Enhancing Privacy on the Celo Blockchain with Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs)

Enhancing Privacy on the Celo Blockchain with Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs)
none 0.0 0

Introduction to Celo and Privacy

Celo is a decentralized blockchain platform designed to create a financial system that is more accessible and inclusive for everyone. It enables users to send money to phone numbers, making it easier for individuals with limited access to traditional financial services to participate in the digital economy. Privacy is a critical aspect of any financial system, and to enhance privacy on the Celo blockchain, Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs) can be employed. ZKPs allow users to prove the validity of certain information without revealing the underlying data, ensuring confidential transactions while maintaining the blockchain’s integrity.

What are Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs)?

Zero-Knowledge Proofs are cryptographic protocols that enable a party (the prover) to prove to another party (the verifier) that a particular statement is true without revealing any information about the statement itself. This means that the verifier can be confident in the validity of the statement without learning any sensitive information.

read more here

Introduction to Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs)

How ZKPs Enhance Privacy on Celo

On the Celo blockchain, transactions are typically public, meaning the sender, receiver, and the transaction amount can be seen by anyone. While this transparency is crucial for security and accountability, it may not be suitable for all types of transactions, especially when privacy is a concern.

By integrating ZKPs into the Celo blockchain, users can achieve transactional privacy while still benefiting from the security and transparency of the underlying blockchain. ZKPs allow users to prove that they have sufficient funds to perform a transaction without disclosing their exact account balance or transaction amount. Additionally, ZKPs can be used to verify the authenticity of certain attributes without exposing the sensitive data behind those attributes.



  1. Basic understanding of blockchain and Celo ecosystem.
  2. Familiarity with Solidity, the programming language used for smart contracts on Celo.

Step 1: Set Up Development Environment

Before we start, make sure you have the following installed:

  1. Node.js and npm (Node Package Manager)
  2. Celo CLI: To interact with the Celo blockchain.
  3. Solidity: To write smart contracts.

Step 2: Create a New Smart Contract

Let’s create a new smart contract in Solidity that will handle the ZKP-related functionality. For this tutorial, we’ll create a simple contract to handle private transfers.

// Import the necessary libraries
pragma solidity ^0.8.0;

contract PrivateTransfer {
    mapping(address => uint256) private balances;

    // Function to deposit funds into the contract
    function deposit() external payable {
        balances[msg.sender] += msg.value;

    // Function to send private funds using ZKP
    function privateTransfer(address to, uint256 amount, bytes memory proof) external {
        require(balances[msg.sender] >= amount, "Insufficient balance");
        require(verifyZKP(msg.sender, to, amount, proof), "Invalid proof");

        balances[msg.sender] -= amount;
        balances[to] += amount;

    // Function to verify ZKP
    function verifyZKP(address from, address to, uint256 amount, bytes memory proof) private pure returns (bool) {
        // Implement ZKP verification logic here
        // Example: Use a pre-built ZKP library or implement a custom ZKP algorithm
        // For simplicity, we skip the actual implementation in this tutorial.
        return true;

Step 3: Implement Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs)

In this step, we’ll implement the ZKP logic within the verifyZKP function of the PrivateTransfer contract. ZKPs are complex cryptographic protocols, and their implementation requires expertise in the specific ZKP algorithm you choose. For simplicity, we’ll provide a high-level overview of the steps involved:

  1. Choose a ZKP algorithm: There are various ZKP algorithms available, such as zk-SNARKs, zk-STARKs, and Bulletproofs. Choose the one that suits your requirements.
  2. Define the statements to be proven: Determine what statements you want to prove without revealing the underlying data. For example, in our case, we want to prove that the sender has sufficient balance to perform the transfer.
  3. Generate proving and verifying keys: The ZKP algorithm requires generating a set of keys for the prover and verifier. These keys will be used during the proof generation and verification process.
  4. Generate proofs: Using the proving key and the statements to be proven, generate the proof. This involves performing mathematical computations according to the chosen ZKP algorithm.
  5. Verify proofs: In the verifyZKP function, implement the verification logic using the verifying key and the proof generated by the prover. This step ensures that the proof is valid and the statements have been proven without revealing sensitive information.
  6. Integrate the ZKP implementation into the contract: Once you have a working ZKP implementation, integrate it into the verifyZKP function of the PrivateTransfer contract.

Step 4: Deploy and Test the Contract

  1. Compile the contract: Use the Solidity compiler to compile the PrivateTransfer contract.
  2. Deploy the contract: Use the Celo CLI to deploy the compiled contract to the Celo network. Make sure you have sufficient testnet funds for the deployment.
  3. Interact with the contract: Once the contract is deployed, you can interact with it using the Celo CLI or build a front-end application to facilitate private transfers.


In this tutorial, we explored how Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs) can enhance privacy on the Celo blockchain. We learned that by utilizing ZKPs, users can achieve transactional privacy while maintaining the security and transparency of the underlying blockchain. We also went through the steps involved in implementing ZKPs within a smart contract on the Celo blockchain.

If you’re interested in diving deeper, you can follow up on the pathway here Zero-Knowledge Proofs on the Celo Blockchain: A Comprehensive Tutorial Series - Pathways - Celo Academy

About the author

I’m Jonathan Iheme, A full stack block-chain Developer from Nigeria. With a great passion for Zero Knowledge Technology.