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Updated on April 29, 2021


This tutorial walks through the implementation of a circuit asserting that an EdDSA signature is correct.

If you are interested in how to use EdDSA in a zk-SNARK, refer to Test the circuit.

EdDSA in a zk-SNARK is of particular interest for zk-Rollups

A zk-Rollup operator batch processes many signed transactions from its users, and updates their state accordingly.

zk-Rollup operator creates a zk-SNARK proof attesting all the transactions are valid, and must verify that the signatures are correct inside a zk-SNARK circuit.

Write the circuit


The EdDSA signature scheme does not use standard curves such as ed1559. In a zk-SNARK circuit, variables live in \mathbb{F}_r, which is different from the ed1559’s field of definition. This is further explained in the Circuit section.

To settle this issue, special twisted Edwards curves have been created which are defined on \mathbb{F}_r. They have been called JubJub for BLS12_381 companion curves, and Baby JubJub for BN254 companion curves.

In gnark-crypto, they are defined under gnark-crypto/ecc/bn254{bls12381,...}/twistededwards.

The EdDSA workflow is as follows:

  1. Sign a message, this happens outside of the zk-SNARK circuit:

    privateKey, publicKey := eddsa.New(..)
    signature := privateKey.Sign(message)
  2. Verify the EdDSA signature inside the zk-SNARK circuit:

    assert(isValid(signature, message, publicKey))

Witness and data structures

What variables are needed (the witness) to verify the EdDSA signature?

  1. The signer’s public key

    The public key is a point on the twisted Edward curve, so a tuple (x,y). We also need to store the parameters of the twisted Edwards curve in the public key, so that when accessing a public key you can access to the corresponding curve.

    Let’s create the struct containing the twisted Edwards curve parameter:

    package twistededwards
    import (
    type EdCurve struct {
        A, D, Cofactor, Order, BaseX, BaseY, Modulus big.Int
        ID                                           ecc.ID


    gnark supports different curves and provides an ID to specify the curve to use.

    Now you can define the struct storing the public key:

    package eddsa
    import ""
    type PublicKey struct {
        A     twistededwards.Point
        Curve twistededwards.EdCurve


    The package twistededwards defines twistededwards.Point as a tuple (x,y) of frontend.Variable. This structure has the associated methods to the elliptic curve group structure, like scalar multiplication.

  2. The signature

    An EdDSA signature of a message (which we assume is already hashed) is a tuple (R,S) where R is a point (x,y) on the twisted Edwards curve, and S is a scalar. The scalar S is used to perform a scalar multiplication on the twisted Edwards curve.

    Problem: Remember that the variables in a circuit, and the points on the twisted Edwards curve live in \mathbb{F}_r. However the scalar S does not belong to this field. It is reduced modulo q, the number of points of the twisted Edwards curve, can be greater than r. When S is passed as a witness to the circuit, S is implicitly reduced to modulo r. If S < r, there is no problem. However, if S>r, S is reduced to S'=S[r] and S'[q]\neq S[q], it leads to a bug.

    Solution: The solution is to split S in a small base, like 2^{128} if r is 256-bits for example, and write S=2^{128}*S_1+S_2. This way, S_1 and S_2 are not reduced to modulo r and the bug is fixed.

    Now you can define the structure for storing a signature:

    import ""
    type Signature struct {
        R      twistededwards.Point
        S1, S2 frontend.Variable // S = S1*basis + S2, where basis if 1/2 log r (ex 128 in case of bn256)

Circuit definition

Now that the Signature and PublicKey structures are created, you can write the core of the EdDSA verification algorithm.

Let’s recall the operations of the signature verification. Let G be the base point of the twisted Edward curve, that is the point such that [k]G=A, where k is the secret key of the signer, and A its public key. Given a message M, a signature (R,S), a public key A, and a hash function H (the same that has been used for signing), the verifier must check that the following relation holds:

[2^c*S]G = [2^c]R +[2^cH(R,A,M)]A


c is either 2 or 3, depending on the twisted Edwards curve.

First, define the signature of the Verify function. This function needs a signature, a message and a public key. It also needs a frontend.ConstraintSystem object, on which the functions from the gnark API are called.

func Verify(cs *frontend.ConstraintSystem, sig Signature, msg frontend.Variable, pubKey PublicKey) error {
    // ...

The first operation is to compute H(R,A,M). The hash function is not given as parameters here, because only a specific snark-friendly hash function can be used, you therefore hard code the use of the mimc hash function:

import (

func Verify(cs *frontend.ConstraintSystem, sig Signature, msg frontend.Variable, pubKey PublicKey) error {

    // compute H(R, A, M)
    data := []frontend.Variable{
    hash, err := mimc.NewMiMC("seed", pubKey.Curve.ID)
    if err != nil {
        return err
    hramConstant := hash.Hash(cs, data...)

    return nil

Next you compute the left-hand side of the equality, that is [2^c*S]G:

    // [2^basis*S1]G
    lhs.ScalarMulFixedBase(cs, pubKey.Curve.BaseX, pubKey.Curve.BaseY, sig.S1, pubKey.Curve).
        ScalarMulNonFixedBase(cs, &lhs, basis, pubKey.Curve)

    // [S2]G
    tmp := twistededwards.Point{}
    tmp.ScalarMulFixedBase(cs, pubKey.Curve.BaseX, pubKey.Curve.BaseY, sig.S2, pubKey.Curve)

    // [2^basis*S1 + S2]G
    lhs.AddGeneric(cs, &lhs, &tmp, pubKey.Curve)

    // [2^c*(2^basis*S1 + S2)]G
    lhs.ScalarMulNonFixedBase(cs, &lhs, cofactorConstant, pubKey.Curve)

    lhs.MustBeOnCurve(cs, pubKey.Curve)


Notice the use of ScalarMulFixedBase when the point coordinates are in big.Int, and ScalarMulNonFixedBase when the point coordinates are in frontend.Variable. The former costs less constraints, so it should be used whenever the coordinates of the point to multiply are not of type frontend.Variable.

Next, continue the implementation with the computation of the right-hand side:

    //rhs = [2^c]R+[2^cH(R,A,M)]A
    // M: message
    // A: public key
    // R: from the signature (R,S)
    rhs := twistededwards.Point{}
    rhs.ScalarMulNonFixedBase(cs, &pubKey.A, hramConstant, pubKey.Curve).
        AddGeneric(cs, &rhs, &sig.R.A, pubKey.Curve).
        ScalarMulNonFixedBase(cs, &rhs, cofactorConstant, pubKey.Curve)
    rhs.MustBeOnCurve(cs, pubKey.Curve)


You can print values using cs.Println that behaves like fmt.Println, except it will output the values at proving time (when they are solved).

cs.Println("A.X", pubKey.A.X)

Until now, you have only used objects which are defined in the gnark standard library, for example, the twistededwards library and the mimc library. For all the methods that you used, you passed the cs parameter, of type *frontend.ConstraintSystem, which contains the description of the constraint system. However, you never actually used the gnark API.

Use the gnark API, to assert that the left-hand side is equal to the right-hand side:

    // ensures that lhs==rhs
    cs.AssertIsEqual(lhs.X, rhs.X)
    cs.AssertIsEqual(lhs.Y, rhs.Y)


Currently, AssertIsEqual doesn’t work on arbitrary structure. Therefore to enforce equality between the left-hand side (lhs) and the right-hand side (rhs), you must use AssertIsEqual on the X and Y part of the lhs and the rhs individually.

Test the circuit

You successfully implemented EdDSA in a zkSNARK, next you need to test it.

You need a structure implementing a Define function as described in the circuit structure page. The structure should contain the witnesses as frontend.Variable that are needed for an EdDSA signature verification. You need a public key, a signature (R,S), and a message:

import (

type eddsaCircuit struct {
    PublicKey eddsa.PublicKey   `gnark:",public"`
    Signature eddsa.Signature   `gnark:",public"`
    Message   frontend.Variable `gnark:",public"`

Notice that all the witnesses are public.

You need a Define function describing the mathematical statement that must be verified. You did most of this job with the Verify implementation, now you have to assemble the parts.

import (

func (circuit *eddsaCircuit) Define(curveID ecc.ID, cs *frontend.ConstraintSystem) error {

    params, err := twistededwards.NewEdCurve(curveID)
    if err != nil {
        return err
    circuit.PublicKey.Curve = params

    // verify the signature in the cs
    eddsa.Verify(cs, circuit.Signature, circuit.Message, circuit.PublicKey)

    return nil

To test the circuit, you need to generate an EdDSA signature, assign the signature on the circuit’s witnesses, and verify that the circuit has been correctly solved.

To generate the signature, use the package.

Implementations of EdDSA exist for several curves, here you will choose BN254.

func main() {
    // instantiate hash function
    hFunc := hash.MIMC_BN254.New("seed")

    // create a eddsa key pair
    privateKey, err := signature.EDDSA_BN254.New(crand.Reader)
    publicKey := privateKey.Public()

    // note that the message is on 4 bytes
    msg := []byte{0xde, 0xad, 0xf0, 0x0d}

    // sign the message
    signature, err := privateKey.Sign(msg, hFunc)

    // verifies signature
    isValid, err := publicKey.Verify(signature, msg, hFunc)
    if !isValid {
        fmt.Println("1. invalid signature")
    } else {
        fmt.Println("1. valid signature")

Compile the circuit:

    var circuit eddsaCircuit
    r1cs, err := frontend.Compile(ecc.BN254, backend.GROTH16, &circuit)


r1cs is the arithmetized version of the circuit. It is a list of constraints that the prover needs to fulfill by providing satisfying inputs, namely a correct signature on a message.

Run the Groth16 setup to get the ProvingKey and VerifyingKey linked to the circuit.

    // generating pk, vk
    pk, vk, err := groth16.Setup(r1cs)

Create the witness (the data needed to verify a signature inside the zk-SNARK), from the previously computed signature.

    // declare the witness
    var witness eddsaCircuit

    // assign message value

    // public key bytes
    _publicKey := publicKey.Bytes()

    // temporary point
    var p edwardsbn254.PointAffine

    // assign public key values
    axb := p.X.Bytes()
    ayb := p.Y.Bytes()

    // assign signature values
    rxb := p.X.Bytes()
    ryb := p.Y.Bytes()

    // The S part of the signature is a 32 bytes scalar stored in signature[32:64].
    // As decribed earlier, we split is in S1, S2 such that S = 2^128*S1+S2 to prevent
    // overflowing the underlying representation in the circuit.

Last step is to generate the proof and verify it.

    // generate the proof
    proof, err := groth16.Prove(r1cs, pk, &witness)

    // verify the proof
    err = groth16.Verify(proof, vk, &witness)
    if err != nil {
        // invalid proof

Unit tests

In a _test.go file, you can use gnark/backend/groth16/assert.go as follows:

assert := groth16.NewAssert(t)
var witness Circuit
assert.ProverFailed(r1cs, &witness) // .ProverSucceeded
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