Bizantine’s Law

How Public Blockchains Go from Niche to Mainstream

Co-written by March Zheng and Cameron Sepahi

Moore’s Law

For those unfamiliar, Moore’s Law is the primary reason why iPhones today possess more processing power than the rockets that defined the Apollo moon missions. In 1965, Gordon Moore observed that the number of possible transistors in a circuit doubled every year; he predicted the trend would continue for a decade. Moore ended up being slightly wrong: the number doubles every two years; the trend has now continued for over five decades.

Bizantine’s Law

Today, we propose Bizantine’s Law, what we believe will one day become the Moore’s Law of the public blockchain field. Bizantine’s Law states: the efficiency of zero-knowledge proofs will double every year. Bizantine’s Law will ultimately mean to public blockchains what Moore’s Law has meant to computers: a public blockchain’s processing power will double every year. Zero-knowledge proofs are the most important cryptographic tool for the mainstream scaling of public blockchain technology [1].

Background

Public blockchains can be thought of as state transition machines. A blockchain has an initial state; then, a blockchains’ validators apply a batch of transactions to that initial state, outputting a new state [2] [3]. This process is repeated frequently, resulting in a chain of states. Blockchains could really be called ‘state-chains’ instead of blockchains.

Zero-knowledge Proofs, The Basics

There are two parties in every zero-knowledge proof scheme: the provers and the verifiers. The provers are the maintainers of the thread that exists outside of the public blockchain: they execute the thread’s computation and create a zero-knowledge proof that attests to the correctness of the computation.

Endnotes

[1] As the zero-knowledge proof overhead decreases, the number of practical use cases of public blockchains rise. More applications, at a greater scale, become feasible to use the blockchain as a shared, global, programmatic database.

Partner at Bizantine Capital

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