Security and Privacy for Crypto with Zero-Knowledge Proofs

The internet led to all sorts of applications that have changed people’s lives, connecting people around the world in new ways and at new scale. But that only really happened once we figured out security within the network — when we went from “http” to “https”, so to speak. When it comes to crypto, how do we solve the problem of sharing information when you have a decentralized network — and don’t have someone in the middle to verify the information?

Zero-knowledge proofs are one way. They have been around for 30 years, but entrepreneur Zooko Wilcox, founder and CEO of Electric Coin Company/ Zcash — and cryptography and information security technologist (known for “Zooko’s Triangle”, among other things) — is responsible for pioneering the zero-knowledge proof in practice with Zcash, partnering with major companies such as J.P. Morgan and Mastercard to do so. In this talk, he shares what they are and how they work… including a live demo.

This talk was originally delivered at the inaugural a16z Crypto Regulatory Summit 2019, which brings together leading crypto experts and builders, other technologists, academics, industry executives, and government officials — along with forward-thinking regulators — to foster collaboration and the exchange of ideas around this important emerging industry.