As The Bitcoin Blockchain Becomes More Centralized, We Need To Look At zk-SNARKS | Hacker Noon

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@jiten2Jitendra Naik

Hey ! this is jiten from Indian, I’m blockchain content creator I love to read and write.

During the creation of the Bitcoin blockchain, Satoshi Nakamoto may don’t have the proper technology/resources or vision that’s why he created a blockchain that grows with every transaction and now it is 285.06 gigabytes!

So if you want to connect with the Bitcoin blockchain as a node then it will take a huge time for synchronization which is the major problem that slowly killing Bitcoin’s decentralization and the same problem happening with Ethereum Blockchain {Reference-1, Reference-2}.

First, I would like to say one thing in a layman’s language that “more people join a network then it becomes more decentralized where fewer people join then the network becomes centralized”.

In the beginning, Bitcoin was mineable with simple computers. But now you can’t able to mine without high power computers and dedicated miners, so the numbers of miners are consistently decreasing then only big farms will control whole bitcoin mining, hence they will control the bitcoin network which is nothing but become the centralization of bitcoin {Reference}.

The block size of bitcoin increasing because the numbers of transactions are increasing which causing the system to become slower, expensive, and less scalable {Reference}.

To make bitcoin more decentralized, we need to create more nodes means we need more independent miners and it can possible if we somehow reduce the size of bitcoin blockchain or node then every person can use his PC and mobile to run a bitcoin node which is technically impossible and here the word zk-SNARK come into work.

What is zk-SNARK?

The full form of zk-SNARK is “Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge” which is nothing but a computation ‘certificate’ whose size just <1 kb and we can use zk-SNARK to certify blockchain database which means if you want to run a node in your device then you don’t need to download a complete node or not need to synchronize a blockchain but you can just start your node by downloading zk-SNARK which will take a few seconds to start and run a node {Reference Doc}.

Potential use of zk-SNARK:

Before telling you the potential use of zk-SNARK let’s understand how zk-SNARK can implement in a blockchain so when a new blockchain born it has few blocks for example lets take a blockchain which has 5 blocks like block1, block2, block3, block4, and block5 so when a blockchain process from block1 to block2 a SNARK also produce but a block contains transaction hash because of which it has some good weight but SNARK don’t contain transaction hash or data so it has lesser weight with compared to a block and the main thing that we can do with SNARKs is we can combine multiple SNARKs to create a single SNARK which also has <1 kb of weight which means all the SNARKs that generated when blockchain moves from block1 to block5 can combine all together in a single SNARK representing block1-block5 but we can’t combine multiple blocks to create a single block of lightweight.

So when you download a node you neither need to sync all blocks nor need to download all SNARKs, download a single zk-SNARK which will certify all SNARKs.

Because of zk-SNARKS, a blockchain becomes very light around a few tweets, high efficiency, you can run node in your mobile phone, no need for high computation power, etc {Reference}.

How zk-SNARK will protect decentralization?

At the beginning of the article, I told a system remains decentralized if it has huge numbers of independent nods and as we know zk-SNARK helps to reduce the size of blockchain which makes a blockchain, every device friendly so now you can run a node even if from your mobile which will help to increase the nodes hence decentralization will increase and remains alive.

Existing blockchain projects using zk-SNARK:

Zcash is the first project which is using zk-SNARK to maintain strong privacy {Reference} and CODA protocol using zk-SNARK to keep their blockchain size around a few tweets (Reference).


At the end, I can say zk-SNARK is a revolutionary technology which can solve or protect the decentralization of a blockchain, and CODA protocol is implementing zk-SNARK in the best way to create a lightweight blockchain and if you imagine then you can realize a lightweight blockchain is our future, we don’t need a heavy blockchain which can eventually lose decentralization.

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Hey ! this is jiten from Indian, I’m blockchain content creator I love to read and write.


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