Our FAQ - Frequently asked?

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What is Aleo?

• Aleo is the world’s first full-stack development platform for private applications (powered by zero-knowledge) with speed, integrity, and scale. Aleo achieves this by leveraging decentralized systems and zero-knowledge cryptography to protect user data on the web. By architecting Aleo as a blockchain that is private-by-default, open-source, and built for the web, Aleo is uniquely positioned to address the shortcomings of blockchain adoption.

How does consensus work in Aleo?

• Aleo uses a new SNARK-based consensus algorithm called Proof-of-Succinct-Work (PoSW), which provides the same security guarantees as Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work (PoW). The key difference is that, instead of grinding SHA256 with PoW in Bitcoin, we grind SNARKs with PoSW in Aleo. The goal is to incentivize miners to develop hardware acceleration for zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs).
• PoSW is based on a construction called Proof-of-Necessary-Work (PoNW). PoNW is a Proof-of-Work scheme where the work being produced is 100% useful in compressing and verifying state transitions.

What are Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs)?

• Zero-knowledge proofs are cryptographic techniques that allow one party (a prover) to prove to another (a verifier) that a statement about some hidden information is true, without revealing anything about that information beyond the validity of the statement itself.

How efficient is Proof of Succinct/Necessary Work? How does it compare to PoW?

• Proof of Succinct/Necessary work would also be a kind of PoW, that is, it would take computation resource. The difficulty of the challenge would very likely depend on the network. The nice thing about Proof of Succinct Work is that the work being performed is “useful” in that the proofs being performed validate a portion of the state transition. Furthermore, we actually want to incentivize the development of ASICs for proving, which benefits Aleo users by enabling them to run applications much faster (in the delegated DPC model). By having proofs baked into the mining process, PoSW is a mechanism to achieve that.

How does Aleo leverage zero-knowledge cryptography?

• Aleo uses a revolutionary new zero-knowledge system to enable a new cryptographic primitive: decentralized private computation (DPC). In DPC, users run programs offline and subsequently produce transactions, attesting to the correctness of these computations. This has several advantages.
• Transactions hide all information about the offline computations.
• Transactions can be validated in constant time by anyone, regardless of the offline computation.
• Transactions in Aleo are 968 bytes regardless of the offline computation, and generating them takes less than a minute
• Transactions do not use “gas” so applications have unlimited runtime.
• Zexe enables Aleo to realize privacy-preserving analogues of popular applications: private decentralized exchanges for user-defined fungible assets and regulation-friendly private stablecoins.

What is the difference between running a node vs a miner?

• A node only downloads new blocks, but the miner, in addition, wants to create new blocks by PoW/PoS/PoSW. There is a much higher cost running a miner than a node. A node doesn’t participate in consensus, it’s just downloading and tracking the state whereas a miner participates in consensus. Therefore, a miner would be getting more rewards. Plus, miners on the network can provide proofs-as-a-service as another way to receive Aleo credits.

How can I get involved in the Aleo Ambassador Program?

• You can reapply for the next round if you didn’t get accepted in our initial round. The application will reopen in mid-May and again in mid-August before mainnet launch. We will be accepting 30-50 new Ambassadors each round. Once mainnet launches, we expect the program to evolve and grow. For more information, please read the “Aleo Ambassador Program” blog post.

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