ZeroSync implements first Stark-based ZK client for Bitcoin

Quick Take

  • ZeroSync has deployed a system based on zero-knowledge proofs for the Bitcoin network.
  • The project facilitates Bitcoin users to validate the network’s state without downloading the entire blockchain.

Blockchain developer ZeroSync has implemented the first client system based on Stark proofs for the Bitcoin BTC +5.81% header chain. 

The project, built on Starkware’s Cairo programming language, will enable Bitcoin users to validate the state of the network without having to download the blockchain or trust a third party leveraging Starks, a type of ZK proof developed by StarkWare.

ZK proofs are cryptographic methods that promise heightened privacy and scalability. By enabling a party to authenticate a statement’s truth without revealing any additional information, ZK proofs can substantially address Bitcoin’s challenges related to transaction speeds and network congestion, ZeroSync said.

ZeroSync’s verifier is a notable development for light clients, enabling them to verify inclusion of transactions on Bitcoin nearly instantaneously, with the client storing only a header chain proof rather than downloading all block headers.

“This lowers the barriers of entry to participate as a first-class citizen in the Bitcoin network by orders of magnitude,” said Robin Linus, co-founder of ZeroSync. “Long-term, we hope to bring mass scalability to Bitcoin using Stark Proofs. ZeroSync has designed and is currently implementing a Layer 2 protocol that has remarkable privacy and scalability properties, allowing Bitcoin to process more than 100 token transactions per second. This could be a major feat in bringing Bitcoin towards the scalability it needs.”


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ZeroSync verifier for Bitcoin’s header chain

ZeroSync said it had met its first major milestone by releasing a verifier for the Bitcoin network’s header chain as part of its ZK client for the network. Bitcoin light clients, which are wallets, use block headers and a mechanism known as simple payment verification (SPV) to verify transactions.

The next step for ZeroSync is to provide verification of the entire blockchain to nodes without the need for them to download and process the data. “The ultimate goal is to have a zero-knowledge proof verifier on Bitcoin’s mainnet,” Linus added.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Vishal Chawla is The Block’s crypto ecosystems editor and has spent over six years covering tech protocols, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Vishal likes to delve deep into blockchain intricacies to ensure readers are well-informed about the continuously evolving crypto landscape. He is also a staunch advocate for rigorous security practices in the space. Before joining The Block, Vishal held positions at IDG ComputerWorld, CIO, and Crypto Briefing. He can be reached on Twitter at @vishal4c and via email at [email protected]