Zinc is a programming language which can be used to develop:
- Smart contracts for zkSync (a ZK Rollup on Ethereum).
- General-purpose zero-knowledge proof circuits.
Existing ZKP frameworks lack functionality specific for smart contracts. Security and safety aspects are crucial for developing smart contracts since they deal with valuable financial assets. Modern smart contract languages, such as Simplicity or Libra's Move, deliberately made design choices that favor safety and formal verifiability of the code over generalistic expressiveness.
Zinc is created to fill the gap between the two worlds: to provide a smart contract language optimized for ZKP circuits, which is reliable and simple at the same time, and can be quickly learned by a large number of software developers.
We decided to borrow the Rust syntax and semantics. Zinc is a subset of Rust with minor differences dictated by the subtleties of ZKP circuits. It is easily learnable by any developer familiar with Rust, Golang, C++ or other C-like languages. Also, experience with Solidity will help in understanding some smart contract specifics.
The language is under heavy development, thus many of its aspects will eventually be improved or changed. However, the basic principles, such as security and simplicity, will never be questioned.
You can ask questions and get assistance in our Gitter chat room.