Marlin: Preprocessing zkSNARKs with Universal and Updatable SRS 📺
We present a general methodology to construct preprocessing zkSNARKs where the structured reference string (SRS) is universal and updatable. This exploits a novel application of *holographic* IOPs, a natural generalization of holographic PCPs [Babai et al., STOC 1991]. We use our methodology to obtain a preprocessing zkSNARK where the SRS has linear size and arguments have constant size. Our construction improves on Sonic [Maller et al., CCS 2019], the prior state of the art in this setting, in all efficiency parameters: proving is an order of magnitude faster and verification is twice as fast, even with smaller SRS size and argument size. Our construction is most efficient when instantiated in the algebraic group model (also used by Sonic), but we also demonstrate how to realize it under concrete knowledge assumptions. The core of our zkSNARK is a new holographic IOP for rank-1 constraint satisfiability (R1CS), which is the first to achieve linear proof length and constant query complexity (among other efficiency features).