Snark: Why Snark?

Snark Network
Jun 18, 2018 · 4 min read

What is the problem that needs to be resolved?

Scaling Blockchain.

Current iteration of blockchains suffer from the following constraints;

  • Data bloat, given the deterministic nature of blockchains each transaction must be saved from genesis. This requires data to grow exponentially. Pruning solutions must be implemented for Blockchain to grow. The Ethereum DLT is currently over 1 TB of data.
  • The nature of the EVM requires data to be stored on-chain. This further increases the issue of Data bloat. A new design paradigm is required that shifts data to off-chain while saving proofs on-chain.
  • Execution scalability, the nature of the EVM and specifically consensus requires shared execution of each EVM transaction, instead these should be decoupled to allow for asynchronous generalized processing.
  • Network scalability, current p2p design, while highly decentralized, has faults in terms of propagation, a new design is required that allows for faster network propagation and thus consensus.
  • Economic abstraction, until dApp developers are capable of fueling their dApps with their own native tokens, they will continue to fork and build their own blockchain solutions.

TLDR; Exponential Data Growth, Generalized Asynchronous Execution, Network Scalability, Economic Abstraction, and Asynchronous Consensus.

Why is it considered a problem?

  • If a DLT continues to grow exponentially it will eventually preclude systems from joining. This will stop the decentralized nature of blockchain as well as miner adoption to maintain a system.
  • Generalized execution can’t safely occur to compete with the current cloud based solution providers unless concurrency and linear scalability can be achieved.
  • Current synchronous transactional processing creates a hard limit to transactional throughput and thus limits the maximum potential capacity of blockchain based solutions.
  • Economic abstraction prohibits dApp developers from adopting a blockchain solution.

TLDR; Exclusion of miners, lack of competition with existing generalized execution providers (AWS EC2), transactional limits of blockchains, economic abstraction barrier to adoption for dApp developers.

What will be the benefits of solving it?

  • A self pruning minimum size blockchain solution that could be run on a handheld device.
  • Off-chain secured execution with on-chain rewards for distributed computing.
  • An Enterprise and production ready blockchain solution.
  • A dApp developer friendly eco system for dApp development.

TLDR; A self managed blockchain that could run on a handheld device. Real world competition to existing execution providers. Adoption by dApp developers. Production scale ready blockchain.

What are the key aspects of this problem that this product/project will solve?

  • Data bloat via Conflict-free replicated data types and Zero Knowledge proofs
  • Linear off-chain execution scalability via Zero Knowledge VMs
  • Asynchronous Consensus & transaction finality
  • A dApp developer friendly solution to Economic Abstraction

What is the existing domain knowledge of the problem by people writing the whitepaper?

  • 4 years production scale experience with p2p mesh networks
  • 5 years production experience with Cryptography
  • 5 years big data pipeline architecture and development (specifically immutable concatenated logs)
  • 4 years AI and FinTech machine modelling solutions
  • 5 years high transactional processing
  • 1 year of prototype dApp development

What will the proposed solution look like?

The solution will consist of 5 primary solutions, each designed in a modular way as to allow integration to existing blockchain solutions.

  • Off-chain Zero Knowledge proof secured VM execution. This could be leveraged by any VM (or EVM) compatible blockchain solution and allow for off-chain execution with on-chain attestation.
  • Reduced blockchain size and transmission via singe Zero Knowledge Proof Merkle Trees
  • Asynchronous Consensus and Finality
  • Network Nodes infrastructure solution for existing blockchains
  • Multi asset design for Economic Abstraction

Finally the new Snark Network will be an inclusive network designed with all of the above design principals in mind.

TLDR; Off-chain EVM plug and play module. Network Node boot node Ethereum implementation. New scaling Blockchain.

What, specifically, will be delivered by this product/project and how will it address the key aspects of the problem?

  • An off-chain Zero Knowledge secured EVM with smart contracts for on-chain attestation.
  • Ethereum compatible network nodes for integration into existing boot nodes.
  • A generalized scaling blockchain

Other thoughts?

It is often difficult to communicate and message the issues and concerns being addresses by a solution such as Snark. The issue is one that pertains to deep domain knowledge of blockchain and infrastructure solutions and their current limitations. The average user is not aware of the current scaling and data bloat issues we face with current blockchains and bringing awareness will take time and effort.

We are essentially fighting problems that don’t yet exist, but that we forsee as prohibits to the next evolution of blockchain.

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