On Wednesday, Polygon announced that they’re jumping on the zero-knowledge bandwagon for their new Web3 ID service.
Polygon announced Polygon ID, a web3 identification service on the Ethereum sidechain. The service verifies user credentials for blockchain-based applications without revealing personal information. It will reach approximately 4 million users through launch partners including Collab.Land, Fractal, Kaleido and The Sandbox. Polygon Labs is integrating this service into Polygon zkEVM, which will be released this month.
Unlike competing identity solutions, Polygon ID uses zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs). With ZKPs, sensitive information is not publicly uploaded to the blockchain to be validated. Consequently, ZKPs are becoming an increasingly popular technique in Web3.
Polygon sees this as a “fundamental shift in the Internet’s trust model.” And they might not be wrong. Polygon ID offers benefits for both businesses and individuals. For businesses, it eliminates the challenges of managing user data. For individuals, it provides greater control over their identity and discretion in sharing personal data with institutions and private organizations.
In tweeting the announcement, Polygon said “The future is autonomous.” A reference to the ecosystem-wide movement towards self-sovereign identity (SSI).
SSI allows individuals to create and manage their own identities stored on a distributed ledger. The technique protects information using public key cryptography, and individuals control what they disclose. SSI allows for greater privacy and security while reducing the risk of identity theft and fraud. However, there are challenges to widespread adoption, including interoperability and ensuring accuracy. However, SSI could transform digital identity and impact areas such as finance, digital voting and healthcare.
What are zero knowledge proofs?
Recently, ZKPs have become increasingly important in the blockchain industry. Using this technique, a user can prove that they know something without actually revealing what they know. This makes it possible to provide proof of ownership or authorization without revealing sensitive information.
ZKPs make blockchains faster and more scalable by enabling off-chain calculations, verifying multiple proofs simultaneously, and enabling more efficient data storage and retrieval.
Some blockchain layer 1s that use ZKP include Zcash, Tezos, Cosmos, and Aleph Zero. More chains are exploring their implementation.
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