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How would the efficiency of zkSNARKs as an Ethereum smart contract compare to the same technology being used on its own blockchain (such as Zcash or Zclassic)?

By efficiency I mean 3 things:

  1. Tranaction confirmation time

  2. Transaction cost

  3. Size of the transaction in kB

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Now we can compare, since a few days ago the Ropsten network just verified a Zcash transaction via a zkSNARK. Check it out here.

  1. Confirmation time: the same as for a usual Ethereum transaction.
  2. The on chain verification transaction consumed 1933895 gas, which with a 21 Gwei gas price would approximately cost $10.722 on the mainnet.
  3. cca. 0.7kB

To put things into perspective, let's have a look at Zcash shielded transactions:

  1. Zcash block interval is 2.5mins and it takes around 5 block confirmations to fully settle a transaction.
  2. Have a look at average Zcash transaction costs. These days it's around $0.0005.
  3. Anonymous Zcash transactions seem to be approximately 2 kB, according to Zcash engineer Sean Bowe.

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