Minimal required library for the Nightfall protocol
Last updated a day ago by eyblockchain .
MIT · Original npm · Tarball · package.json
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This library strips down the main Nightfall repository to the minimum needed to run the Nightfall protocol on other applications.

Installation and Configuration

To install nightlite, run npm install --save @eyblockchain/nightlite

These instructions assume that you're running your application on a Dockerized Linux container. The reason for this is because Zokrates is required to run on Linux. Nightlite can presumably be run natively on Linux, but this guide will not provide support or instruction for that.

In your Dockerfile that will be running nightlite, you will need to perform a multi-stage build. Import the official ZoKrates image like so:

# Pull in a Zokrates container so that we can pull its contents into the below container.
FROM zokrates/zokrates:0.5.1 as builder

And then, (assuming this is your final Docker container), copy the necessary Zokrates files into your container:

FROM node:11.15 WORKDIR /app

# Copy over Zokrates files into this container
COPY --from=builder /home/zokrates/zokrates /app/zokrates
COPY --from=builder /home/zokrates/.zokrates\* /app/stdlib

Nightlite defaults logging levels to info, but if you want more detailed console logs, you can set the logging level to verbose, or for even more detail, debug by setting an environment variable NIGHTLITE_LOG_LEVEL to DEBUG

Finally, on startup, your application should run provider.connect(<ProviderURL>). (e.g., provider.connect('ws://ganache:8545')) This will set the provider that all Nightfall smart contract calls will use.

Trusted Setup

The setup/gm17 directory contains the ZoKrates domain-specific language (.zok) files that you need in order to run the Nightlite functions. The generateZokratesFiles() function will read these files and complete the trusted setup for you, skipping the common folder, containing shared functions.

There are actually three sets of .zok files, which are selected by using a combination of the HASH-TYPE and COMPLIANCE environment variables. Allowed values are 'sha'|'mimc' and 'true' respectively. Setting other than 'true' for the COMPLIANCE variable will select the conventional version (either sha or mimc enabled). Use of HASH_TYPE='mimc' with COMPLIANCE='true' is not currently supported. The three sets are:

  • A set for use with a sha-hashed Merkle tree (the original Nightfall approach HASH_TYPE='sha');
  • A set that uses the MiMC hash instead (HASH_TYPE='mimc') giving much faster proof computation (about 12x) but higher gas cost for on-chain computation (about 3x); and
  • A set that is designed to support regulatory compliance by providing blacklisting and encryption of transaction data (HASH_TYPE='sha'and COMPLIANCE='true'). See el-gamal encryption and blacklisting.

Note that it is trivial to implement whitelisting too by inverting the blacklisting logic in Nightfall's FTokenShield.sol contract.

The compliance version uses sha hashing and does not support batched payments or non-fungible tokens currently. The sha hashing version does not support consolidation proofs and is unlikely ever to do so because of the very large number of constraints that would be required to generate the proof (a consolidation proof allows twenty small value commitments to be combined into a single large value one. This is useful when making batch payments to prevent ever smaller commitment values being generated by successive transactions).

Calling generateZokratesFiles() will generate the files you need for the rest of the Nightfall protocol to work. If you are running Nightfall, the ./nightfall-generate-trusted-setup command calls this function for you.

Otherwise, generateZokratesFiles() requires a directory argument telling it where to output the files. It can take a second optional argument telling it which file to set up. For example:

generateZokratesFiles('zkp/gm17', 'ft-transfer')

will set up only ft-transfer.zok and output the files in your zkp/gm17 directory. If HASH_TYPE is set to mimc, the function will automatically set up mimc/ft-transfer.zok or rc/ft-transfer.zok in the case of COMPLIANCE='true'.

By default, Nightlite will use SHA-256 for merkle tree calculations.

Using Nightfall, you can choose whether to use MiMC hashing, regulatory compliance support or SHA-256 hashing within the application. It will automatically set up the correct files for you. Take a look at the Nightfall zkp/README for more information.

The Trusted Setup step will take approximately one hour. The Trusted Setup step will need to be re-run for a given .zok file whenever it is changed or whenever you change HASH_TYPE.

ZKP Public/Private Keys

In order to make private transactions, you will need a ZKP public/private key pair. This is separate from the typical Ethereum public/private key pair.

The ZKP public/private keys are both 32 bytes long. As a string, this a 66 character value (0x + 64 characters).

You can generate a private key by generating any random 32 byte string (you can use our utils.randomHex(32) function).

You can generate your matching public key by hashing it (you can use our utils.hash() function).

Just as with typical Ethereum key pairs, losing your private key can mean the loss of any commitments you hold.

Deploy Necessary Contracts

The following contracts are necessary for Nightfall:

  • Verifier_Registry
  • BN256G2
  • GM17_v0
  • FToken
  • FTokenShield
  • NFTokenMetadata
  • NFTokenShield

The deployment currently occurs in zkp/migrations/2_Shield_migration.js. We may move away from truffle deployments and use web3 or another similar library in the future.

FToken and NFTokenMetadata are placeholder ERC721/ERC20 contracts. In order to replace them, you need to swap the FToken/NFTokenMetadata contracts in this migration script.

Deploy VKs to the blockchain

The Verification Keys that we generated earlier in the Trusted Setup step need to be deployed to the blockchain. We deploy them directly to the Shield Contracts. The function loadVk() loads the vk.json files we made in the Trusted Setup stage to the Shield contract(s).

loadVk() must be called on each vk.json. Those VKs must then be uploaded to the FTokenShield and NFTokenShield contracts via their registerVerificationKey() functions. The Shield contract keeps track of which verification key relates to which function (e.g. it stores which verification key relates to a 'transfer').

A sample implementation can be found in Nightfall's zkp/src/vk-controller.js, in the function initializeVks().

Run Nightfall Functions

There are currently six Nightfall functions, Mint, Transfer, and Burn for both ERC20 and ERC721 contracts. After the above steps are completed, you can call those functions as many times as you'd like. The above steps do not need to be repeated (assuming your environment is now setup).

Note that there are certain things that need to be stored while running these functions.

When a commitment is generated (whether its through minting a commitment, or ft-transfer's "change" mechanic), it has a salt, a commitment, and a commitmentIndex. All of these things are required for later function calls. Refer to the documentation on each individual function for more information.

A consolidation transfer (ft-consolidation-transfer), which takes 20 commitments and sends them in one proof, is only possible with MiMC hashing due to its efficiency in ZKP circuits. If you would like to use it, or MiMC hashing in general, be sure to re-run the trusted setup on the files in gm17/mimc. This can be done by changing the HASH_TYPE variable to 'mimc' and proceeding as normal.

Note about MiMC hashing:

Along with completing the trusted setup with HASH_TYPE = mimc, be sure to use the same environment variable in merkle tree, otherwise there will be a mismatch. Nightlite's core config.js and merkle tree specific merkleTree/config.js ensure that the parameters are set correctly for MiMC hashing, but if you have another global config file, those parameters could be overwritten and cause issues.

In particular, MiMC hashing requires merkle tree nodes to be 32 bytes long, but SHA uses 27 bytes. This is ensured with:

const nodeHashLength = process.env.HASH_TYPE === 'mimc' ? 32 : 27;

module.exports = {
  LEAF_HASHLENGTH: 32, // expected length of an input to a hash in bytes
  NODE_HASHLENGTH: nodeHashLength,
  HASH_TYPE: process.env.HASH_TYPE,

To Do

Passing Providers

Currently, most functions that interact with smart contracts just "know" what the proper provider is, but this isn't good. We need to figure out how to get these functions their providers.

Here are some possibilities:

  1. Pass the provider to each function: The most straightforward, but also a lot of clutter
  2. Set a "provider" singleton: Requires some additional setup from the user (probably just calling setProvider() on startup).


Team Nightfall thanks those who have indirectly contributed to it, with the ideas and tools that they have shared with the community:

Thanks to John Sterlacci for the name Nightlite.

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