zkProofers: Enhancing the Web3 Experience For All

zkProofers leverage zero-knowledge proofs (ZKP) to prove if a user is in fact who they claim to be. So what exactly are zkProofers and how do they improve the Web3 experience?

Jun 12, 2024


Ensuring security, privacy, and efficiency is paramount for the Web3 space, as it approaches one billion wallets created to date. Among the innovative solutions driving this revolution are zkProofers, the nodes employed by Humanity Protocol to tackle some of the most pressing issues in the Web3 world — Sybils, deepfakes, and fraud.

zkProofers leverage zero-knowledge proofs (ZKP) to prove if a user is in fact who they claim to be. So what exactly are zkProofers and how do they improve the Web3 experience?

Understanding zkProofers

zkProofers are specialized nodes within Humanity Protocol’s Proof of Humanity (PoH) consensus mechanism that utilize zero-knowledge proofs to validate interactions without exposing sensitive data. This means Humanity Protocol is secured by a large network of zkProofers that ensure users are real who they claim to be without revealing their identity.

The fundamental principle behind zkProofs is that they allow one party (the prover) to demonstrate the validity of a statement to another party (the verifier) without revealing the underlying information. This ensures privacy and security, as only the necessary proof of validity is shared.

How zkProofers Mitigate Bot Activity

Bots have become a nuisance in the digital realm, disrupting services, skewing data, and compromising security. According to a study by Imperva, 47.7% of all internet traffic in 2023 came from bots, while 30% of bad bots came through automated traffic.

In Web3, where decentralized applications (dApps) and blockchain transactions lay at the heart of the network, preventing bot activity is crucial. Failure to do so can result in instances like Solana’s outage in April, which saw 75% of transactions fail because of bots seeking arbitrage opportunities. zkProofers can contribute to mitigating this problem in several ways.

zkProofers can verify user identities without exposing personal details. By using zero-knowledge proofs, they can confirm that a user is legitimate without revealing who they are. This makes it significantly harder for bots to masquerade as genuine users.

One of the most critical applications of zkProofers is in distinguishing between humans and bots. Even paid verification methods can often be bypassed by sophisticated bots. zkProofers, however, can implement more complex verification mechanisms on top of Humanity Protocol’s Sybil-resistant network, making it exponentially more challenging for bots to fool the system.

By ensuring that only verified human users can access certain resources or perform specific actions, zkProofers help prevent the wastage of resources on bots. This is particularly important in decentralized networks where resources like computational power and storage are finite and valuable.

How is this done?

When an individual needs to demonstrate the truth of a particular statement (in this case, their identity) without revealing any underlying data, such as their name or location, they produce a Verifiable Credential (VC) that was generated by the issuer, the party that wants to prove a this individual's identity.

The zkProofer then checks the proof’s validity. This step involves mathematical checks that confirm the proof was correctly constructed and that it corresponds to a true statement without the zkProofers ever seeing the original data. This process is computationally efficient, meaning it can be performed quickly even as the underlying statements become more complex, thanks to an industry-leading data availability layer.

In return, zkProofers earn rewards in the form of $HP tokens, as well as other tokens from partner networks that are also often the issuers of these VCs. By employing these algorithms, zkProofers ensure that sensitive information remains confidential while still providing verifiable proof of the truth. This mechanism allows zkProofers to effectively validate transactions, user identities, and other critical interactions in the Web3 ecosystem, enhancing both security and privacy.

Advancing beyond traditional nodes

zkProofers represent an advancement in the quest to build a secure, private, and efficient Web3 ecosystem. By harnessing the power of zero-knowledge proofs, they offer robust solutions to mitigate bot activity, preserve user privacy, and enhance security. 

As the digital world continues to embrace decentralization, the role of zkProofers in ensuring a seamless and trustworthy experience cannot be overstated. Their implementation in Humanity Protocol marks a promising step towards a more secure and user-centric outlook for Web3.