A recently discovered video from the late Hal Finney, a pioneer of Bitcoin and a software developer, shows him discussing zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs. This video appears to be approximately 25 years old.
It means Hal Finney predicted the future of zk-proofs 25 years ago and a decade ago from the inception of the first cryptocurrency, ‘Bitcoin.’
In the video clip that surfaced from the Crypto ‘98 conference held on Aug. 26, 1998, in Santa Barbara, Hal Finney was seen talking about the concept of zero-knowledge proofs in detail.
He explains how to leverage a zero-knowledge proof on a SHA-1 hash, which is a hash function to generate a 160-bit hash value known as a message digest. In his speech at the conference, he narrated how someone can send a cryptographically encrypted message without revealing anything about it.
He says in the video, “I want to prove to you that I know a message that hashes to a given hash value using the SHA-1 hash. I don’t want to reveal anything about the message to you. It’s a zero-knowledge proof, and I’ve written a program to do this that I’ll tell you about.”
Surprisingly, at the time the video was recorded, Finney used to think that the concept of zero-knowledge proofs was “inefficient or impractical” due to technical limitations.
However, with the evolution of blockchain and cryptocurrency, zero-knowledge proof now become widely popular to empower existing blockchain networks like Ethereum, Polygona, and others with scalability.
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