Before understanding zkEVMs (Zero-Knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machines), let’s understand some key concepts.
A blockchain is like a digital notebook that records transactions securely without anyone monitoring it.
Ethereum is a popular blockchain that can do even more, like make agreements called “smart contracts” that automatically do things for us, like count votes or manage digital assets.
Blockchains and smart contracts are very useful, but they have a problem: everyone can see what’s happening there, and sometimes we want to keep things private. This is where zero-knowledge proofs (ZKP) come into play.
ZKPs are like a secret handshake that allows us to prove that we know something without showing it. This makes them perfect for keeping our digital lives private.
Now that we have our main ingredients, let’s mix them together to create something incredible: zkEVMs!
By bringing together zero-knowledge proofs and Ethereum, zkEVMs allow us to use smart contracts and carry out transactions without anyone knowing the details. It’s like being able to send a secret message or make a private deal, all thanks to the power of zkEVMs.
Some of the use cases for zkEVMs are:
1) Secure and anonymous blockchain-based voting systems where every vote is counted without revealing the identity of each voter.
2) Confidential asset transfers without disclosing transaction details like sender, recipient or amount.
3) Lending, borrowing and other decentralized financial transactions without exposing personal information.
3) Track the movement of goods within a supply chain while maintaining the confidentiality of sensitive data such as trade secrets, pricing information, manufacturing processes, etc.
4) Privacy-preserving identity verification solutions, allowing users to prove their identity without revealing unnecessary personal information.
5) Allow users to trade, sell and showcase their digital assets without exposing their personal information or transaction history.
6) Enable storage and access to medical records on blockchain while preserving patient privacy.
7) Help businesses and organizations meet privacy requirements (e.g. GDPR or HIPAA), by enabling private transactions and data storage on blockchain networks.
Rohas Nagpal is the author of the Future Money Playbook and the chief blockchain architect of the Wrapped Asset Project. He is also an amateur boxer and retired hacker. You can follow him on LinkedIn.