Skip to main content

Introducing "Zero Knowledge Virtual Machine Step by Step" by Prof. Tim Dokchitser and Aleksandr Bulkin

· 3 min read

We are delighted to announce the release of our article, titled "Zero Knowledge Virtual Machine: Step by Step", authored by Prof. Tim Dokchitser and Aleksandr Bulkin. The article offers a comprehensive step-by-step introduction to building a complete zero-knowledge VM, and providing a detailed guide to understanding and implementing them effectively.

Non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs are a relatively recent innovation in cryptography, popularized due to their applications in the web3 space. As the ADAPT team was working to build up our understanding of zkVM implementations and their associated security assumptions and risks, we quickly realized that a single introductory resource into the engineering of full-featured zkVMs was missing. After having done sufficient research and reading through multiple disparate sources of information, we decided to share our findings with the community by writing a detailed article that synthesizes multiple sources and concepts into a hollistic picture that is both gradual and sufficiently detailed, so as to be helpful to the beginners in this space aiming to understand under-the-hood functionality of zkVMs.

To access the article, you have two options: you can either download it as a PDF file (better quality) through this link, or you can enjoy the web format version available here.

Prof Tim Dokchitser is a Royal Society Research Fellow in the School of Mathematics, known for his expertise in number theory. With a fascination for mathematics since his school days in Russia, he has dedicated the past twenty years to exploring arithmetic geometry and its connections to group theory and representation theory. Tim's most significant collaborations have been with his brother, a fellow number theorist at Cambridge University. Together, they have achieved notable breakthroughs, including solving a problem related to the Birch-Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture. Tim's career embodies his childhood dream of combining mathematics and computers, and his teaching approach emphasizes demystifying mathematical concepts for students.

Tim became interested in zero-knowledge proofs after Alex Bulkin introduced him to the concept in July 2022. Since then, Tim has been steadily building up his understanding of the field and has made some original contributions, such as a new and more efficient scheme for proving memory consistency in zkVMs.

Aleksandr Bulkin has 15 years of experience building industry-strength financial infrastructure during his tenure at Goldman Sachs, followed by 5 years track record of successful investing in web3 space as a founding partner at CoinFund. He has a dual Bachelor's degree in mathematics and computer science, as well as a Master's degree in organizational psychology and conflict facilitation. Alex started working on ADAPT in 2017 as an experimental project, and launched ADAPT Framework Solutions in early 2020 when it became clear that the system successfully solves the problems it is designed to address.