of the committed values. We additionally expand on the work of Lyubashevsky and Seiler (Eurocrypt 2018) by showing that the above-mentioned result can also apply when working over rings Zq[X]/(Xd+1) where Xd+1 splits into low-degree factors, which is a desirable property for many applications (e.g. range proofs, multiplications over Zq) that take advantage of packing multiple integers into the NTT coefficients of the committed polynomial.
The last few years have witnessed increasing interest in the de- ployment of zero-knowledge proof systems, in particular ones with succinct proofs and efficient verification (zk-SNARKs). One of the main challenges facing the wide deployment of zk-SNARKs is the requirement of a trusted key generation phase per different computation to achieve practical proving performance. Existing zero-knowledge proof systems that do not require trusted setup or have a single trusted preprocess- ing phase suffer from increased proof size and/or additional verification overhead. On the other other hand, although uni- versal circuit generators for zk-SNARKs (that can eliminate the need for per-computation preprocessing) have been intro- duced in the literature, the performance of the prover remains far from practical for real-world applications.
In this paper, we first present a new zk-SNARK system that is well-suited for randomized algorithms—in particular it does not encode randomness generation within the arith- metic circuit allowing for more practical prover times. Then, we design a universal circuit that takes as input any arith- metic circuit of a bounded number of operations as well as a possible value assignment, and performs randomized checks to verify consistency. Our universal circuit is linear in the number of operations instead of quasi-linear like other univer- sal circuits. By applying our new zk-SNARK system to our universal circuit, we build MIRAGE, a universal zk-SNARK with very succinct proofs—the proof contains just one ad- ditional element compared to the per-circuit preprocessing state-of-the-art zk-SNARK by Groth (Eurocrypt 2016). Fi- nally, we implement MIRAGE and experimentally evaluate its performance for different circuits and in the context of privacy-preserving smart contracts.
Zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs (ZKP) have received wide attention, focusing on non-interactivity, short proof size, and fast verification time. We focus on the fastest total proof time, in particular for large Boolean circuits. Under this metric, Garbled Circuit (GC)-based ZKP (Jawurek et al., [JKO], CCS 2013) remained the state-of-the-art technique due to the low-constant linear scaling of computing the garbling. We improve GC-ZKP for proof statements with conditional clauses. Our communication is proportional to the longest branch rather than to the entire proof statement. This is most useful when the number m of branches is large, resulting in up to factor $m\times$ improvement over JKO. In our proof-of-concept illustrative application, prover P demonstrates knowledge of a bug in a codebase consisting of any number of snippets of actual C code. Our computation cost is linear in the size of the codebase and communication is constant in the number of snippets. That is, we require only enough communication for a single largest snippet! Our conceptual contribution is stacked garbling for ZK, a privacy-free circuit garbling scheme that can be used with the JKO GC-ZKP protocol to construct more efficient ZKP. Given a Boolean circuit C and computational security parameter $\kappa$, our garbling is $L \cdot \kappa$ bits long, where $L$ is the length of the longest execution path in C. All prior concretely efficient garbling schemes produce garblings of size $|C| \cdot \kappa$. The computational cost of our scheme is not increased over prior state-of-the-art. We implement our GC-ZKP and demonstrate significantly improved ($m\times$ over JKO) ZK performance for functions with branching factor $m$. Compared with recent ZKP (STARK, Libra, KKW, Ligero, Aurora, Bulletproofs), our scheme offers much better proof times for larger circuits ($35-1000\times$ or more, depending on circuit size and compared scheme). For our illustrative application, we consider four C code snippets, each of about 30-50 LOC; one snippet allows an invalid memory dereference. The entire proof takes 0.15 seconds and communication is 1.5 MB.
We present a group signature scheme, based on the hardness of lattice problems, whose outputs are more than an order of magnitude smaller than the currently most efficient schemes in the literature. Since lattice-based schemes are also usually non-trivial to efficiently implement, we additionally provide the first experimental implementation of lattice-based group signatures demonstrating that our construction is indeed practical – all operations take less than half a second on a standard laptop.
A key component of our construction is a new zero-knowledge proof system for proving that a committed value belongs to a particular set of small size. The sets for which our proofs are applicable are exactly those that contain elements that remain stable under Galois automorphisms of the underlying cyclotomic number field of our lattice-based protocol. We believe that these proofs will find applications in other settings as well.
The motivation of the new zero-knowledge proof in our construction is to allow the efficient use of the selectively-secure signature scheme (i.e. a signature scheme in which the adversary declares the forgery message before seeing the public key) of Agrawal et al. (Eurocrypt 2010) in constructions of lattice-based group signatures and other privacy protocols. For selectively-secure schemes to be meaningfully converted to standard signature schemes, it is crucial that the size of the message space is not too large. Using our zero-knowledge proofs, we can strategically pick small sets for which we can provide efficient zero-knowledge proofs of membership.
Human dignity demands that personal information, like medical and forensic data, be hidden from the public. But veils of secrecy designed to preserve privacy may also be abused to cover up lies and deceit by parties entrusted with Data, unjustly harming citizens and eroding trust in central institutions.
Zero knowledge (ZK) proof systems are an ingenious cryptographic solution to the tension between the ideals of personal privacy and institutional integrity, enforcing the latter in a way that does not compromise the former. Public trust demands transparency from ZK systems, meaning they be set up with no reliance on any trusted party, and have no trapdoors that could be exploited by powerful parties to bear false witness. For ZK systems to be used with Big Data, it is imperative that the public verification process scale sublinearly in data size. Transparent ZK proofs that can be verified exponentially faster than data size were first described in the 1990s but early constructions were impractical, and no ZK system realized thus far in code (including that used by crypto-currencies like Zcash) has achieved both transparency and exponential verification speedup, simultaneously, for general computations.
Here we report the first realization of a transparent ZK system (ZK-STARK) in which verification scales exponentially faster than database size, and moreover, this exponential speedup in verification is observed concretely for meaningful and sequential computations, described next. Our system uses several recent advances on interactive oracle proofs (IOP), such as a “fast” (linear time) IOP system for error correcting codes.
Our proof-of-concept system allows the Police to prove to the public that the DNA profile of a Presidential Candidate does not appear in the forensic DNA profile database maintained by the Police. The proof, which is generated by the Police, relies on no external trusted party, and reveals no further information about the contents of the database, nor about the candidate’s profile; in particular, no DNA information is disclosed to any party outside the Police. The proof is shorter than the size of the DNA database, and verified faster than the time needed to examine that database naively.
We present Libra, the first zero-knowledge proof system that has both optimal prover time and succinct proof size/verification time. In particular, if C is the size of the circuit being proved (i) the prover time is O(C) irrespective of the circuit type; (ii) the proof size and verification time are both O(d log C) for d-depth log-space uniform circuits (such as RAM programs). In addition Libra features an one-time trusted setup that depends only on the size of the input to the circuit and not on the circuit logic. Underlying Libra is a new linear-time algorithm for the prover of the interactive proof protocol by Goldwasser, Kalai and Rothblum (also known as GKR protocol), as well as an efficient approach to turn the GKR protocol to zero-knowledge using small masking polynomials. Not only does Libra have excellent asymptotics, but it is also efficient in practice. For example, our implementation shows that it takes 200 seconds to generate a proof for constructing a SHA2-based Merkle tree root on 256 leaves, outperforming all existing zero-knowledge proof systems. Proof size and verification time of Libra are also competitive.
We devise new techniques for design and analysis of efficient lattice-based zero-knowledge proofs (ZKP). First, we introduce one-shot proof techniques for non-linear polynomial relations of degree k≥2, where the protocol achieves a negligible soundness error in a single execution, and thus performs significantly better in both computation and communication compared to prior protocols requiring multiple repetitions. Such proofs with degree k≥2 have been crucial ingredients for important privacy-preserving protocols in the discrete logarithm setting, such as Bulletproofs (IEEE S&P ’18) and arithmetic circuit arguments (EUROCRYPT ’16). In contrast, one-shot proofs in lattice-based cryptography have previously only been shown for the linear case (k=1) and a very specific quadratic case (k=2), which are obtained as a special case of our technique.
Moreover, we introduce two speedup techniques for lattice-based ZKPs: a CRT-packing technique supporting “inter-slot’’ operations, and “NTT-friendly’’ tools that permit the use of fully-splitting rings. The former technique comes at almost no cost to the proof length, and the latter one barely increases it, which can be compensated for by tweaking the rejection sampling parameters while still having faster computation overall.
To illustrate the utility of our techniques, we show how to use them to build efficient relaxed proofs for important relations, namely proof of commitment to bits, one-out-of-many proof, range proof and set membership proof. Despite their relaxed nature, we further show how our proof systems can be used as building blocks for advanced cryptographic tools such as ring signatures.
Our ring signature achieves a dramatic improvement in length over all the existing proposals from lattices at the same security level. The computational evaluation also shows that our construction is highly likely to outperform all the relevant works in running times. Being efficient in both aspects, our ring signature is particularly suitable for both small-scale and large-scale applications such as cryptocurrencies and e-voting systems. No trusted setup is required for any of our proposals.
There have been tremendous advances in reducing interaction, communication and verification time in zero-knowledge proofs but it remains an important challenge to make the prover efficient. We construct the first zero-knowledge proof of knowledge for the correct execution of a program on public and private inputs where the prover computation is nearly linear time. This saves a polylogarithmic factor in asymptotic performance compared to current state of the art proof systems.
We use the TinyRAM model to capture general purpose processor computation. An instance consists of a TinyRAM program and public inputs. The witness consists of additional private inputs to the program. The prover can use our proof system to convince the verifier that the program terminates with the intended answer within given time and memory bounds. Our proof system has perfect completeness, statistical special honest verifier zero-knowledge, and computational knowledge soundness assuming linear-time computable collision-resistant hash functions exist.
The main advantage of our new proof system is asymptotically efficient prover computation. The prover’s running time is only a superconstant factor larger than the program’s running time in an apples-to-apples comparison where the prover uses the same TinyRAM model. Our proof system is also efficient on the other performance parameters; the verifier’s running time time and the communication are sublinear in the execution time of the program and we only use a log-logarithmic number of rounds.
In many applications, it is important to verify that an RSA public key (N,e) specifies a permutation over the entire space ZN, in order to prevent attacks due to adversarially-generated public keys. We design and implement a simple and efficient noninteractive zero-knowledge protocol (in the random oracle model) for this task. Applications concerned about adversarial key generation can just append our proof to the RSA public key without any other modifications to existing code or cryptographic libraries. Users need only perform a one-time verification of the proof to ensure that raising to the power e is a permutation of the integers modulo N. For typical parameter settings, the proof consists of nine integers modulo N; generating the proof and verifying it both require about nine modular exponentiations.
We extend our results beyond RSA keys and also provide efficient noninteractive zero-knowledge proofs for other properties of N, which can be used to certify that N is suitable for the Paillier cryptosystem, is a product of two primes, or is a Blum integer. As compared to the recent work of Auerbach and Poettering (PKC 2018), who provide two-message protocols for similar languages, our protocols are more efficient and do not require interaction, which enables a broader class of applications.
Given a well-chosen additively homomorphic cryptosystem and a Σ protocol with a linear answer, Damgård, Fazio, and Nicolosi proposed a non-interactive designated-verifier zero knowledge argument in the registered public key model that is sound under non-standard complexity-leveraging assumptions. In 2015, Chaidos and Groth showed how to achieve the weaker yet reasonable culpable soundness notion under standard assumptions but only if the plaintext space order is prime. It makes use of Σ protocols that satisfy what we call the \emph{optimal culpable soundness}. Unfortunately, most of the known additively homomorphic cryptosystems (like the Paillier Elgamal cryptosystem that is secure under the standard Decisional Composite Residuosity Assumption) have composite-order plaintext space. We construct optimally culpable sound Σ protocols and thus culpably sound non-interactive designated-verifier zero knowledge protocols for NP under standard assumptions given that the least prime divisor of the plaintext space order is large.
We provide new zero-knowledge argument of knowledge systems that work directly for a wide class of language, namely, ones involving the satisfiability of matrix-vector relations and integer relations commonly found in constructions of lattice-based cryptography. Prior to this work, practical arguments for lattice-based relations either have a constant soundness error ( 2/3 ), or consider a weaker form of soundness, namely, extraction only guarantees that the prover is in possession of a witness that “approximates” the actual witness. Our systems do not suffer from these limitations.
The core of our new argument systems is an efficient zero-knowledge argument of knowledge of a solution to a system of linear equations, where variables of this solution satisfy a set of quadratic constraints. This argument enjoys standard soundness, a small soundness error ( 1/poly ), and a complexity linear in the size of the solution. Using our core argument system, we construct highly efficient argument systems for a variety of statements relevant to lattices, including linear equations with short solutions and matrix-vector relations with hidden matrices.
Based on our argument systems, we present several new constructions of common privacy-preserving primitives in the standard lattice setting, including a group signature, a ring signature, an electronic cash system, and a range proof protocol. Our new constructions are one to three orders of magnitude more efficient than the state of the art (in standard lattice). This illustrates the efficiency and expressiveness of our argument system.
Trick-Taking Games (TTGs) are card games in which each player plays one of his cards in turn according to a given rule. The player with the highest card then wins the trick, i.e., he gets all the cards that have been played during the round. For instance, Spades is a famous TTG proposed by online casinos, where each player must play a card that follows the leading suit when it is possible. Otherwise, he can play any of his cards. In such a game, a dishonest user can play a wrong card even if he has cards of the leading suit. Since his other cards are hidden, there is no way to detect the cheat. Hence, the other players realize the problem later, i.e., when the cheater plays a card that he is not supposed to have. In this case, the game is biased and is canceled. Our goal is to design protocols that prevent such a cheat for TTGs. We give a security model for secure Spades protocols, and we design a scheme called SecureSpades. This scheme is secure under the Decisional Diffie-Hellman assumption in the random oracle model. Our model and our scheme can be extended to several other TTGs, such as Belotte, Whist, Bridge, etc.
Zero Knowledge Contingent Payment (ZKCP) protocols allow fair exchange of sold goods and payments over the Bitcoin network. In this paper we point out two main shortcomings of current proposals for ZKCP, and propose ways to address them.
First we show an attack that allows a buyer to learn partial information about the digital good being sold, without paying for it. This break in the zero-knowledge condition of ZKCP is due to the fact that in the protocols we attack, the buyer is allowed to choose common parameters that normally should be selected by a trusted third party. We implemented and tested this attack: we present code that learns, without paying, the value of a Sudoku cell in the “Pay-to-Sudoku” ZKCP implementation. We also present ways to fix this attack that do not require a trusted third party.
Second, we show that ZKCP are not suited for the purchase of digital services rather than goods. Current constructions of ZKCP do not allow a seller to receive payments after proving that a certain service has been rendered, but only for the sale of a specific digital good. We define the notion of Zero-Knowledge Contingent Service Payment (ZKCSP) protocols and construct two new protocols, for either public or private verification. We implemented our ZKCSP protocols for Proofs of Retrievability, where a client pays the server for providing a proof that the client’s data is correctly stored by the server.We also implement a secure ZKCP protocol for “Pay-to-Sudoku” via our ZKCSP protocol, which does not require a trusted third party.
A side product of our implementation effort is a new optimized circuit for SHA256 with less than a quarter than the number of AND gates of the best previously publicly available one. Our new SHA256 circuit may be of independent use for circuit-based MPC and FHE protocols that require SHA256 circuits.
Privacy concerns of smart contracts are a major roadblock preventing their wider adoption. A promising approach to protect private data is hiding it with cryptographic primitives and then enforcing correctness of state updates by Non-Interactive Zero-Knowledge (NIZK) proofs. Unfortunately, NIZK statements are less expressive than smart contracts, forcing developers to keep some functionality in the contract. This results in scattered logic, split across contract code and NIZK statements, with unclear privacy guarantees. To address these problems, we present the zkay language, which introduces privacy types defining owners of private values. zkay contracts are statically type checked to (i) ensure they are realizable using NIZK proofs and (ii) prevent unintended information leaks. Moreover, the logic of zkay contracts is easy to follow by just ignoring privacy types. To enforce zkay contracts, we automatically transform them into contracts equivalent in terms of privacy and functionality, yet executable on public blockchains. We evaluated our approach on a proof-of-concept implementation generating Solidity contracts and implemented 10 interesting example contracts in zkay. Our results indicate that zkay is practical: On-chain cost for executing the transformed contracts is around 1M gas per transaction (~0.50US$) and off-chain cost is moderate.
In their celebrated work, Groth and Sahai [EUROCRYPT’08, SICOMP’ 12] constructed non-interactive zero-knowledge (NIZK) proofs for general bilinear group arithmetic relations, which spawned the entire subfield of structure-preserving cryptography. This branch of the theory of cryptography focuses on modular design of advanced cryptographic primitives. Although the proof systems of Groth and Sahai are a powerful toolkit, their efficiency hits a barrier when the size of the witness is large, as the proof size is linear in that of the witness.
In this work, we revisit the problem of proving knowledge of general bilinear group arithmetic relations in zero-knowledge. Specifically, we construct a succinct zero-knowledge argument for such relations, where the communication complexity is logarithmic in the integer and source group components of the witness. Our argument has public-coin setup and verifier and can therefore be turned non-interactive using the Fiat-Shamir transformation in the random oracle model. For the special case of non-bilinear group arithmetic relations with only integer unknowns, our system can be instantiated in non-bilinear groups. In many applications, our argument system can serve as a drop-in replacement of Groth-Sahai proofs, turning existing advanced primitives in the vast literature of structure-preserving cryptography into practically efficient systems with short proofs.
Zero-knowledge proofs have become an important tool for addressing privacy and scalability concerns in cryptocurrencies and other applications. In many systems each client downloads and verifies every new proof, and so proofs must be small and cheap to verify. The most practical schemes require either a trusted setup, as in (pre-processing) zk-SNARKs, or verification complexity that scales linearly with the complexity of the relation, as in Bulletproofs. The structured reference strings required by most zk-SNARK schemes can be constructed with multi-party computation protocols, but the resulting parameters are specific to an individual relation. Groth et al. discovered a zk-SNARK protocol with a universal and updateable structured reference string, however the string scales quadratically in the size of the supported relations.
Here we describe a zero-knowledge SNARK, Sonic, which supports a universal and continually updateable structured reference string that scales linearly in size. Sonic proofs are constant size, and in the batch verification context the marginal cost of verification is comparable with the most efficient SNARKs in the literature. We also describe a generally useful technique in which untrusted ``helpers’’ can compute advice which allows batches of proofs to be verified more efficiently.
Secure multiparty computation enables a set of parties to securely carry out a joint computation on their private inputs without revealing anything but the output. A particularly motivated setting is that of three parties with a single corruption (hereafter denoted 3PC). This 3PC setting is particularly appealing for two main reasons: (1) it admits more efficient MPC protocols than in other standard settings; (2) it allows in principle to achieve full security (and fairness).
Highly efficient protocols exist within this setting with security against a semi-honest adversary; however, a significant gap remains between these and protocols with stronger security against a malicious adversary.
In this paper, we narrow this gap within concretely efficient protocols. More explicitly, we have the following contributions:
Our protocol builds on recent techniques of Boneh et al.\ (Crypto 2019) for sublinear zero-knowledge proofs on distributed data, together with an efficient semi-honest protocol based on replicated secret sharing (Araki et al., CCS 2016).
We present a concrete analysis of communication and computation costs, including several optimizations. For example, for 40-bit statistical security, and Boolean circuit with a million (nonlinear) gates, the overhead on top of the semi-honest protocol can involve less than 0.5KB of communication {\em for the entire circuit}, while the computational overhead is dominated by roughly 30 multiplications per gate in the field F247. In addition, we implemented and benchmarked the protocol for varied circuit sizes.
We study the problem of building SNARKs modularly by linking small specialized “proof gadgets” SNARKs in a lightweight manner. Our motivation is both theoretical and practical. On the theoretical side, modular SNARK designs would be flexible and reusable. In practice, specialized SNARKs have the potential to be more efficient than general-purpose schemes, on which most existing works have focused. If a computation naturally presents different “components” (e.g. one arithmetic circuit and one boolean circuit), a general-purpose scheme would homogenize them to a single representation with a subsequent cost in performance. Through a modular approach one could instead exploit the nuances of a computation and choose the best gadget for each component.
Our contribution is LegoSNARK, a “toolbox” (or framework) for commit-and-prove zkSNARKs (CP-SNARKs) that includes:
General composition tools: build new CP-SNARKs from proof gadgets for basic relations simply.
A “lifting” tool: add commit-and-prove capabilities to a broad class of existing zkSNARKs efficiently. This makes them interoperable (linkable) within the same computation. For example, one QAP-based scheme can be used prove one component; another GKR-based scheme can be used to prove another.
A collection of succinct proof gadgets for a variety of relations.
Additionally, through our framework and gadgets, we are able to obtain new succinct proof systems. Notably:
– LegoGro16, a commit-and-prove version of Groth16 zkSNARK, that operates over data committed with a classical Pedersen vector commitment, and that achieves a 5000× speed in proving time.
– LegoUAC, a pairing-based SNARK for arithmetic circuits that has a universal, circuit-independent, CRS, and proving time linear in the number of circuit gates (vs. the recent scheme of Groth et al. (CRYPTO’18) with quadratic CRS and quasilinear proving time).
– CP-SNARKs for matrix multiplication that achieve optimal proving complexity.
Zero-knowledge arguments have become practical, and widely used, especially in the world of Blockchain, for example in Zcash.
This work revisits zero-knowledge proofs in the discrete logarithm setting. First, we identify and carve out basic techniques (partly being used implicitly before) to optimize proofs in this setting. In particular, the linear combination of protocols is a useful tool to obtain zero-knowledge and/or reduce communication. With these techniques, we are able to devise zero-knowledge variants of the logarithmic communication arguments by Bootle et al.\ (EUROCRYPT ’16) and Bünz et al. (S&P ‘18) thereby introducing almost no overhead. We then construct a conceptually simple commit-and-prove argument for satisfiability of a set of quadratic equations. Unlike previous work, we are not restricted to rank 1 constraint systems (R1CS). This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first work demonstrating that general quadratic constraints, not just R1CS, are a natural relation in the dlog (or ideal linear commitment) setting. This enables new possibilities for optimisation, as, eg., any degree n2 polynomial f(X) can now be ``evaluated’’ with at most 2n quadratic constraints.
Our protocols are modular. We easily construct an efficient, logarithmic size shuffle proof, which can be used in electronic voting.
Additionally, we take a closer look at quantitative security measures, eg. the efficiency of an extractor. We formalise short-circuit extraction, which allows us to give tighter bounds on the efficiency of an extractor.
The US federal court system is exploring ways to improve the accountability of electronic surveillance, an opaque process often involving cases sealed from public view and tech companies subject to gag orders against informing surveilled users. One judge has proposed publicly releasing some metadata about each case on a paper cover sheet as a way to balance the competing goals of (1) secrecy, so the target of an investigation does not discover and sabotage it, and (2) accountability, to assure the public that surveillance powers are not misused or abused.
Inspired by the courts’ accountability challenge, we illustrate how accountability and secrecy are simultaneously achievable when modern cryptography is brought to bear. Our system improves configurability while preserving secrecy, offering new tradeoffs potentially more palatable to the risk-averse court system. Judges, law enforcement, and companies publish commitments to surveillance actions, argue in zero-knowledge that their behavior is consistent, and compute aggregate surveillance statistics by multi-party computation (MPC).
We demonstrate that these primitives perform efficiently at the scale of the federal judiciary. To do so, we implement a hierarchical form of MPC that mirrors the hierarchy of the court system. We also develop statements in succinct zero-knowledge (SNARKs) whose specificity can be tuned to calibrate the amount of information released. All told, our proposal not only offers the court system a flexible range of options for enhancing accountability in the face of necessary secrecy, but also yields a general framework for accountability in a broader class of secret information processes.
Recently there has been much academic and industrial interest in practical implementations of zero knowledge proofs. These techniques allow a party to prove to another party that a given statement is true without revealing any additional information. In a Bitcoin-like system, this allows a payer to prove validity of a payment without disclosing the payment’s details. Unfortunately, the existing systems for generating such proofs are very expensive, especially in terms of memory overhead. Worse yet, these systems are “monolithic”, so they are limited by the memory resources of a single machine. This severely limits their practical applicability. We describe DIZK, a system that distributes the generation of a zero knowledge proof across machines in a compute cluster. Using a set of new techniques, we show that DIZK scales to computations of up to billions of logical gates (100× larger than prior art) at a cost of 10μs per gate (100× faster than prior art). We then use DIZK to study various security applications.
We propose Bulletproofs, a new non-interactive zero-knowledge proof protocol with very short proofs and without a trusted setup; the proof size is only logarithmic in the witness size. Bulletproofs are especially well suited for efficient range proofs on committed values: they enable proving that a committed value is in a range using only 2 log_2(n)+9 group and field elements, where n is the bit length of the range. Proof generation and verification times are linear in n. Bulletproofs greatly improve on the linear (in n) sized range proofs in existing proposals for confidential transactions in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Moreover, Bulletproofs supports aggregation of range proofs, so that a party can prove that m commitments lie in a given range by providing only an additive O(log(m)) group elements over the length of a single proof. To aggregate proofs from multiple parties, we enable the parties to generate a single proof without revealing their inputs to each other via a simple multi-party computation (MPC) protocol for constructing Bulletproofs. This MPC protocol uses either a constant number of rounds and linear communication, or a logarithmic number of rounds and logarithmic communication. We show that verification time, while asymptotically linear, is very efficient in practice. The marginal cost of batch verifying 32 aggregated range proofs is less than the cost of verifying 32 ECDSA signatures. Bulletproofs build on the techniques of Bootle et al. (EUROCRYPT 2016). Beyond range proofs, Bulletproofs provide short zero-knowledge proofs for general arithmetic circuits while only relying on the discrete logarithm assumption and without requiring a trusted setup. We discuss many applications that would benefit from Bulletproofs, primarily in the area of cryptocurrencies. The efficiency of Bulletproofs is particularly well suited for the distributed and trustless nature of blockchains. The full version of this article is available on ePrint.
We present a zero-knowledge argument for NP with low communication complexity, low concrete cost for both the prover and the verifier, and no trusted setup, based on standard cryptographic assumptions. Communication is proportional to d log G (for d the depth and G the width of the verifying circuit) plus the square root of the witness size. When applied to batched or data-parallel statements, the prover’s runtime is linear and the verifier’s is sub-linear in the verifying circuit size, both with good constants. In addition, witness-related communication can be reduced, at the cost of increased verifier runtime, by leveraging a new commitment scheme for multilinear polynomials, which may be of independent interest. These properties represent a new point in the tradeoffs among setup, complexity assumptions, proof size, and computational cost. We apply the Fiat-Shamir heuristic to this argument to produce a zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive argument of knowledge (zkSNARK) in the random oracle model, based on the discrete log assumption, which we call Hyrax. We implement Hyrax and evaluate it against five state-of-the-art baseline systems. Our evaluation shows that, even for modest problem sizes, Hyrax gives smaller proofs than all but the most computationally costly baseline, and that its prover and verifier are each faster than three of the five baselines.