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Using the demonstration user interface

If you have followed the README.md successfully, you will have the UI ready in a browser window. The first screen you will see will be the login screen.

login screen

Account creation and login

We have no user accounts on the system to start with (the startup script clears down the database ). To create one, click on the Create Account hypertext. This will open a new window where you can add account details. We tend just to type "a" or "b" in all fields to create Alice or Bob accounts:

create new account screen

Hit the CREATE ACCOUNT button when you are ready and you will be taken back to the login screen, from where you can use the newly created account to log in. This will take you to the UI's home screen:

home screen

This screen has four columns. Reading from left to right, they deal with: conventional ERC‑721 transactions; hidden ERC‑721 transactions; conventional ERC-20 transactions and hidden ERC‑20 transactions.

If you used the ./zkp-demo startup script, ERC‑20 and ERC‑721 token contracts will have been deployed for you. The name of the ERC‑20 token (EY OpsCoin in this case) has been read from the ERC‑20 contract. These will allow you to freely create (mint), transfer and burn (destroy) conventional tokens for demonstration purposes. In a real application you would normally prevent this, otherwise you may suffer from runaway inflation.

You cannot use hidden (ZKP) transactions without firstly creating conventional tokens. Note that the terms 'mint' and 'burn' when applied to hidden transactions have a slightly different meaning: minting a hidden token actually creates a hiding for an existing conventional token and burning it recovers the original token from the hiding.

Let's mint some ERC‑20. Click the MINT EY OPSCOIN button on the right. This will open a dialogue box into which you can type the amount you wish to create:

mint ERC-20 screen

Clicking the button will return you to the home screen and your ERC‑20 balance will have been updated by the amount that you just minted. The tabs in the lower half of the screen will show the history of each type of token. You should see your mint transaction in the ERC-20: EY OPSCOIN tab. Transfer and Burn work in a similar way as do the ERC‑721 buttons, except here you would enter a token URI, rather than a value (the URI doesn't have to look like a URI - for example you could just type crypto-pizza).

At this point in the demonstration we can only transfer tokens to user "a" because we have no other users. While that works, it's a little pointless.

Let's set up another user. We want this second user to be logged in at the same time as "a" and be completely independent. To do that on the same machine, we need to run up another web browser (a separate tab won't do). There are two ways to do that. Either use a different browser (e.g. Firefox and Chrome) or open an incognito/private-browsing window (or whatever your browser calls it). This looks to the system like a completely separate browser application. In the screenshot below, we've used Chrome's incognito window, created user "b" and logged them in:

showing two logged in users

We could at this point simply transfer up to 30 OPS to user "b" but that would be visible to the entire blockchain. Instead, let's do a hidden transaction using zero knowledge proofs.

First we have to create two token commitments via the EY OpsCoin Commitment mint button. These have a fixed denomination in terms of the underlying ERC‑20 tokens (OPS in this case). We'll mint two with value 3 OPS and 4 OPS in user a's account. The MINT EY OPSCOIN COMMITMENT button lets us do this:

mint fungible token screen

Note that hidden ERC‑20 transfers always require you to mint two coins. There is no fundamental reason why this needs to be so but the ability to combine two coins of different values give more flexibility (e.g if you need to send x) but you only have coins of value <x). Our Zero Knowledge proof is written expecting two coins therefore (you can of course mint one of zero value if you wish). There is no such requirement for ERC‑721 because you can't add them.

The next screen shows our freshly minted token commitments. You can access this screen at any time by clicking the black column-header in the Private EY OpsCoin screen:

minted fungible tokens

These mints take a minute or so to complete. This is due to the time it takes to compute the minting proof. We know it's possible to improve the constraint system and do it faster but we're mainly focussed on the on-chain verification costs at present. The terminal screen from which you launched ./zkp-demo will show you what is happening.

Once we have the coins minted, we can transfer them using the transfer button TRANSFER EY OPSCOIN COMMITMENT. This will open up a page where we select two coins, an amount to transfer (must be less than the total value of the two coins: don't worry, you'll get the difference as a change coin) and to whom it should be transferred:

transfer screen

Clicking transfer will begin generation of the transfer proof and finally transfer the commitment to user b. The proof calculations will take about 10 minutes because it has to calculate a proof that it knows a path through the Merkle tree of commitments (actually two paths - one for each coin). In this demonstration UI we make the transfer modal so the user can track what is going on but actually a promise is returned so there's no fundamental need to wait around.

In the picture below, you can see that Bob has received the 5 OPS commitment. User a will get a 5 OPS commitment as change:

fungible transfer result

User b can change these commitments back into ERC‑20 tokens if they wish by conducting a burn transaction.

You can’t perform that action at this time.