• Zero-knowledge-proof, a cryptographic method, allows parties to share info without revealing the underlying data.
  • RISC Zero creates zkVMs, enabling developers to build zk-powered apps without writing cryptographic code alone.

The Seattle-based startup RISC Zero, which created a specific technology that enables blockchain developers to increase network transaction security using zero-knowledge proofs, recently announced that it has raised USD 40 million in an early-stage round.

An established seed round investor, Bain Capital Crypto, joined the new Series A funding led by Blockchain Capital, a renowned venture capital firm in the blockchain market. Along with them, investors from Galaxy Digital, IOSG, Algaé Ventures, RockawayX, Delphi Digital, Alchemy, Fenbushi Capital, Maven 11, and Tribute Labs’ Zero Dao took part in the funding round.

A party can give information to another without disclosing the underlying information using zero-knowledge proof technology or zk-proof. It is a means, for instance, by which one person can demonstrate to another that a specific claim is true, such as that they are who they claim to be, without disclosing their identity. The same technology can validate blockchain transactions without disclosing the parties’ identities, the transaction’s value, or any other information.

Brian Redford, Chief Executive, said, “RISC Zero’s mission is to equip developers and infrastructure providers with novel cryptographic tools to power the next generation of trustless, scalable, and decentralized computation.”

Developers can create zk-powered applications without knowing how to write the cryptographic code themselves, thanks to RISC Zero’s creation of virtual machines, or zkVMs, that implement zk-proofs. They can then create the apps using traditional programming languages like Rust and C . Additionally, its technology is blockchain-agnostic, permitting use across various blockchain networks.

Redford said its Bonsai computing platform will be the company’s primary focus. On any chain, in any programming language, developers will be able to create massively parallel zk-proving functionality using the network. Redford added, “This funding round will enable RISC Zero to bring its Bonsai computing platform to market, supporting rapid application development and deployment in both cloud and decentralized environments.”

The company has already implemented a few use cases for the Bonsai computing platform, despite it still being in its early stages of development. A core zero-knowledge proof service and an ETH Relay for network access from the Ethereum blockchain are currently available. The former enables developers to use it as a standalone service to integrate it directly with their distributed apps, and the latter links it to the Ethereum network to be used as a service.