The traditional notion of a proof offers no secrecy --- proving the validity of a blockchain transaction would reveal its details, proving qualification for a loan would reveal private financial information, and proving that a system has been hacked could reveal sensitive details about the system. Remarkably, using cryptography, this problem can be solved. Secrecy-preserving proofs are a class of protocols allowing to prove assertions about secret information, without actually revealing the information. The most prominent notion of such a proof is that of zero knowledge proofs, which reveal no information at all.
Recent years have seen zero knowledge proofs transition from theory to practice. With major investment from industry and governments, they are now being deployed and standardized. Driven by large-scale applications such as blockchains, deployment efforts have put special stress on efficiency, often compromising on the core principal of rigorous security analysis based on solid hardness assumptions. At the same time, the nearing possibility of new threats such as quantum attacks, only requires stronger security.
The goal of the project is secrecy-preserving proofs that meet present day challenges, without compromising on the gold standard of cryptographic security. We envision a world where secrecy-preserving proofs are reliable enough to be used in high-stake applications, and efficient enough to be used in large-scale applications. The project will apply foundational theoretical research to overcome existing barriers and challenges toward achieving this goal.
- HORIZON.1.1 - European Research Council (ERC) Main Programme