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Can zk-SNARK Help Your Company Use Blockchain?

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By George Khoury, Esq. on April 25, 2018 11:10 AM

For many companies considering the use of blockchain technology, one potential drawback is the whole "public-ledger" part. And while some blockchain tech being developed today does not rely on a fully public ledge, often the ledger is still shared, or can be accessed by others.

The problem with a public ledger is that, often, a business's transaction ledger contains private, and/or trade secret, information, like customer/client lists and more. That means that using a blockchain that is shared by outsiders to record transactions, and other data, could leave a company's private info exposed.

Fortunately, when technology creates a problem, it often creates a solution. The zk-SNARK is the solution to this potential privacy problem underlying the use of blockchain technology by businesses and even consumers.

What's a zk-SNARK?

A zk-SNARK is actually an acronym, that directly translates to "zero-knowledge, Succinct, Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge." In short, it's a type of cryptography used to prove something that you don't want to show. While the theory may be elusive, it has long since been established as reliable, and in practice, it's a little bit easier to understand.

For example, a zk-SNARK can be used to prove to a seller that you have sufficient funds in your bank account without you having to reveal your account balance. While the zero knowledge proofs have been in use for some time, it is only recently that developers have begun rolling out zk-SNARK on the blockchain. And with integrating it sophisticated blockchain technology, zk-SNARK can also be used to ensure that smart contract terms remain confidential between the parties.

For businesses looking to take advantage of the best that blockchain has to offer, now that the privacy problem may be solved, there might not be any reasons left to hold back (other than the cost of implementation, of course).

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