Free shipping when you buy a Ledger Nano. Only until Oct. 3

Shop Now

Up your Web3 game

Ledger Academy Quests

  • Test your knowledge
  • Earn POK NFTs
Play now See all quests

Zk-SNARKs Meaning

Jul 11, 2023 | Updated Jul 19, 2023
A Zk-SNARK is a special mathematical technique that allows individuals to prove that something is true without revealing specific details about it.

What are Zk-SNARKs and How They are Used in Cryptocurrency?

Zk-SNARKs (Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge) are cryptographic proofs that allows a prover to demonstrate knowledge of a computation without revealing the inputs or information.

Suppose you are a member of a spy agency. To be allowed into the facilities, you have to prove that you are truly part of the agency without explicitly disclosing your personal details or sharing sensitive information. The club has a secret code or symbol, like a special emblem or card, that serves as proof of your membership. 

When you show up at the agency, you can use the secret code or symbol to verify your membership to gain entry. For instance, you may have to answer a question that only members could know the answer to. There may be other steps to complete to ensure that your answer was not just a lucky guess. This way, you can engage in your spy activities while maintaining every member’s privacy and security.

Zk-SNARKs (Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge) use a similar concept, where an individual (prover) can demonstrate the truth of a statement to another party (verifier) without divulging additional information other than the statement’s validity. This statement parameter that is held in secret is called a witness.

Within the acronym, “zero knowledge” refers to the party validating the secret having no knowledge of the secret besides its validity. The “Succinct” means that this verification process takes only a few milliseconds since the proof size is small. On the other hand, “non-interactive” implies there’s no interaction between the prover and the verifier. The prover only has to dispatch a single message to the verifier. “Argument” depicts the proofs, while “knowledge” refers to the witness that the party proving the claim has.

Blockchains use Zk-SNARKs to facilitate private transactions by recording only the proof of transactions. The details about the sender, recipient, and the transaction are concealed. The Zk-SNARKs concept was popularized in cryptocurrency by ZCash.

Double Spending

Double spending is a scenario where an individual manages or attempts to use the same units of a currency more than once for valid transactions.

Full definition


A coin is a digital asset that functions as a currency or store of value on its own blockchain network.

Full definition

Genesis Block

A genesis block is the first ever block recorded on a blockchain. The block is also known as Block 0 or Block 1.

Full definition