Leading Web3 companies issue $7 million challenge to advance zero-knowledge technology

A coalition of 32 leading companies, foundations and funds joined forces to launch ZPricean industry-sponsored contest offering $7 million in prizes to accelerate zero-knowledge crypto.

Inspired by the famous XPrize competitions that used private contributions to fuel advances in spaceflight and ocean health, ZPrize will see teams compete for prizes by designing new algorithms and techniques to advance existing zero-knowledge systems.

Big names unite for zero-knowledge technology

ZPrize was created to support the development needed to expand the future of blockchain and accommodate more common use cases for the technology.

Alex Pruden, COO of Aleo and founder of ZPrize Initiative, said CryptoSlate that the competition would provide the industry with the foundation it needs to evolve into the mainstream. According to Pruden:

“The goal of the ZPrize is to spur a leap forward in zero-knowledge cryptography that so many web3 protocol and application developers have been waiting for to scale their products to millions.”

He added that:

“The ZPrize sponsors represent not just an industry, but a united community of believers in this technology. We share a collective desire to turn these exciting academic ideas into a deployed reality. With the ZPrize, we are advancing the state of the art to form the bricks of the technological base that will evolve and secure the next generation Web.

Nearly two dozen companies have joined the initiative as sponsors, including Algorand, Celo, Consensys, Ethereum Foundation, harmony oneMatter Labs, Polychain Capital and Polygon.

Teams will compete in various categories that sponsors have identified as important for practical applications of zero-knowledge systems. Submissions will be judged against existing technical benchmarks, with the most significant improvements getting the best rewards. Contest winners will open their challenge solution for the entire community to access, the ZPrize initiative said.

The implications of zero-knowledge technology go far beyond the Web3 industry. Traditional technology companies have recognized the importance of such systems and are beginning to take a more active role in supporting and developing the sector. AMD, the world’s largest chipmaker, is one such legacy company and will provide hardware for the competition.

The ZPrize initiative said one of the most promising approaches to scaling zero-knowledge technology is through the use of specialized hardware like field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). AMD will provide state-of-the-art hardware – like its Varium C1100 blockchain accelerator card – to competing teams in the competition to develop solutions.

Hamid Salehi, director of product marketing at AMD, told CryptoSlate that integrating zero-knowledge cryptography into a blockchain platform is essential for widespread adoption of the technology, but comes with a workload. significantly increased computation.

“FPGAs are uniquely positioned to efficiently accelerate the zero-knowledge protocol, at the hardware level, to create scalable blockchain solutions. AMD-Xilinx is proud to support the ZPrize competition with our FPGA-based accelerators to empower the community to create innovative solutions that help advance zero-knowledge technology.

The competition will begin on May 15.

ZPrize sponsors include, in alphabetical order, 0xPARC, Aleo, Algorand, Anoma, Aztec Protocol, Celo, CoreWeave, DZK, Espresso Systems, Ethereum Foundation, Findora, Harmony One, Kora, Manta Network, Mina Protocol, Matter Labs, Polkadot Pioneers Price, Polychain Capital, Polygon, RISC0, Trapdoor Tech, Zero Knowledge Validator

Donald E. Patel