Zero knowledge Succinct Non-interactive Argument of Knowledge. Further explained in ZK.

The usual zkSNARK psuedocode I will use throughout this wiki is roughly Pythonic, with some simple typing:

proof ProofName:
		int a
		str b
		int c
		str d
		str e == hash(d)
		c == a+1
		b == hash(e, e)

There are public inputs and private inputs involved in a zkSNARK. There is also commonly a notion of “outputs”, but those can also be thought of as public inputs that are checked against.

Each zkSNARK proceeds through a number of checks and then outputs a valid proof. If any of the checks fail, there is no proof. I define more variables in the checks that are not explicit inputs for ease of circuit description.

It’s worth noting circom has an extremely similar syntax to this, with some other choices for ease of use and exporting of code. People say we need better DSLs than circom, but honestly, I think it’s more than enough for most useful proofs. Halo2 and PIL seem necessary for zkEVMs, but I am quite bearish on zkVMs in general. I have a fairly strong hunch that making proofs of general code (Rust, WASM) is NOT going to usher in some new wave of applications. I think most of the useful proofs have already been written in circom or Halo2, it’s just VERY hard to design apps that use them well.