Scaling and privacy are currently the two most common use cases for ZK, however, ZK has greater potential to achieve more innovative use cases. Raghav Agarwal, a researcher at LongHash, has taken stock of cutting-edge research and applications in the field of cryptography using ZK technology.
Randomness: ZK can be combined with VDF (Verifiable Delay Function) to achieve fully secure randomness on the blockchain. Blockingradigm has developed an ETH-native randomness beacon that is compatible with VDF. Validation of off-chain data: SBlockingce and Time allow data warehouses to generate SNARK proofs for SQL query execution, proving that the query computation was performed accurately.
DeFi security: The first-place project zkPoEX at ETH Denver allows white hat hackers to report real-time vulnerabilities in smart contracts while maintaining the confidentiality of the vulnerabilities. Email verification: ZK-email allows users to anonymously verify email signatures while keeping any data they wish to keep confidential.
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Github contribution proof: ZkRepo allows users to create a proof that they have contributed to a specific github repo without revealing their identity. Storage proof: Herodotus is using ZK to build storage proof technology to enable synchronous cross-layer data access between Ethereum blockchains.
Location verification: zkMaps can be used to verify whether a user is within a specific geographic area without revealing their exact location. Private on-chain voting: DeFROST built by Poseidon implements private voting on Nouns DAO, which supports both multisig voting and delegated voting.
ZK-supported virtual machines: In addition to Polygon, zkSync, and other zkEVM being built, ZK can be used to build other virtual machines such as zkWASM. zkWASM allows developers to write ZKP applications in their preferred language, which users can run in their browsers. Identity system: Some well-known teams that use ZK to provide on-chain identity for their users include holonym, Outdid.io, zCloak Network, Worldcoin, zkBlockingss, and Sismo.
ZK Machine Learning (ZKML): The ezkl library built by Zkonduit allows anyone to create ZK proofs for ML models exported using ONNX. Gensyn is building a decentralized computing system where users can input public data and train their models using a decentralized node network. Modulus Labs benchmarked different proof systems for on-chain inference and created a trading robot using AI on Starknet.