Aztec - Reading Assignment

This is the most thorough, non-technical (well, not-too-technical) description I could find of Aztec. If you can find something better, please let me know. Read it, answer the questions and post your answers below:

  1. Why are traditional zkp systems unworkable on Ethereum?
  2. What is a ‘Note’ and why is it necessary?
  3. What are the two functions of the Aztec Cryptography Engine?
  4. What piece(s) of information are shielded on Aztec ‘out-of-the-box’?
  5. How does Aztec plan to shield the remaining pieces of information?
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  1. There is a number of reasons for that, such as high on-chain verification gas cost due to range proofs, slow proof construction and lack of assets’ interoperability.
  2. Notes are the core of AZTEC transactions, they represent the amount of an AZTEC asset which is owned by a user on a specific Note Registry. They are basically a Bitcoin UTXOs equivalent.
  3. ACE is used to delegate proofs’ validation to specific validation contracts and to process state update instructions related to successfully validated proofs inside note registries.
  4. Transaction inputs and outputs.
  5. Full privacy could be achieved by combining stealth addresses, hidden transaction graphs and a trusted party to relay transactions.
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1.The validation of traditional Zero-knowledge systems on Ethereum is unworkable. This is due to a combination of on-chain verification gas costs, slow proof construction, and a lack of interoperability between assets.

  1. AZTEC follows a UTXO model similar to that of Bitcoin. The core of any AZTEC transaction is a Note. The state of notes are managed by a Note Registry for any given asset.
    The user’s balance of any AZTEC asset is made up of the sum of all of the valid notes their address owns in a given Note Registry .

3.ACE has two primary functions; first to delegate the validation of proofs to specific validation contracts and secondly to process state update instructions inside note registries that result from the successful validated proofs.

4.The inputs and outputs of any transactions are represented as encrypted numbers and the value hidden from public view.

  1. Combining stealth addresses and a trusted party to relay transactions achieves full anonymity. Using a trusted third party hides the payment of gas and provides full anonymity. Future updates to the protocol will allow the relay of transactions whilst obscuring the payment of gas in a decentralised manor. At that point fully private transactions will be possible.
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  1. Why are traditional zkp systems unworkable on Ethereum?

    Due to a combination of on-chain verification gas costs, slow proof construction, and a lack of interoperability between assets.

  2. What is a ‘Note’ and why is it necessary?

    The core of any AZTEC transaction is a Note.

  3. What are the two functions of the Aztec Cryptography Engine?

    :black_small_square: Delegate the validation of proofs to specific validation contracts and,

    :black_small_square: To process state update instructions inside note registries that result from the successful validated proofs.

  4. What piece(s) of information are shielded on Aztec ‘out-of-the-box’?

    AZTEC enables confidential transactions out of the box. The inputs and outputs of any transaction are represented as encrypted numbers and the value hidden from public view.

  5. How does Aztec plan to shield the remaining pieces of information?

    Future updates to the protocol will allow the relay of transactions whilst obscuring the payment of gas in a decentralised manor. At that point fully private transactions will be possible.

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  1. Due to a combination of on-chain verification gas costs, slow proof construction, and a lack of interoperability between assets.
  2. The core of any AZTEC transaction.
  3. First to delegate the validation of proofs to specific validation contracts and secondly to process state update instructions inside note registries that result from the successful validated proofs.
  4. The inputs and outputs of any transactions are represented as encrypted numbers and the value hidden from public view.
  5. Combining stealth addresses and a trusted party to relay transactions achieves full anonymity. Using a trusted third party hides the payment of gas and provides full anonymity. Future updates to the protocol will allow the relay of transactions whilst obscuring the payment of gas in a decentralised manor.
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  1. This is due to a combination of on-chain verification gas costs, a slow proof construction, and a lack of interoperability between the different assets.
  2. A « Note » is the core of AZTEC transactions.
  3. To delegate the validation of proofs to specific validation contracts and to process state update instructions inside note registries that result from the successful validated proofs.
  4. The transaction inputs and outputs are shielded.
  5. Through combining hidden transaction graphs, a trusted party to relay transactions and stealth addresses.
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  1. would be too dam complex and instruction demanding Gas costs would be too high.
  2. the ‘Note’ is the encrypted value of an asset
  3. Delegate_Validation_Of_Proof and Update_State_After_Proof_Ok “ACE has two primary functions; first to delegate the validation of proofs to specific validation contracts and secondly to process state update instructions inside note registries that result from the successful validated proofs.”
  4. ‘Note’ is the cryptographic piece of a ‘value’ that is shielded. With the ‘Note’ one can build CTs and CAs. CTs Confidential Transactions (“The inputs and outputs of any transactions are represented as encrypted numbers and the value hidden from public view.” “Combining stealth addresses and a trusted party to relay transactions achieves full anonymity” (trusted to pay the Gas operations/transactions)) and CAs Confidential Assets (“AZTEC has reference implementations of EIP1724 for the supported asset types”)
  5. Future updates to the protocol will allow the relay of transactions whilst obscuring the payment of gas in a decentralised manor. At that point fully private transactions will be possible.
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  1. Due to a combination of on-chain verification gas costs, slow proof construction, and a lack of interoperability between assets.
  2. It is the core of any AZTEC transaction.
  3. First to delegate the validation of proofs to specific validation contracts and secondly to process state update instructions inside note registries that result from the successful validated proofs.
  4. The inputs and outputs of any transactions are shielded.
  5. By combining stealth addresses and a trusted party to relay transactions.
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  1. Why are traditional zkp systems unworkable on Ethereum?
    Reasons are on-chain verification gas costs, slow proof construction, and a lack of interoperability between assets.

  2. What is a ‘Note’ and why is it necessary?
    They are equivalent to Bitcoin’s UTXO, the building block of Aztec. ZK proofs involving notes can be constructed.

  3. What are the two functions of the Aztec Cryptography Engine?

  • delegate the validation of proofs to specific validation contracts
  • process state update instructions inside note registries that result from the successful validated proofs.
  1. What piece(s) of information are shielded on Aztec ‘out-of-the-box’?
    The inputs and outputs of any transactions are represented as encrypted numbers and the value hidden from public view.

  2. How does Aztec plan to shield the remaining pieces of information?
    Combining stealth addresses and a trusted party to relay transactions achieves full anonymity.

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1- This is due to a combination of on-chain verification gas costs, slow proof construction and a lack of interoperability between assets.

2- It is the equivalent to a UTXO in BTC.

3- Delegate the validation of proofs to specific validation contracts and to process state update instructions inside note registries that result from the successful validated proofs.

4- The inputs and outputs of any transactions and the amount is hidden from public view.

5- The protocol is forward compatible stealth addresses and as AZTEC does not mandate the transaction sender to be a party in the transaction, the transaction graph can be hidden. Combining stealth addresses and a trusted party to relay transactions achieves full anonymity. Using a trusted third party hides the payment of gas and provides full anonymity. Future updates to the protocol will allow the relay of transactions whilst obscuring the payment of gas in a decentralised manor. At that point fully private transactions will be possible.

1 Like
  1. Why are traditional zkp systems unworkable on Ethereum?

    • The validation of traditional Zero-knowledge systems on Ethereum is unworkable. This is due to a combination of on-chain verification gas costs, slow proof construction, and a lack of interoperability between assets. The lack of interoperability and inability for proof construction to run on a clients browser make these systems unsuitable for use in real world financial applications. One of the largest costs inside a Zero-knowledge system is the range proof.
  2. What is a ‘Note’ and why is it necessary?

    • A note is the core of an AZTEC transaction and it is similar to the utxo model of Bitcoin. The state of notes is managed by a Note Registry. The user’s balance of any AZTEC asset is made up of the sum of all of the valid notes their address owns in a given Note Registry.
    • As Ethereum doesn’t have UTXO’s like Bitcoin, it is difficult to apply workable and cost-effective privacy features. That is why the AZTEC protocol kind of re-introduces UTXO’s to Ethereum (which is what Ethereum stepped away from).
  3. What are the two functions of the Aztec Cryptography Engine?

    • To delegate the validation of proofs to specific validation contracts
    • To process state update instructions inside note registries that result from the successful validated proofs.
  4. What piece(s) of information are shielded on Aztec ‘out-of-the-box’?

    • The inputs and outputs of a transaction are hidden from the public but the transaction parties remain public.
  5. How does Aztec plan to shield the remaining pieces of information?

    • By combining stealth addresses and a trusted party to relay transactions.
    • Using a trusted third party hides the payment of gas and provides full anonymity. Future updates to the protocol will allow the relay of transactions whilst obscuring the payment of gas in a decentralised manor. At that point fully private transactions will be possible.
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Why are traditional zkp systems unworkable on Ethereum?

On Ethereum the ZK proofs would consume gas and since these are computationally expensive it would eat up most or even all of gas allocated to the transaction.

What is a ‘Note’ and why is it necessary?

Notes hold the state of UTXOs

What are the two functions of the Aztec Cryptography Engine?
  • Delegate validation of proofs to specialized contracts
  • Update the state of notes
What piece(s) of information are shielded on Aztec ‘out-of-the-box’?

The values of inputs and outputs are hidden, but not sender and receivers.

How does Aztec plan to shield the remaining pieces of information?

By adding support for stealth addresses. This would at first require a centralized trusted contract to relay the transaction, but a decentralized solution is also planned.

Not too keen on the centralized components of Aztec as it’s a single point of failure, but at least it’s protocol level so you’re trusting the code- which is not much different than trusting Maker when using DeFi.

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  • Why are traditional zkp systems unworkable on Ethereum?
    Because the validation of traditional Zero-knowledge systems on Ethereum is unworkable. This is due to a combination of on-chain verification gas costs, slow proof construction, and a lack of interoperability between assets.

  • What is a ‘Note’ and why is it necessary?
    AZTEC follows a UTXO model similar to that of Bitcoin. The core of any AZTEC transaction is a “Note”. The state of notes are managed by a “Note Registry” for any given asset.

  • What are the two functions of the Aztec Cryptography Engine?
    First to delegate the validation of proofs to specific validation contracts and secondly to process state update instructions inside note registries that result from the successful validated proofs.

  • What piece(s) of information are shielded on Aztec ‘out-of-the-box’?
    The inputs and outputs of any transactions are represented as encrypted numbers and the value hidden from public view.

  • How does Aztec plan to shield the remaining pieces of information?
    Full privacy could be achieved by combining stealth addresses, hidden transaction graphs and a trusted party to relay transactions.

1 Like

1. Why are traditional zkp systems unworkable on Ethereum?
Traditional zkp systems are unworkable on Ethereum because of on-chain gas costs, slow proof construction, and a lack of interoperability between assets.

2. What is a ‘Note’ and why is it necessary?
A ‘Note’ is the core of any Aztec transaction. It is necessary as it allows the interoperability between dApps in zero knowledge.

3. What are the two functions of the Aztec Cryptography Engine?
The two functions of Aztec Cryptography Engine are to delegate validation proofs to the necessary validation contracts and to process update instructions inside note registries from said validated proofs.

4. What piece(s) of information are shielded on Aztec ‘out-of-the-box’?
Inputs and outputs, through Confidential Transactions, are shielded on Aztec ‘out-of-the-box.’

5. How does Aztec plan to shield the remaining pieces of information?
Aztec plans to shield the remaining pieces of information by relaying transactions through a trusted third party while obscuring the gas costs in a decentralized fashion.

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  1. they are unworkable because, because of high in chain gas costs, slow construction and lack of asset interoperability
    2.a note represents the amount of aztec asset owned by a user on a specific note registry. they are a bit like a btc utxo
    3.ACE is used to delegate proof validation and to process state updates instructions inside note registries
    4.transaction inputs and outputs
    5 by using stealth adresses, hidden transactions graphs and trusted party relay transactions
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  1. Why are traditional zkp systems unworkable on Ethereum?
    In order to verify the range proofs that a ZK system is based on, we need to perform some expensive calculations that would incur in tremendous gas costs. The inability for proof constructions to run on the client side also makes worsens this situation.

  2. What is a ‘Note’ and why is it necessary?
    Is the core of any AZTEC transaction and represent a UTXO. They are needed for interoperability (convert to other tokens, swapping, minting, etc).

  3. What are the two functions of the Aztec Cryptography Engine?
    To delegate the validation of proofs to specific validation contracts and to process state update instructions inside note registries that result from the successful validated proofs.

  4. What piece(s) of information are shielded on Aztec ‘out-of-the-box’?
    Transaction inputs, outputs and value.

  5. How does Aztec plan to shield the remaining pieces of information?
    Combining stealth addresses and a trusted party to relay transactions (in order to hide the payment of gas).

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Q1: High gas costs bc of range proofs, slow proof process, lack of asset’s interoperability.

Q2: A note is the core of an Aztec TX , all of these notes are held within a Note Registry, and the sum of all the valid notes is their Aztec Balance.

Q3: to delegate the validation of proofs to specific validation contracts and also to process state update instructions inside note registries that come from the successful validated proofs

Q4: Inputs and output #s of TXs are encrypted and hidden from public view making confidential TXs possible

Q5: Future updates will help them hide gas payment making fully private TXs possible.

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  1. The validation of traditional Zero-knowledge systems on Ethereum is unworkable. This is due to a combination of on-chain verification gas costs, slow proof construction, and a lack of interoperability between assets.

  2. AZTEC follows a UTXO model similar to that of Bitcoin. The core of any AZTEC transaction is a Note. The state of notes are managed by a Note Registry for any given asset.
    The user’s balance of any AZTEC asset is made up of the sum of all of the valid notes their address owns in a given Note Registry .

  3. ACE is used to delegate proofs’ validation to specific validation contracts and to process state update instructions related to successfully validated proofs inside note registries.

  4. Transaction inputs and outputs.

  5. Full privacy could be achieved by combining stealth addresses, hidden transaction graphs and a trusted party to relay transactions.

1 Like
  1. Why are traditional zkp systems unworkable on Ethereum?
    Due to a combination of on-chain verification gas costs, slow proof construction, and a lack of interoperability between assets.

  2. What is a ‘Note’ and why is it necessary?
    Notes are the core of AZTEC transactions, they represent the amount of an AZTEC asset which is owned by a user on a specific Note Registry. They are basically a Bitcoin UTXOs equivalent.

  3. What are the two functions of the Aztec Cryptography Engine?
    To delegate the validation of proofs to specific validation contracts and to process state update instructions inside note registries that result from the successful validated proofs.

  4. What piece(s) of information are shielded on Aztec ‘out-of-the-box’?
    AZTEC enables confidential transactions out of the box. The inputs and outputs of any transaction are represented as encrypted numbers and the value hidden from public view.

  5. How does Aztec plan to shield the remaining pieces of information?
    Future updates to the protocol will allow the relay of transactions whilst obscuring the payment of gas in a decentralised manor. At that point fully private transactions will be possible.

1 Like
  1. (a) on-chain gas verification costs

    (b) slow proof construction

    © lack of interoperability between assets

  2. Notes are at the core of any AZTEC transaction and are analogous to utxos. A user’s asset balance is made up of the sum of all valid notes their address owns in a given Note Registry. They are used to keep track of who owns what amount of what asset.

  3. (a) to delegate the validation of proofs to specific validation contracts

    (b) to update the state of Note Registries upon the successful validation of proofs.

  4. (a) Inputs are hidden.

    (b) Outputs are hidden.

    © Values are hidden.

  5. AZTEC plans to shield gas payments in the future through employing trusted third parties who would relay transactions.

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