Web engineers have been working for a long time to determine if there is a way to prove something without revealing any data to support the claim. Zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) technology has enabled the deployment of cryptographic algorithms to verify the validity of data ownership claims without disclosing them. These confirmation mechanisms have led to the creation of advanced mechanisms that improve privacy and security.
The use of blockchain solves the problems associated with centralization, and the lack of privacy in decentralized applications (DApps) can be balanced using ZKP cryptographic algorithms.
This article provides an introduction to zero-knowledge proof, portable identity, issues with current identity solutions, secure portable blockchain-based zero-knowledge identity solutions, untrusted authentication, and the password credential creation process.
What is a Zero Knowledge Certificate?
A zero-knowledge proof is a cryptographic technique that establishes the authenticity of a particular claim. This allows the protocol to demonstrate to the verifier that a claim about certain sensitive information is accurate without revealing any sensitive information. This technology allows you to create both interactive and non-interactive zero-knowledge secure applications.
An interactive proof requires several communication mechanisms between two parties. On the other hand, a non-interactive zero-knowledge proof requires a one-time exchange of information between participants (proofs and verifier). This improves the efficiency of zero knowledge by reducing the exchange of data between prover and verifier.
Zero-knowledge proof works by deliberately showing the verifier that it has an identifying secret without revealing the secret itself. For example, one could deliberately store an asymmetric key pair and use the identifying secret as the private key to answer a request sent with the public key. This culminates in a situation where the verifier is convinced that the prover has the key, but the prover does not disclose it.
With zero-knowledge proof technology, a user can demonstrate that they are of age to access a product or service without disclosing their age. Or someone can prove they have enough income to meet the criteria without having to share accurate bank balance information.
Zero-knowledge identity authentication
The need for companies to manage large amounts of consumer data while maintaining consumer privacy and challenging regulatory compliance has led to a growing need for innovative digital identity solutions. Zero-knowledge proofs have helped simplify the concept of portable digital identity.
Identity portability refers to the ability of users to create a single set of digital identity credentials that can be used across multiple platforms. A digital identity management scheme combines unique identifiers on a user’s device, relevant legal documents, and biometric data such as a face ID or fingerprints.
Understanding how a decentralized identity (DID) wallet is stored on a smartphone will help you understand better. The issuer attaches the public key to the verifiable credentials issued to them. Credentials stored securely in the wallet are passed to verifiers. All the verifier needs to do is verify that the correct issuer has cryptographically signed the credentials submitted by the user.
Problems in widely used identification solutions
Serious data leaks, excessive privacy, and questionable authentication have become the enemy of web applications. This is drastically different from the first web architecture, when user identification was not a priority.
Traditional authentication methods are no longer sufficient due to our complex and ever-changing security environment. These methods severely limit users’ control over their identity and risk management, thereby compromising access to sensitive data. Typically, companies use different identity services to solve various identity problems.
Acquisition of data from various sources using various advanced technologies has made the storage of identity-related data a complex task. Collecting multi-dimensional data while adhering to a large set of rules has made it difficult for companies to quickly resolve identity issues, detect fraud, and uncover business opportunities at the same time.