ZK proofs could revolutionize the internet beyond Web3, says Aleo executive

ZK proofs could revolutionize the internet beyond Web3, says Aleo executive

Zero-knowledge proofs: Solving the Privacy Problem of the Internet

The internet has revolutionized the way we communicate, access information, and conduct transactions. However, it has also brought along numerous privacy concerns. In a recent interview with Cointelegraph at the Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC), Brennen Schlueter, the marketing chief at Aleo, a privacy-focused infrastructure platform, highlighted the potential of zero-knowledge proofs (ZK proofs) to address the privacy issues plaguing the internet today.

The Privacy Challenge

Schlueter pointed out that the modern internet was not initially designed with user privacy as a top priority. As a result, vulnerabilities exist whenever data needs to be transferred or custodied. This poses a significant threat to users’ privacy, as their personal information can easily be breached online. However, ZK proofs offer a promising solution.

Understanding Zero-Knowledge Proofs

ZK proofs enable secure information transfer between two parties without revealing unnecessary details to the receiver. It allows the originator to prove specific information without disclosing sensitive data. For instance, ZK proofs could verify an individual’s age to enter a bar without revealing their actual age or identity to a security guard.

Reshaping the Internet with ZK Proofs

While ZK proofs have gained popularity in improving blockchain scalability through ZK rollups, Schlueter believes that their potential extends far beyond the blockchain realm. He suggests that ZK proofs could revolutionize the entire internet by prioritizing user privacy.

“With zero-knowledge proofs, we can actually start to see how data can be secured from the start by revealing only the necessary information,” Schlueter explained. This shift would fundamentally change the way we navigate and interact with the internet.

Benefits for Developers and Data Custodians

Schlueter emphasized that ZK proofs can significantly simplify the lives of developers and data custodians. Currently, they often face the dilemma of choosing between creating a private environment or optimizing user experience. However, ZK proofs can reconcile these conflicting requirements.

“Those two things are at war with the way that we currently structure the internet,” Schlueter added. By adopting ZK proofs, developers and data custodians can create a secure environment without compromising user experience.

Expanding the Applications of ZK Proofs

Tiancheng Xie, the chief technology officer of Polyhedra, a ZK-powered interoperability platform, highlighted the potential of ZK proofs for artificial intelligence (AI) tools. The privacy and censorship-resistant properties offered by ZK proofs can enhance the scalability and connectivity of AI applications.

Schlueter further mentioned that sectors like finance, identity, and gaming can benefit from ZK proofs. Financial institutions, in particular, are increasingly turning to ZK solutions to enhance privacy and security.


As the internet continues to evolve, privacy concerns remain a critical issue. However, with the emergence of zero-knowledge proofs, there is hope for a more secure and private online environment. ZK proofs have the potential to reshape the internet, prioritize user privacy, and simplify the development process. By leveraging this technology, we can create a future where privacy and user experience coexist harmoniously across various sectors, from finance to gaming.

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