Zero-knowledge guide

Cryptographic commitment scheme

A cryptographic commitment scheme is a process where one party commits to a certain value and cannot change it later, which is important in secure digital signatures and zero-knowledge proofs.

Cryptographic hash function

A cryptographic hash function is a one-way mathematical function that transforms input data into a fixed-length hash value. It is easy to compute but difficult to reverse and produce collisions.

Digital signature

A digital signature is a cryptographic authentication which confirms that a piece of digital information originates from a signer, and that the information has not been altered in any way.


Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm, Edwards-curve Digital Signature Algorithm. These are digital signature schemes which rely for their security on cryptographic properties of elliptic curves over finite fields.

Maxwell proof

A Merkle tree which is used to sum a set of balances, typically the liabilities of a custodian such as an exchange. The full tree is often made public and so it leaks customer information.

Merkle tree/ branch

A data structure which consists of hashes of leaf nodes where a parent node is the hash of the concatenation of hashes of its children. A branch is a path of hash values from a leaf to the root of the tree.