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The common reference string in NIZK does not have to be uniformly distributed. It is to be sampled from whatever distribution the NIZK protocol specifies. However, the common random string in NIZK does have to be uniformly distributed, and the setup strings in NIZK also have to be uniformly distributed.


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There are two answers. One, go non-interactive with the Fiat-Shamir transform. This requires the Random Oracle Model (ROM) to analyse, but the ROM is standard enough in cryptography and ROM proofs have been used in practice for long enough that this shouldn't worry you. It gets you full ZK, curiously enough for the exact same reason that plain Schnorr is ...


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Soundness usually means "you can't prove a false statement". There are different ways to formalise this but usually the probability of an efficient algorithm coming up with a false statement and a proof that verifies is negligible in some parameter (such as the length of the statement). Soundness can be defined for any proof scheme, including ones that are ...



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