Publication Date

Fall 2023

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Thomas Austin

Second Advisor

Katerina Potika

Third Advisor

Benjamin Reed


Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Zero-knowledge proofs, Anonymity


Demand for blockchain ecosystems has seen exponential growth in recent times due to its decentralized nature and trustless verification process for the transactions involved. However, transaction data needs to be leveraged for verification, which coupled with the transparent nature of the blockchain ledger, provides sufficient data for malicious entities to reveal identities and even financial history of users. Data masking techniques have been employed over the years to make blockchain transactions anonymous, making them resistant to identity analysis, a key set of methods being zero-knowledge proof (zk-proof) protocols that guarantee zero data leak. In this research, we develop SpartanDark, a fork of SpartanGold that integrates a zk-proof protocol, Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-interactive Argument of Knowledge (zk-SNARK) for transaction verification. SpartanDark provides a Decentralized Anonymous Payment scheme (DAP) with anonymity guarantees, akin to the privacy transaction model in Zerocash. Our analysis shows that this transaction model presents a high degree of data privacy when compared to traditional blockchain models, carrying zero identifying information about the transaction across the blockchain, making it implausible for other entities to profile any user and thus reestablishing one of the core tenets of blockchain: privacy.