Aleo and Forte have partnered to bring zero-knowledge proof solutions to blockchain games in hopes of powering low-power transactions in blockchain games.
San Francisco-based Aleo started in 2019 and recently raised $200 million to build a platform for blockchain-based private applications with backing from investors Kora Management LP and SoftBank Vision Fund 2.
Now it will team up with a blockchain gaming infrastructure company Strongwhich recently raised $725 million, to integrate Aleo’s zero-knowledge technology to dramatically expand its ability to power blockchain-based economies in new and existing video games.
Forte will use Aleo’s scalable architecture to unlock new depths of gameplay and create more inclusive and immersive game ecosystems. Forte is already using Aleo’s technology to mint, transfer, and exchange non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for in-game items across multiple in-game economies to serve an existing real-world use case.
The Forte platform enables developers to create and operate games using token-based economies that are simple for gamers and fan communities, whether playing an old title or a new blockchain-based game. By integrating Aleo’s powerful Layer-1 scaling solution into its already extensive technology arsenal, Forte gives developers the freedom and autonomy to create in-game cost savings, improve user experience for customers and evolve the transfer of digital assets.
“Aleo’s platform gives Forte access to the next generation of scaling solutions that will be powered by zero-knowledge cryptography, and we look forward to integrating their technology to unlock the potential of cryptocurrencies in all forms of gaming communities,” said Forte CEO Josh Williams. , in a report. “At Forte, our goal is to expand the gaming universe and bring the power of blockchain to new audiences. Working with Aleo will help us achieve this.
By using zero-knowledge cryptography in a new architecture known as “rollup” to aggregate multiple transactions, Aleo can support a high volume of microtransactions integrated into Forte’s gaming ecosystem.
This would be difficult or impossible to replicate with other technologies, Wu said. Being both a completely private and fully programmable platform, Aleo gives developers the freedom to build the next generation of decentralized applications (dApps) and enables real-world use cases that will define the next-generation web, the company said.
Aleo is the premier development platform for building fully private, scalable, and profitable apps. Using zero-knowledge cryptography, Aleo moves the execution of smart contracts off-chain to enable a diverse range of decentralized applications that are both completely private and can scale at up to thousands of transactions per second.
Built on an open public blockchain, Aleo brings all the flexibility of Ethereum but with a more scalable architecture where miners don’t need to re-execute every transaction, just verify their accuracy. Ahead of its mainnet launch next year, Aleo successfully launched an incentivized testnet, with over 10,000 participants each downloading and running a snarkOS node on Aleo’s network. Aleo has 45 employees.
The importance of zero-knowledge proofs
To understand the importance of Aleo, you need a basic understanding of blockchain, the transparent and secure digital ledger that uses a network of computers to verify the veracity of data on a computer. If the distributed, immutable ledger confirms that the data is the same on that network, that data is verified.
Blockchains such as Ethereum have become popular for hosting blockchain games with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which use the blockchain to authenticate unique digital items in games. But these blockchains can consume a lot of power when they use the network to check every little detail in a game, like who beat a boss or won a match.
Wu noted that Forte does a lot of rich logic for games on the blockchain using smart contracts, or programs, on the Ethereum blockchain.
“The fundamental challenge with this kind of on-chain rich logic is that you’re clogging up the network for everyone,” Wu said. “And so the value proposition of what we’re bringing to the table is basically using a technology called zero-knowledge proofs.
He added: “It is a form of cryptography that allows fundamentally verifiable calculations. It means that an application executes a piece of code and you offer proof that this result comes from this code. This magic basically allows you to shorten and speed up a ton of steps that you would otherwise have the network perform for you.
How games can use zero-knowledge proofs to reduce energy costs
By doing so, the game can use the company’s own servers to do things like crafting in-game items, rather than running them on the blockchain in a way that consumes a lot of power and cost. Wu said you can take complex logic, like fighting a boss and playing out that whole battle between your character and your boss – but do it off the blockchain, rather than on it. This uses much less computing power and energy, but it might be less secure.
The game company can create a full log or full transcript of what happened during this whole process, and just give the end result with the proof. The proof is sent to the blockchain and the network that verifies the transactions on the blockchain can verify the proof. If it checks out mathematically, it concludes that you really played that battle with the boss. That is, it can verify the correctness of data without activating the host of blockchain network computers.
Then the game company can avoid replaying all of the events that happened and just accept the end result on the network.
“It’s a bit of a cryptographic magic trick that we use,” Wu said. game itself. Partners will enable player journeys, user stories, different types of events and give the game company proof of accuracy.
Enable item portability
The partners send this proof to the network with the final results so that it can then be recorded on the blockchain. Aleo builds its own layer 1 blockchain to house this type of technology, similar to others like Dapper Labs with its Flow blockchain. But Aleo is also setting up a multi-channel ecosystem.
“We also want this kind of technology and the whole truth to be usable on other layer 1 blockchains,” Wu said.
This would allow players to take a blockchain asset and move it from one blockchain to another, since blockchains like Ethereum and Solana allow you to verify this evidence.
“The zero-knowledge proof tricks that we use allow you to trade some of that computational resource on-chain for quick validation,” Wu said. “And so what you would normally do on-chain, c is to run every Genesis program so far and check it. In this model, you must always do this. But instead of actually rewriting the calculations, you’re basically running a proof, checking the proof for each of these state transitions. And so the difference is that using a proof to verify a proof takes about 15 milliseconds” instead of something like 500 milliseconds or more.
You can’t completely escape computing costs, but you can support many more transactions because the network can verify more transactions in the same amount of time than before, Wu said.
“For a company like Forte or for any game developer that relies on Forte, the good thing is that today Ethereum restricts what you can write as in-game logic because the network has a certain time limit It’s actually a gas limit,” Wu said. “But in our case, you can actually write programs of unlimited size. You can write programs that take you a minute to run or an hour to run. You can run this locally on a machine and produce evidence about it, the network will verify the evidence.
This is how something that takes time and energy like blockchain to track the real-time behavior of games, Wu said. The developer will deploy the game’s initial state to the blockchain. Then players will interact off-chain and updates will be pushed back to the blockchain.
“Our value proposition is that we can reduce the energy cost of performing calculations and reduce overhead,” Wu said.
Wu said Aleo is unique in building a layer-1 blockchain using zero-knowledge proofs.
“It’s the only system on the market today that actually builds a full-fledged blockchain that uses zero-knowledge proofs at its core,” Wu said. “The reason Forte really likes this approach by over others is fundamentally that we can provide cryptographic security over all states of the application, because those proofs enforce cryptographic security for those computations. It gives you that integrity on the calculations.
Games that use the Aleo blockchain are still in the works, Wu said.
Games that protect privacy
There is another benefit to Aleo’s zero-knowledge blockchain.
“What sets us apart from all other layer 1 blockchains is that we can support privacy,” Wu said. “It’s very easy to write a chess game on Ethereum. The board is publicly visible to everyone, and the value is in the strategy you think about off-chain. But if you were to try to build Battleship on chain, which is an asymmetric information game, it will be very difficult to do. The entire table is visible to everyone on the network. So it’s not much fun to know where your opponent’s pieces are. In this model, you can easily create a game like Battleship and compete without revealing your moves and without revealing your hand to everyone in the world.
Besides games, Aleo also focuses on authentication and identity business, as well as finance.
VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital public square for technical decision makers to learn about transformative enterprise technology and conduct transactions. Learn more