Foresight Ventures: zk, zkVM, zkEVM and their Future

TL; DR

  • Zero-knowledge proof, which can guarantee computational integrity, correctness and privacy, has a lot of use cases in blockchain scaling and privacy.
  • zk-SNARK and zk-STARK have their own advantages, and the combination of these two has more potential.
  • zkVM empowers applications with zero-knowledge proofs, and zkVM can be categorized by instruction sets in mainstream, EVM, or newly-built ones.
  • EVM compatibility includes EVM compatibility, equivalence, and specification-level compatibility.
  • zkEVM is an EVM-compatible and zero-knowledge proof-friendly environment. It can be divided into native-based and compiler-based solutions.
  • Native-based zkEVM is the future of Ethereum and blockchain.
  • A general zkVM supports the Solidity lang is the future of Web3.

0. Zero-knowledge Proof

1. SNARK and STARK

  • Lower gas (scalable)
  • Larger batch size (scalable * 2)
  • Faster proving (scalable * 3)
  • No trusted setup (the generated parameters are only valid for the current application, and need to be re-set up if there are changes)
  • Post-quantum security

2. zkVM

  • Easy to use: Developers can use zkVM to run programs in a trusted manner without learning cryptography or developing with zk circuits (does not mean there is no barrier)
  • Generality: zkVM can generate proofs for any program or computation.
  • Simplicity: A relatively small number of constraints can describe the entire VM (no need to repeatedly generate the entire VM’s circuit).
  • Recursive: Free recursive feature. As with generality, verification of VMs can be performed by VMs. This is fun, for example you can put a zkVM inside a zkVM, similar to what StarkWare says the concept of L3.
  • Specificity in computational architecture: Not all zero-knowledge proof systems can be used for zkVM.
  • Performance issues: Circuits need to be optimized, and optimizations can be performed for specific computations.

3. EVM

  • EVM Compatibility: Solidity and other language level compatibility.
  • EVM Equivalence: compatibility at the EVM bytecode level.
  • EVM Specification-level Compatibility: what is commonly referred to as true zkEVM. In most cases, it’s even backwards compatible optimized supersets, providing account abstraction (i.e. each account is a smart contract) and other features that Layer1 EVMs do not provide.

4. zkEVM

a) Circuit Complexity

b) Design Difficulty

5. zkEVM and zkVM

6. zkVM’s Future

Related Links

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Foresight Ventures is a blockchain technology-focused investment firm, focusing on identifying disruptive innovation opportunities that will change the industry

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Foresight Ventures

Foresight Ventures

Foresight Ventures is a blockchain technology-focused investment firm, focusing on identifying disruptive innovation opportunities that will change the industry

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