Partnership announcement: Aligned X Ingonyama

Published on: 
Apr 15, 2024

Provers aligned with Verifiers


A Zero-Knowledge Proof (ZKP) is an interactive protocol between two parties: a Prover and a Verifier. If the interaction is based on a public-coin approach, it is possible to use the Fiat-Shamir transform to make the protocol non-interactive. A feature of Non-Interactiveness (NI) is that the proof becomes publicly verifiable. Measured by adoption, publicly verifiable proving systems are dominating the market, enabling innovations such as ZK virtual machines and scaling solutions.

A simple observation is that with NI proving systems, Provers and Verifiers are independent from one another. Ingonyama is solving the infrastructure problem for Provers. Aligned is solving the infrastructure problem for Verifiers. As it turns out, unsurprisingly, these are two very different problems, yet they complement each other. Our partnership with Aligned is geared towards jointly building a truly full-stack ZK infrastructure platform.

Details on the nature of our partnership are expanded upon below.

Provers are not equal. Verifiers should be.

ZK provers are data and compute intensive. To make them cost-efficient we must innovate across hardware, software and algorithms in tandem. There is no single answer to the question of which ZKP is better, and to be honest, it is unlikely there will ever be. A team building towards a specific type of computation can achieve significant gains in efficiency if they build their prover to be specific to the compute problem at hand (i.e. Modulus Labs Remainder is a specialized zkML prover). The design space is so wide such that provers can be tailored to a variety of requirements: client/server, proof size, field, security, throughput, energy, memory consumption, hash function and so on.

Verification on the other hand, should simply allow all provers to exist. This mission statement is MUCH harder than it seems. Ideally, we would like to have a unified treatment for all verifiers: verification for any prover should be enabled from everywhere, accessible to all, extremely cheap, and with sufficient security. And all of this should be modifiable, ready to introduce new verifiers with low effort. This, we believe, is key to driving ZK innovation and growth. And this is what Aligned is here to do.

Looking ahead

One of the nicest things about ZK is that to improve ZK, we usually just need to pour on some more ZK. This case is no different — for example as can be seen from the Aligned whitepaper, to build a successful verification infrastructure, we need prover aggregation, and we need it to be efficient.

Our partnership with Aligned will begin by supporting the layer’s needs around proving. We will work together to spec, implement, and deploy the required provers infrastructure, first to bootstrap the network, and then to scale it.

Interacting with Aligned for the past several months has been a delight. The pace at which this team executes has been an inspiration, and we hope that by joining forces we can push this important piece of decentralized infrastructure into reality in record time.

Ingonyama is Aligned


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Ingonyama is commited to developing hardware for a private future using Zero Knowledge Proofs.

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