2 May 2022 | Updated 3 May 2022 [research]

Sethforprivacy proposes exploring trustless zk-SNARKs as a replacement for Monero ring signatures

Sethforprivacy1 has opened a new MRL meta issue (#1002) to further explore and catalogue resources on trustless zk-SNARKs in Monero w/o Orchard code3, citing known limitations4 of ring signatures:

The goal of this meta issue is to build a go-to place for links, information, and opportunities for building trustless zk-SNARKs as a potential future protocol building-block for Monero.

I will write up a blog post further outlining in laymen’s terms why exploring zk-SNARKs as a replacement for ring-signatures (and likely confidential amounts) is an interesting and worthwhile topic to explore [..]

According to Sethforprivacy, Amir Taaki5 of Dark.fi6 has offered to help Monero developers get up to speed on implementing zk-SNARKs (Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge7) in Monero’s payment protocol.

Monero devs selsta8 and hyc9 have both shared conservative comments about this proposal on Matrix:

it’s stupid to plan it now. assuming we deploy seraphis, it will be at least several months of operational experience before we know what shortcomings we want to fix. (hyc)10

This seems 1-2 years too early [..] anyway if someone is interested (and they have the necessary skills) they can comment on the issue (selsta)11

To learn more about the proposed efforts, open research questions, access reference links and submit feedback, consult MRL meta issue #1002.

This is an ongoing story and will be updated when new information is available.

Update 22/5/3: removed reference to Orchard thread12.

  1. https://github.com/sethforprivacy 

  2. https://github.com/monero-project/research-lab/issues/100  2

  3. https://libera.monerologs.net/monero-research-lab/20220502#c91057 

  4. https://yewtu.be/watch?v=iABIcsDJKyM 

  5. https://nitter.net/Narodism 

  6. https://github.com/darkrenaissance/darkfi 

  7. https://z.cash/technology/zksnarks/ 

  8. https://github.com/selsta 

  9. https://github.com/hyc 

  10. https://libera.monerologs.net/monero-research-lab/20220502#c91072 

  11. https://libera.monerologs.net/monero-research-lab/20220502#c91096 

  12. https://forum.zcashcommunity.com/t/allow-special-exception-to-the-orchard-codebase-for-the-monero-project/41392