Zero-knowledge transactions rely on the Zcash parameters as put forth by the Zcash team. The Zcash parameters are a “zero-knowledge” form of technology. This is a powerful form of privacy, and arguably superior to other forms as it is effectively permanent. Relying on the Zcash parameters allows us to turn our creative resources to other blockchain-technology challenges, while still empowering members of the Komodo ecosystem with the option of privacy.
To create the Zcash parameters, the original Zcash developers had to create a series of keys that, when combined, created a master key that could unlock and lock the parameters. After using the master key to create the parameters, the team destroyed every individual key. The team conducted this endeavor in a public manner. We encourage interested readers to view the “Zcash Ceremony” explanation, and to search for other viewpoints as well.
To briefly summarize the security measures, the Zcash team used several layers of protection including: multi-party computation, air-gapped compute nodes, hard-copy evidence trails, a uniquely crafted distribution of the Linux operating system, and the physical destruction of each piece of hardware that held an individual key. The resulting layers of defense would be of the highest level of difficulty for an outsider to penetrate. Furthermore, the method of creation and destruction ensured that the internal security of the project was faultless, so long as at least one member of the entire Zcash team was honest.
By our observation, the team performed this endeavor with sufficient competence and due diligence. Furthermore, given the nature of the project, the longstanding reputation of the Zcash developers, and the modus operandi of their lives’ work, we believe they were properly motivated to perform the creation and destruction in a capable and honest manner.
Nevertheless, there are privacy advocates in the cryptocurrency industry who maintain a degree of suspicion over any project that requires an element of human trust. This suspicion extends to the Zcash parameters. These observers continually scrutinize the Zcash project, searching for more and more processes by which the creation ceremony could have failed. Yet, while various theories have been put forth, no actual failure in the Zcash parameters has been discovered.
In adopting the Zcash parameters, we receive frequent questions regarding how they affect Komodo-based currency. The answer is that the privacy in the Komodo ecosystem is permanent, regardless of any potential fault by the Zcash team. Furthermore, we can adopt any updates the Zcash team releases to the parameters.
In the unlikely event that someone was able to retain a complete copy of the master key, the only power the holder would have, would be the ability to create new private money in the currency of any Smart Chains utilizing zero-knowledge transactions.
This holder could then shift that value into transparent, spendable money. This could negatively impact any affected Smart Chain’s local community, and we would be required to adapt our platform. If a fault in the Zcash parameters were to be discovered, the Komodo team has various contingency methods at our disposal to remove the Zcash parameters and replace them with a new set of parameters.
Though in Komodo we do not see this as a realistic threat, we nevertheless include the information here in our documentation to provide complete transparency for any user who seeks to invest their resources in a privacy-enabled Komodo Smart Chain.