Nil Foundation and Semiconductor Startup Partner to Collaborate on ZK Proofs Software, Hardware

The effort will accelerate the deployment of zero-knowledge proofs, one of the hottest trends in blockchain technology, they said.

AccessTimeIconJul 17, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Jul 17, 2023 at 3:03 p.m. UTC
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Paris, FRANCE — Software developer Nil Foundation, also known as =nil; Foundation, and semiconductor startup Fabric Cryptography said they are working to ensure their products are compatible as they look to accelerate the deployment of zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs.

Zero-knowledge proofs are a type of cryptographic process that allow one party to prove to another that something is true while revealing no information about the statement itself, beyond its validity. They are widely held as one of the most important advances in blockchains due to their privacy-preserving attributes.

Theorized uses of ZK proofs range from decongesting networks such as Ethereum to helping with data provenance in artificial intelligence applications. But adoption has remained low due to bottlenecks in computation, the two organizations said in the press release.

“The strategic alliance between Fabric and =nil; Foundation paves the way for almost unlimited, cost-effective, and high-speed ZKP-dedicated computing power readily available, making them a viable tool for every digital transaction, cloud service, and privacy-sensitive application,” they said a press release.

The foundation launched in 2018 as a research collective before morphing into a traditional startup. In January, it raised $22 million to build a marketplace for ZK proofs and has developed a zero-knowledge Low-Level Virtual Machine (zkLLVM), which aims to streamline workloads for ZK developers.

Fabric Cryptography, based in Silicon Valley, is developing a general-purpose processor for “next-gen cryptography,” including ZK proofs, called the Verifiable Processing Unit (VPU), according to the release.

The virtual machine and processing unit have been made compatible with each other, such that the zkLLVM software will see “major performance advantages” when running on Fabric’s hardware in order to accelerate the implementation of ZK proofs.

UPDATE (July 17: 16:03 UTC): Changes "=nil; Foundation" to "Nil Foundation" in headline, text.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Eliza Gkritsi

Eliza Gkritsi is a CoinDesk contributor focused on the intersection of crypto and AI.

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