Bitcoin Transactions Without Internet? ZeroSync and Blockstream Make It Possible with Satellites in Space – Here's How
Bitcoin infrastructure firm Blockstream has partnered with ZeroSync Association, a non-profit organization based in Switzerland, to broadcast Bitcoin zero-knowledge proofs via Blockstream’s satellite.
Courtesy of this partnership, Bitcoin nodes will be able to sync from any location on earth, including those with poor internet coverage, in fractions of a second instead of hours or days.
“We’re excited to announce today that Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream, agreed to partner with ZeroSync to broadcast ZK chain proofs via Blockstream Satellite!" ZeroSync said in a recent Tweet.
In line with the latest development, ZeroSync intends to carry out a trial broadcast involving Blockstream’s satellite hardware before the end of the year.
Blockstream’s satellite network provides free global access to Bitcoin by broadcasting the blockchain to the entire planet, including areas with unreliable internet coverage.
Created by three German computer scientists, ZeroSync Association is a newly-formed nonprofit that intends to help scale Bitcoin by using zero-knowledge proofs (zk-proofs), a cryptographic technique that has exploded in popularity on rival chain Ethereum.
"ZeroSync is spearheading the development of proof systems for Bitcoin," the company's website reads. "Applying groundbreaking cryptography, we are pioneering the future of Bitcoin scalability, interoperability, and privacy."
In cryptography, a zero-knowledge proof is a method by which one party can prove to another party that a given statement is true without revealing the statement.
At a high level, a zero-knowledge proof works by having the verifier ask the prover to perform a series of actions that can only be performed accurately if the prover knows the underlying information.
How Zk-proofs Can Help Bitcoin Increase Privacy and Security
ZK-proofs can help Bitcoin become more private and secure as the technology enables transactions to occur in a confidential manner, and only the parties involved in the transaction have access to the transaction details.
Furthermore, zk-proofs can enhance Bitcoin's scalability by reducing the amount of data that needs to be processed and stored on the blockchain.
This is achieved through a process called “batching,” where multiple transactions are combined into a single proof, reducing the computational load on the network. ZeroSync says on its website:
"Succinct zero-knowledge proofs (ZKP) promise a paradigm shift in blockchain scalability and privacy. While considerable engineering effort is underway in the Ethereum community to apply this technology, no similar investment has yet been made for the Bitcoin network."
Notably, ZeroSync has successfully developed a functional prototype that allows users to authenticate the present state of the Bitcoin blockchain, including ownership data and transaction history, without the need to download the chain’s current 500 GB of data.