Attacking the Last Mile Problem: The WASM ZKP Challenge

Shumo Chu
May 19, 2022

Manta Network is excited to join forces with many great projects to kick-start the new ZPrize. We are currently using zero-knowledge cryptography to enable privacy, interoperability, and scalability for Web 3.0. The importance of innovation in the ZKP space cannot be understated, and we believe it will most likely be the game-changing technology in this century. For the challenge, Manta Network, with the support of the Polkadot Pioneer Prize has chosen to focus on the multiscalar multiplication (MSM) operations challenge. MSM is the essential building block for ZK computations. The challenge will focus on maximizing throughput/minimizing latency of these operations on client-type devices and blockchain-based VMs, specifically the WebAssembly (WASM) runtime. 

We have chosen to be the architect and sponsors in the open division because we truly care about WASM ZKP performance. We view the WASM ZKP performance as the ‘last mile problem’ for mass ZKP adoption. In order to get massive ZKP and privacy adoption, we have to get ZKP prover integration with popular wallets, and having improved WASM prover performance is the way forward. There are many great projects in this space and each have their own version of Plonk implementation, which is great for the space. However, to get massive ZKP and privacy adoption, we have to get ZKP prover integration with popular wallets like @MetaMask, and having a high-performance WASM prover is the way forward.

From Manta internal benchmark, WASM gives users a 10x - 15x performance penalty compared with native speed. To make a smooth user experience, we developed Manta-Signer, however, we view this as a temporary solution because our final goal is to get rid of signer and let our users choose the wallet of their choice and create more of a seamless user experience. In order to make a good benchmark to move the field forward, we have some design considerations:

  1. The benchmark should be future proof, ZKP is moving so fast. Many awesome projects like @aztecnetwork and @ZcashFoundation contribute a lot to the proof systems evolution. However, new and “better” proof systems are still coming out, for example, like Nova developed by @srinathtv.
  2. The benchmark should be proof system agnostic. It should benefit Groth16, Plonk, Nova, and more to come. With that, this challenge will focus on the “heavy lifting” ZKP crypto primitives like multi scalar multiplications. Details here.
  3. All submissions should aim to improve the baseline performance, increase accessibility of Low-Level Libraries for Cryptographic Proofs, and lastly increase awareness of the groundbreaking potential of zero-knowledge cryptography.

Innovation in the ZKP space cannot be understated and this could be the game-changing technology in this century. Winners of the competition must open-source their challenge solutions so that the entire community can access and benefit from them fully. The future possibilities that this will open up for the entire ecosystem are vast. All of these efforts would not be possible without the collaboration of the many projects that have come together to launch this. The hope is we will look back at this time as a pivotal time in the development of ZK and the beginning of the big leap forward for decentralized protocols and applications to enable secure, interoperable and scalable applications. 

More information can be found here.

About Manta

Manta Network is committed to building a better Web3 world through privacy protection. Manta’s product design starts from first principles and provides end-to-end privacy protection for blockchain users through leading cryptography architectures such as zkSNARK. While ensuring privacy, Manta offers interoperability, convenience, high performance, and auditability, allowing users to conduct private transfers and transactions between any parallel chain of assets. Manta’s vision is to provide more convenient privacy protection services for the entire blockchain world.

Manta’s founding team is made up of several cryptocurrency veterans, professors, and academics with experience from Harvard University, MIT, and Algorand. Manta’s investors include Polychain, ParaFi, Binance Labs, Multicoin, CoinFund, Alameda, DeFiance, and Hypersphere. Manta is also an official Web3 Foundation grant recipient, a member of the Substrate Builder Program, and a member of Berkeley Blockchain Accelerator.

Twitter | Discord | Telegram | GitHub | Linkedin | Website

About The Polkadot Pioneer Prize

The Polkadot Pioneer Challenge was designed to solve some of the biggest challenges facing Polkadot and Web3. Polkadot features an on-chain treasury managed by the network’s token holders via Polkadot’s on-chain governance system. Currently containing over 20 million DOT tokens, the treasury is designed to fund projects that benefit the Polkadot ecosystem. The Polkadot Treasury represents a completely new paradigm, where decentralized networks have the financial agency previously limited to centralized organizations. If you are interested in viewing the on-chain bounty proposal that brought the Pioneers Prize to life, you can do so here.

Type your email here
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Prize winners will be determined in good faith and in the sole discretion of prize sponsors
© 2023 ZPrize. All Rights Reserved.