Ingonyama is developing hardware to speed up zero-knowledge proofs, a cryptographic scheme that secures much of web3 and is a critical component for scaling Ethereum.
ZK proofs allow verification that a transaction or smart contract was executed without revealing any of the details. This was first used to support private transactions in protocols like ZCash. The even more promising application is to increase the scalability of protocols such as Ethereum. Layer 2 solutions such as StarkWare execute transactions and smart contracts for users and then post a ZK proof to Ethereum. This significantly reduces the amount of data that needs to be stored on Ethereum and enables transaction volumes similar to traditional payment networks such as Visa.
Inside of every CPU are specialized circuits for speeding up the cryptography used to secure the internet today. At first, Ingonyama might look like a niche business designing specialized hardware for scaling crypto protocols. As the internet becomes more decentralized, the same hardware could secure every internet-connected device. Read more about the company’s recent $21m financing here.