STARKs, or Scalable Transparent Arguments of Knowledge, are a type of zero-knowledge proof system that allows for the creation of non-interactive proofs (the prover and verifier do not need to interact) for computational integrity. In a STARK, one can prove that they know a solution to a problem without revealing any information about the solution itself.
For example, in Confidential Transactions using Pedersen commitments, STARKs can be used to prove that the input amount is equal to the output amount without revealing the actual amounts involved.
STARKs are designed to be more scalable than their SNARK counterpart: the size of the proof grows logarithmically with the length of the computation being proven. This makes STARKs particularly useful for scaling complex systems, as they can handle increased complexity without a proportional increase in the proof size, ensuring efficiency and speed are maintained.
Unlike SNARKs, STARKs do not require a trusted setup or public parameters, removing potential vulnerabilities. Notably, this makes them quantum-resistant and a promising tool for maintaining Bitcoin security in the future.