Achieving Decentralised Private Computation
In Module 8, Pratyush Mishra, a cryptographer at Aleo and Assistant Professor at Penn CIS, explores the intersection of privacy and computation in zk systems. He describes the concepts behind ZEXE, a work he co-authored and which the Aleo system is built upon. He shows how this differs from existing systems as well as how this system provides a platform for the creation of applications using secure computation.
What You’ll Learn:
- 1:00 – How existing systems fall short
- 3:05 – Problems with re-execution
- 9:00 – UTXO vs account model transactions
- 12:02 – Steps validator takes to make sure a transaction is valid
- 20:08 – Steps to achieve anonymity
- 22:00 – How Zcash approaches anonymity
- 28:03 – Merkel trees for serial numbers
- 39:00 – Universal circuits
- 46:50 – Tradeoffs for different proof systems
- 53:40 – Why we need birth predicates
- 55:00 – Applications in ZEXE paper
Below is an accompanying reading list:
- The Zerocash Paper: Zerocash: Decentralized Anonymous Payments from Bitcoin
- The ZEXE Paper: Zexe: Enabling Decentralized Private Computation
- The VERI-ZEXE paper, which optimizes the ZEXE construction for use with universal SNARKs like PLONK: VERI-ZEXE: Decentralized Private Computation with Universal Setup
- Aleo, an implementation of ZEXE: aleo.org
- A blog post with a high-level overview of ZEXE: Demystifying ZEXE
- A blog post about extending the ZEXE system to support shared state: The Mir Execution Environment
ZK Whiteboard Sessions is an educational series on all things zero knowledge. Produced by ZK Hack and powered by Polygon – we’ll be releasing a new module every week!
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