SERO releases the test network for the world’s first Zero-knowledge proof-based privacy protection public chain

On September 30, 2018, the SERO team is pleased to announce the completion of the first phase of SERO public chain system and the launch of the test network.

The SERO system is the world’s first blockchain platform to implement privacy protection based on Zero-knowledge proof and supports Turing complete smart contracts.

Current decentralized blockchain systems, such as Bitcoin and other public chain systems, have rapidly gained popularity as a valued internet infrastructure. Due to the decentralized nature of a public chain system; the system must reach a consensus on the data flow, and also needs to reach a consensus on the calculations of datasets. In the Bitcoin system, the data includes user-invoked remittance transactions, calculations oftransaction verification, and UXTO updates; which require constant tracking of the user’s account balance. Other type ofblockchain systems, such as Ethereum, uses an account-based model to constructdecentralized smart contract system.

Although the blockchain systems that support smart contracts are powerful and expressive, the current implementation lacks transaction privacy protection. The entire sequence of activities is propagated through the network and recorded on the blockchain, and is publicly visible. If the parties in the transaction create a new pseudonym public key to increase their anonymity, the values ​​of all transactions and balances for each public key are still publicly available. The analysis of many blockchain systems have proved that user behaviors can lead to the uncovering of anonymity through analyzing the structure of the transaction graphs of the blockchain data.

The economic activities of organizations in the real world show the lack of privacy is the main obstacle to the wider application of decentralized smart contracts. In areas such as enterprise supply chain management, financial transactions, sealed bid auctions, social media behaviors and online shopping behaviors; there are many actions and processes that users consider to be confidential. Current anonymous blockchain systems, such as Zcash, Monerohave made some progress in designing privacy-protected cryptocurrencies, however, these systems have abandoned programmability and have not explored programmability without exposing transaction data in plaintext to transaction verifiers or miners.

The current release of the SERO system solves the above problems. The public chain system has the following outstanding features:

1. NIZK Algorithm Improvement

The engineering of enhancements are based on the contents of publication of Ben-Sassoon, Eli et al., issued in 2014 — ‘Succinct Non-Interactive Zero Knowledge for a von Neumann Architecture’. The algorithm further optimized the encryption process to be applicable in the setting of blockchain data infrastructure for the distributed network.

2. Encryption Process Optimizationt

Targeting the encryption performance issues of Zcash — the transaction often takes1 to 2 minutes to complete. SERO CHAIN redefines the entire encryption process to reduce transaction time. The resulting performance is over ten times faster than Zcash.

3. Clear and Easily Expandable Blockchain Structure

SERO CHAIN rebuilt the storage structure of Ethereum; SERO structure uses the method of the combination of historical and conditional states. The design aims to achieve the privacy and security features of the Token circulating on SERO CHAIN. The resulting design offers a greater expansion capability for the entire structure. The complete data block encryption process is clear and concise; Off-chain storage structure is also included.

4. Turing Complete Privacy Smart Contract

Through zero-knowledge proof and homomorphic encryption protocols, the smart contract on the blockchain supports different modes of Turingcomplete operation model. DApp developers can freely choose to issue assets with or without privacy protection attributes and the publication or the privacy of calculation details; assets include tokens and tickets that store complex data structures. The privacy-protected assets, using Turing complete online smart contracts allow DApp to issue privacy-protected tokens for different scenarios such as sealed bid auctions.

5. Smart Contract Involving Multiple Tokens

SERO CHAIN is able to use smart contracts for the issuance and trading of anonymous digital assets and supports the exchange of multiple, differentiated digital assets issued in SERO CHAIN ​​from the same smart contract. SERO CHAIN’s smart contracts are able to perform decentralized trading of different digital assets.

6. Support of Selective Privacy Audit

For complex business applications, users may need a trusted third-party to conduct financial audits of transactions. Users of the SERO’s ecology are able to make their choices and decide whether to give third-parties the permission to track specific information from the relevant transaction data to facilitate audits.

Through extensive research and development, the SERO team implements Turing complete smart contracts on anonymous blockchain system; therefore, greatly expanding the application of the blockchain systems. The issue of the anonymous crypto currency is no longer exclusive to a few that have extensive knowledge of cryptography. General system developers, with the business needs to issue anonymous crypto currency, can issue their own anonymous tokens on the SERO chain and establish their own privacy ecology. The Turing complete smart contracts on the current version of the SERO chain supports the issuance and exchange of privacy tickets with complex data structures. Anonymous tickets support complex data structure greatly increase the application scope of privacy smart contracts; allowing blockchain application developers to place business-related data securely on the chain without the concern of data privacy disclosure.

To support anonymity, the SERO team implemented non-interactive zero-knowledge proof — Super-zk (Super-zk is based on the mainstream NIZK technology). Super-zk allows the verification of validity on fully encrypted transactions. The address of all parties of the transaction and related transaction data continue to be anonymous. Super-zk has outstanding advantages compared to other anonymity methods, such as various types of coin mixers or ring signature technology. Super-zk features anonymization algorithm with extremely high security and maintains performance in different environments. The anonymous class libraries available in the field of computer science include zk-SNARKs, zk-STARKs, Bulletproofs among others. The SERO system currently uses libsnarks framework with the consideration for the maturity of the algorithm and the performance of the encryption implementation. SERO team has enhanced libsnarks library to further improve the practicality of the Super-zk system. The resulting performance is significantly faster speed for the proof generation. The improvement areas include adopting more efficient elliptic curves and the efficiency of its underlying hashing algorithms.

With the successful release of the SERO test system, the development of the SERO system and the expansion around its ecology will enter a new stage. SERO’s smart contract system is compatible with the Solidity, and ecosystem developers can develop and test privacy-related DApp applications on SERO’s IDE and test network. The SERO team will continue with system development on track with the timeline published in the white paper. SERO will continue to contribute productivity in various areas of privacy protection. Developers are welcome to join SERO’s open source R&D for system development.

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