Implementing Zero Knowledge proofs on Celo - An Introduction

Implementing Zero Knowledge proofs on Celo - An Introduction
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Zero knowledge proofs (ZKPs) are an essential cryptographic tool that allows a prover to demonstrate the validity of a statement without revealing any information about the statement itself. This concept has significant applications in blockchain technology, enhancing privacy, security, and scalability. In this tutorial, we will introduce you to Zero Knowledge Proofs on the Celo blockchain, explaining the fundamental concepts and providing an overview of their implementation.

What are Zero Knowledge Proofs?

Zero Knowledge Proofs are cryptographic protocols that allow one party (the prover) to prove the validity of a statement to another party (the verifier) without revealing any information about the statement itself, other than the fact that it is true. This means the prover can convince the verifier that they know some secret information without actually revealing that secret.

To learn more, read this introduction

Introduction to Zero-Knowledge Proofs

Why Zero Knowledge Proofs on Celo?

Celo is a blockchain platform that prioritizes privacy, accessibility, and affordability. By integrating Zero Knowledge Proofs, Celo can enhance user privacy, reduce transaction costs, and improve scalability. Zero Knowledge Proofs enable selective disclosure, allowing users to verify specific transactions without revealing the entire transaction history.

Implementing ZKPs on the Celo Blockchain

Before we dive into the implementation details, it’s important to have a basic understanding of ZKPs and Celo.

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Zero-Knowledge Proofs on the Celo Blockchain: A Comprehensive Tutorial Series - Technical Tutorials - Celo Academy

ZKPs rely on mathematical techniques to prove the validity of a statement without revealing any confidential information. Celo, on the other hand, is a decentralized platform that enables fast and secure mobile payments, smart contracts, and decentralized applications. Now let’s see how ZKPs can be integrated into the Celo ecosystem.

Step 1: Set up the Development Environment: To get started, ensure that you have a working development environment for Celo. This typically involves installing Node.js and the Celo development kit (celocli). You can find detailed instructions on setting up your Celo development environment in the Celo documentation.

Step 2: Choose a Zero Knowledge Proof System There are different Zero Knowledge proof systems available, each with its own properties and use cases. In the context of Celo, zk-SNARKs (zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge) are commonly used due to their efficiency. However, other ZKP systems like zk-STARKs or Bulletproofs may also be applicable depending on your specific requirements.

Step 3: Define the Problem and the Circuit: To create a Zero Knowledge proof, you need to define the problem you want to prove and construct a corresponding circuit. The problem could be anything from verifying the correctness of a transaction to proving ownership of a specific asset. The circuit defines the logical constraints of the problem and is used to generate the proof.

Step 4: Implement the Circuit Using the chosen ZKP library, implement the circuit based on the problem definition. This typically involves defining the inputs, outputs, and constraints of the problem. Libraries such as libsnark or bellman can assist you in implementing the circuit efficiently.

Step 5: Generate the Proving and Verification Keys: The proving key and the verification key are essential components of the Zero Knowledge proof. The proving key is used by the prover to generate the proof, while the verification key is used by the verifier to verify the proof’s validity. Use the ZKP library to generate these keys based on your implemented circuit.

Step 6: Generate the Proof Using the proving key and the inputs to the circuit: This involves running the circuit with the inputs and creating a proof object that attests to the validity of the inputs without revealing any sensitive information. The ZKP library should provide functions to generate the proof.

Step 7: Verify the Proof To verify the Zero Knowledge proof: You need to use the verification key and the proof generated in the previous step. Implement the verification process using the ZKP library. The verification should return true if the proof is valid, indicating that the statement holds without revealing any confidential information.

Step 8: Integrate with Celo: Now that you have a working Zero Knowledge proof system, you can integrate it with Celo. This could involve various use cases, such as enhancing privacy in transactions or validating ownership of confidential assets. The specifics of the integration depend on your application requirements.

Step 9: Test, Deploy and Thoroughly test your implementation to ensure its correctness and security: You can create test cases that cover different scenarios and edge cases. Once you are confident in your implementation, deploy it to the C


Zero Knowledge Proofs offer a powerful toolset for enhancing privacy, security, and scalability on the Celo blockchain. By using zk-SNARKs and tools like Circom and SnarkJS, developers can implement Zero Knowledge Proofs to prove the validity of statements without revealing sensitive information. This tutorial provides a high-level introduction to Zero Knowledge Proofs on the Celo blockchain and outlines the general steps involved in their implementation. For more detailed guidance, it is recommended to refer to official documentation, resources, and examples provided by the Celo community.

We encourage you to continue your exploration of topics on zk proofs. 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.