HomeCryptoMatter Labs: the controversy over the ZK-Proofs trademark of the token shakes...

Matter Labs: the controversy over the ZK-Proofs trademark of the token shakes the crypto sector

Matter Labs has recently filed a trademark for “ZK” for its token, but the industry has requested its withdrawal. Consequently, the CEO of StarkWare compared the attempt to register ZK-proofs to a “baker trying to patent bread.” 

Let’s see all the details below. 

Matter Labs claims the “Zero-Knowledge” (ZK) trademark for its token 

As anticipated, Matter Labs has filed trademark applications in nine countries to claim the term “zero-knowledge” as the company’s exclusive intellectual property, sparking outrage in the criptovalute industry.

Matter Labs, the company developing zkSync, had already attempted to register a token with the symbol “ZK” with cryptocurrency exchanges, in an attempt to consolidate their claim on the technology.

Zero-knowledge (ZK) technology includes cryptographic protocols that allow a person (the verifier) to convince another (the verified) of the truthfulness of a statement without revealing its details. 

According to Eli Ben-Sasson, CEO of StarkWare, the attempt by Matter Labs to register ZK technology represents an “absurd grab of intellectual property,” as stated:

“ZK cryptography was developed for the good of all. It is shameful to see a company trying to monopolize ‘ZK’ as private intellectual property. It is as absurd as a baker trying to patent bread.”

In a public letter, the main experts in the sector asked Matter Labs to withdraw the trademark application, calling it “oppressive behavior.” 

The letter was signed by prominent figures such as the co-founders of Polygon, Sandeep Nailwal and Brendan Farmer, the CEO of StarkWare, Eli Ben-Sasson, the co-founder of Polyhedra Network and inventor of zkBridge, Tiancheng Xie, and the Turing Award winner and co-inventor of ZK-proofs, Shafi Goldwasser.

We believe that ZK is a public good that belongs to everyone. A company that exploits the legal system to appropriate a public good violates the ethics of cryptocurrencies, Ethereum, and academic ethics. It even goes against the ethics of Matter Labs…”

The potential of ZK-Proofs: a public resource to preserve

According to Ben-Sasson of StarkWare, no single company should claim ZK technology as its own.

“ZK cryptography has enormous potential for humanity, far beyond the blockchain. We are honored to be pioneers in its first major use case in the blockchain and hope that this will lead to many others.”

Despite still being in their technological infancy, ZK-Proofs are becoming increasingly crucial for future solutions of digital identity.

Jonas Gross, CEO of Hakata, stated that ZK-Proofs could be used as a new digital identity solution in Europe, ensuring a privacy-centered approach for users.

“ZKP have the potential to initiate a new compliance paradigm that breaks down data silos related to identity information.”

Humanity Protocol: revolution of digital identity with ZK-proof

Humanity Protocol has recently announced its innovative proposal that leverages palm biometrics and zk-proof to build a secure, private, and universally accessible digital identity system.

The vision behind this initiative is clear: to guarantee the security and privacy of users without compromising their personal rights. 

However, as with any technology involving biometric data, privacy concerns remain crucial. But can this technological convenience truly coexist peacefully with our need for privacy?

The key concept of Proof of Humanity allows users to demonstrate specific identity attributes and sensitive information without revealing personal data, thanks to zk-proof. 

These cryptographic proofs ensure verification without exposing the actual information to third parties, thus maintaining a high level of security and preventing data breaches and identity theft.

But the potential of zk-proof does not stop here. In addition to improving security, they also make the blockchain more scalable and reduce transaction costs, paving the way for an efficient system suitable for handling a large volume of transactions.

However, the true test for Humanity Protocol will be managing a continuously growing user base. 

Terence Kwok emphasizes that their solution, based on Humanity Protocol and zkEVM Layer 2, uses zk-rollup to ensure scalability and efficiency as the number of users grows. 

The robustness of the system will not be compromised, ensuring that the user experience remains secure and functional.

Alessia Pannone
Alessia Pannone
Graduated in communication sciences, currently student of the master's degree course in publishing and writing. Writer of articles from an SEO perspective, with care for indexing in search engines.