Sponsored by Samsung Next, AMD and more
32 teams competed in the first ZPrize competition to accelerate hardware development for zero-knowledge proofs and bring the security and privacy of advanced cryptography to the masses.
For more information on the challenges, architects, and winners, check out the comprehensive results of the inaugural ZPrize here.
Today ZPrize announced the winners of the first ZPrize competition. In March 2022, Aleo, the leading ZKP protocol, launched the ZPrize competition, an industry-wide initiative to promote ZK hardware development and hyper-charge the deployment of zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs). With a total of 32 participants and a grand total prize of $4,415,000, the inaugural ZPrize competition successfully enhanced the baseline ZK technology algorithm and demonstrated the value of cross-industry collaboration in accelerating the future of the technology.
The idea of a hardware-based ZK competition was first conceived at ETHDenver in 2022 by a group of expert technologists and cryptographers, led by Aleo CEO Alex Pruden. The goals of the ZPrize competition include:
Improve Baseline Performance of Key General Algorithms
Increase Diversity and Availability of Low-Level Libraries for Cryptographic Proofs
Increase Awareness of the Groundbreaking Potential of Zero-Knowledge Crypto
From these goals emerged a competition with two overarching divisions, Open and Team.
- The Open category would come to consist of seven main categories for public goods with benefit to multiple protocols/proof systems.
- The Team category would consist of five categories defined by the individual teams specific to a given protocol/proof-system.
Most importantly, every submission regardless of category would be open-sourced at the end of the competition, pushing forward the industry and technology as a whole.
“While software-based zero-knowledge cryptography has advanced significantly over the past several years, hardware acceleration still has a lot of room for improvement.” said Alex Pruden, CEO of Aleo. “ We are already seeing important improvements in hardware performance because of the competition’s embracing of community and openness. In order to provide the foundation for a more developed ZK infrastructure, it is essential to create an ecosystem that encourages innovation.”
As an open-source endeavor, ZPrize brought together traditional hardware behemoths like, AMD and CoreWeave with investment groups like Samsung Next, and web3 projects such as Mina Protocol, Polygon, Manta Network, Anoma, and Aleo.
Competition At a Glance:
Here’s a quick rundown of what happened during the 2022 ZPrize competition.
Total Improvement Across Categories: 2,536.26%
Total Prize Money Awarded: $4,415,000
The 2022 Annual ZPrize winners in each category include:
- zkSync & Yrrid Software (tied for first place)
- Gregor Mitscha-Baude
- Manta Network & Jump Crypto
- Euler’s Smile
- ZPrize (Baseline)