What are zkSNARKs? A Simple Guide

For Incognito Cash, zkSNARKs are very important. What are these zkSNARKs and how do they work?
Put simply, a zkSNARK is a type of proof — a zero-knowledge proof. That is what the “zk” stands for — Zero-Knowledge.
A zero-knowledge proof makes it possible for both sides of a transaction to show to each another that they have exact information — but without revealing the information itself.
This is a little like proving your age to a bouncer with an ID card, but instead of showing ID with your age written on it, you have a special code that tells the bouncer you are old enough.

How are zkSNARKs used by the IFP?

As Incognito keeps what you do private, zkSNARKs are important. Without Incognito, using a public blockchain shows a large amount of extra information about you. For example, if you use Ethereum to buy an NFT, everyone can see what you have done, where your tokens came from, what else you have done in the past, when you first received your tokens and more.
With zkSNARKs, Incognito gives users back control of what they show. Once tokens are inside the Incognito Financial System (IFS), everything can be “Shielded” so that no more information gets shown about what you do.
Through zkSNARKs proofs, tokens can be used without showing any information. This includes using dApps. Users can stay private while enjoying the many options DeFi makes possible.