Growing Support for Zero Knowledge Proofs in Web3

According to a recent survey, the cryptography practice of zero knowledge proofs (ZKP) -- proving and validating information without revealing the data behind the information -- is the key to securing and growing Web3 and the metaverse, a recent survey found.

The results were released in the "State of Zero Knowledge 2022" report by the Mina Foundation, creator of the Mina Protocol, which the organization claims is the "world's lightest blockchain protocol." The survey included 1,978 respondents, including policy makers, developers and those in the blockchain environment.

The report found that 46 percent of respondents said that both privacy and scalability were the primary advantages of implementing ZKP in apps, while 30.7 percent chose only privacy as the primary advantage and 18.2 percent indicating only scalability as the primary advantage. "This slight preference for privacy over scalability could reflect the cryptocurrency industry's increasing attention paid to privacy, potentially motivated by growing concerns over centralized, corporate involvement in the metaverse," read the report.

When asked which industries could benefit the most from ZKP implementation, 40.6 percent of respondents indicated that finance could benefit from smart validation technology. Following that, 11.7 percent chose health care, 5.0 percent said social media and 2.9 percent responded with e-commerce.

"Many participants similarly expressed it was important to keep all personally identifiable information private, but there was a greater emphasis on financial data, which could include a user's social security number, crypto balance, net worth, credit score, etc.," read the report.

The Mina Foundation report gave the example of implementing ZKP in the creation of a dapp (decentralized application) that could confirm a user's credit score to be over a certain threshold for a loan. This would allow for verification by the loan provider, while keeping the user's sensitive information private.

Those responding to the blockchain-based survey indicated a strong concern about governments accessing their private data. Almost half (48.5 percent) said it was their biggest privacy concern, with third-party companies (44.0 percent) coming in second and social media platforms (41.3 percent) in third.

The Mina Foundation inferred that since many of those responding to the survey are cryptocurrency holders, it does make sense that they would want additional privacy from government access to private data. And the interest in cryptocurrency holders and developers in ZKP has been rising in the past few years as Web3 technologies continue to grow.

"More developers and crypto users are also paying attention to ZKPs from a building and trading point of view now more than ever before," according to the report. "The focus will likely manifest in the launch of many more dapps utilizing ZKP technology to enable privacy, scalability or both in the near term."

About the Author

Chris Paoli (@ChrisPaoli5) is the associate editor for Converge360.

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