Since Bitcoin’s inception, one of the most common questions has been “does Bitcoin use zk-snarks?”. The answer to this question is a bit complicated and requires a bit of understanding about what zk-snarks are and how they work.
Zk-snarks, or zero-knowledge proofs, are a method of ensuring that a transaction is valid without having to reveal the underlying data. This is done by creating a mathematical proof that the data is correct without actually revealing what the data is.
Bitcoin does not use zk-snarks directly. However, the Bitcoin protocol does make use of a similar technology called Pedersen commitments.
Pedersen commitments are similar to zk-snarks in that they allow for a proof of validity to be created without revealing the underlying data.
The main difference between Pedersen commitments and zk-snarks is that Pedersen commitments require a trusted setup. This means that there must be a group of people who create the mathematical proof that the data is correct.
This group of people must be trusted not to reveal the data to anyone else.
Zk-snarks do not require a trusted setup. This is because the mathematical proof that is created can be verified by anyone without needing to know what the underlying data is.
This makes zk-snarks much more private and secure than Pedersen commitments.
So, while Bitcoin does not use zk-snarks directly, it does make use of a similar technology called Pedersen commitments.