THE RISC ZERO PROJECT: A NEW LOOK AT THE ZERO-KNOWLEDGE PROOF

RISC Zero is a tool that can be executed and verified by any developer on any modern computer in the languages with which they are most familiar zero-knowledge proof allows you to create. RISC Zero is the first completely free and open-source general-purpose ZK (zero-knowledge) computing platform. RISC ZERO’s prover and verifier is available under the Apache2 license, along with several simple but powerful examples of this technology written in Rust and C++ languages.

Details of the RISC ZERO Project

Before going into the details of the project, let’s take a look at the term Zero Knowledge Proof. This term, which people who are interested in blockchain technology and who are developing themselves in this regard have often heard lately, is about how to prove that you know something you know without giving it to someone else. Therefore, on the basis of blockchain, zero-knowledge proof provides a security that allows parties who have joined a blockchain network to approve transactions without knowing and seeing the details.

If we return to the RISC ZERO project again, this project is a fully compatible software application of the RISC-V microarchitecture (RV32IM). RISC-V ISA is implemented as a set of polynomial constraints within a zk-STARK based proving system.

RISC Zero is a zero-knowledge virtual machine that can run on any platform. Like a kind of secure virtual Adruino, it is a virtual microcontroller/coprocessor that generates a receipt for each program it runs. These receipts can be verified by anyone at any time in milliseconds, even if you don’t trust the party applying the code.

risc zero, zero-knowledge proof
RISC ZERO

The first open source product under the project was released in March 2022. This product is the RISC Zero zero-knowledge Virtual Machine (zero-knowledge Virtual Machine). zkVM ensures the verifiable operation of any program without trusted authorities. This seemingly simple feature has profound implications for all aspects of distributed computing, but especially for blockchain-related technologies.

RISC Zero is building a next-generation scalable blockchain using zero-knowledge proof technology with RISC-V ZKVM. Its implementation allows developers accustomed to programming in Rust, Go, C++ and other standard programming languages to write on-chain decentralized applications that look and feel more like traditional web applications. In this way, it also reveals the potential of Web3 for a much wider global space.

Below, we will touch on the investment period led by Bain Capital Crypto. Before moving on to that section, let’s see the project through his eyes by looking at why Bain Capital Crypto’s Alex Evans decided to lead the investment round for RISC ZERO. According to Alex, zero-knowledge proofs are an integral part of many important blockchain privacy and scalability efforts. Also according to Alex, Risc Zero has introduced the first ZKVM that natively supports standard languages and tools such as C++ and Rust through LLVM. 

As can be seen, Bain Capital Crypto is excited to partner with the RISC Zero team. Because he believes that RISC Zero empowers developers to realize the full potential of this technology.

Differences of RISC ZERO from Other ZK Projects

If we list the differences of the first version of RISC Zero from the others in terms of items;

  1. Both the prover (prover) and the verifier (verifier) are completely open. This means that programs can be proven locally, preserving confidentiality and information hiding.
  2. The validator has implementations in C++ and Rust. Therefore, it can be easily operated on many different platforms and on many different blockchains.
  3. Since RISC ZERO’s Zero-Knowledge Virtual Machine (ZKVM) supports a standard ISA and is similar to a regular von-Neumann machine, it is both familiar to a wide group of developers and can be programmed using standard languages.

RISC ZERO Project’s Perspective on Cloud Computing Technology

RISC Zero is an initiative with a modest mission. This mission is to develop state-of-the-art products that use zero-knowledge cryptography to fix the Internet. RISC ZERO believes that for the internet to be truly free, cloud computing technologies must;

  1. It is so cheap that everyone in the world can use it
  2. It is so accessible that any developer can develop them using standard programming languages
  3. Providing privacy options that give users and developers control over their digital identity and all data associated with it
  4. Belonging to its users

Funding of RISC ZERO

We see that RISC ZERO has had a very successful investment period. It was announced that the project received an investment of $ 12 million in the Seed Round under the leadership of Bain Capital Crypto. Other investors include Geometry, D1 Ventures and Cota Capital.  When we look at angel investors, there are Jing Wang from Optimism, Meltem Demirors from Coinshares, Marvin Ammori from Uniswap Labs, Eva Beylin and Tegan Kline from The Graph, Calvin Liu from Compound and Lev Livnev from Symbolic Capital Partners.

In fact, the $12 million seed period took place after RISC ZERO’s $2 million pre-seed period, led by Geometry and Ramez Naam Ventures.

Summary

In summary, we are in a period where recent advances in zero-knowledge proofs have made the possibility of almost infinite scalability a real possibility, not just a remote possibility. Against this background, the code base of RISC ZERO has the Apache2 license and includes a complete proving and verification system. RISC Zero supports Rust and C++ languages for writing ZK proofs. Also, any language compiled to RISC-V can be supported. RISC Zero ZKVM is a verifiable computer that works like a real embedded RISC-V microprocessor and allows programmers to write ZK proofs like any other code writer.

References

– https://www.prnewswire.com/

– https://www.risczero.com/

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