By Jay White, Co-Founder and Head of Research of Space and Time
Understanding Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZK-proofs)

Zero-Knowledge Proofs: The Basics
ZK-proofs allow efficient verification of knowledge without revealing specifics to the verifier. This concept has become vital in the Web3 ecosystem.

Zero-Knowledge Proofs in Blockchain
ZK-proofs are essential for maintaining user privacy while ensuring transaction validation in a transparent blockchain.

Advancements in ZK-Proofs
As ZK-proofs have evolved, they have expanded to address the limitations of smart contracts, offering solutions for storage and computing.

Solving for Storage: ZK-Proven Decentralized Storage
Filecoin’s PoST is a real-life example where cryptographic proofs are offered to ensure the availability and integrity of off-chain data.

Solving for Compute: Transaction Rollups
ZK-rollups, such as Polygon’s zkEVM and Matter Labs’ zkSync, process transactions off the main chain and submit a single proof back to it.

Challenges in Web3
Despite advancements, decentralized storage platforms lack computational capabilities, and ZK-rollups do not entirely fill the gap.

The Missing Piece: Verifiable Database Computing
Queries about data on the blockchain have historically been centralized, but the Proof of SQL offers verifiable off-chain database computing for Web3 applications.

Final Thoughts
Proof of SQL’s implementation allows for trustless data-driven applications on the blockchain, filling the gap in Web3 and enabling developers to build verifiable data-driven NFTs and financial instruments on-chain.

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