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Zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) are being increasingly used in blockchain applications for their scaling and privacy benefits. However, generation of ZK proofs is an expensive and time-consuming affair often requiring GPUs and other specialized hardware. Kalypso is a decentralized computing network geared toward generating ZKPs cheaply, quickly, and reliably.

Broadly speaking, there are four approaches to generating ZKPs:

  1. Client-side: Games, payment or DID apps can choose to generate proofs directly at the end user's devices. But, depending on the complexity of the program, proof generation can cause stalling and drain the device's battery leading to a poor user experience.
  2. Server-side: Teams building ZK bridges, DEXes, or oracles can purchase or rent machines and generate proofs for their users by exposing an endpoint. Operating such servers reliably, however, is time-consuming and may lead to poor resource utilization and excessive idle-time for use cases where proofs are generated infrequently.
  3. Proof networks: Many rollups plan on bootstrapping their own network of provers which is an overkill in terms of cost and effort. Moreover, such a degree of redundancy isn't always required.
  4. Proof markets: Open markets like Kalypso allow proof generation to be outsourced to dedicated hardware operators. It is compatible with the other approaches mentioned above as clients, server-side operators, or nodes in proof networks can proxy the requests to dedicated proof markets.

As an orderbook-based market connecting users with proof generators, Kalypso combines the efficiency of matching each request with a single generator eliminating redundant work from multiple generators with the slashing-based reliability guarantees of proof-of-stake systems. Consequently, Kalypso's shared prover network offers a number of benefits over alternate designs:

  1. Censorship-resistance: Kalypso's matching engine runs over the decentralized Oyster network. Similarly, the Kalypso prover network itself is permissionless allowing anyone to join and place offers for generating proofs. As a result, there's no centralized intermediary that can block proofs from being generated for any particular application.
  2. Resource efficiency: Proof generators can place simultaneous offers in multiple markets on Kalypso. The machine engine matches generators with only as many tasks as their resources would allow for the generation of proofs within the quoted period. This provides additional revenue for proof generators for the same fixed cost of hardware reducing idle time.
  3. Cost efficiency & time-to-proof: Generators in Kalypso compete with each other in terms of pricing and proving time when placing offers. Such competition motivates them to improve their software and hardware efficiency lest they run out of business. Moreover, since the hardware is shared across markets and users, fixed cost gets amortized leading to better pricing for users.

Can't wait to experience Kalypso? Click the links below to generate a zk proof or join as a hardware provider in an existing market.

Kalypso is not controlled by any single entity. Instead, it is run by a network of solvers (proof generators) who participate in the Kalypso community. It makes it easy for developers to integrate their zkApps and delegate ZK proofs to a wider community of proof generators aka solvers. This is useful because:

  • ZK proof generation requires the usage of expensive hardware which is often under-utilized by any single entity.
  • ZK proof generation is time-consuming on commodity hardware slowing user interactions and affecting performance.
  • Client-side ZK proof generation can often stall a user’s browser resulting in a bad user experience.

Kalypso is still under development, but it has the potential to revolutionize the ZK space. By making it easy for developers to integrate ZKPs into their applications, Kalypso can help to usher in a new era of privacy-preserving and secure computing. As the ZKP technology continues to mature, we can expect to see even more innovative and groundbreaking applications emerge.