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Blockchain

ING Bank experimenting with zero-knowledge proofs

April 15, 2019, 8:02AM EDT

Dutch multinational bank ING is researching real-life uses for Bulletproofs - a version of blockchain that shares information using zero-knowledge proofs, CoinDesk writes.

ING believes the technology could be useful when dealing with privacy concerns. For instance, it could help institutions like banks obey the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and help protect sensitive client data.

Bulletproofs has been developed by Stanford University and University College London cryptographers alongside startup Blocksteam. According to Mariana Gomez de la Villa, global head of ING’s blockchain program, Bulletproofs is “roughly ten times faster than other range proofs.” 

ING has developed variants of zero-knowledge proofs including range proofs and ‘zero-knowledge set membership’. In range proofs, the amount is hidden within a range while ‘zero-knowledge set membership’ provides a way to validate alphanumeric data within a specified set. Moreover, it is also testing zero-knowledge proofs (ZKP) in trade finance.

“We are setting up a whole [ZKP] shop to help developers find these use cases and are in contact with some of our customers to ensure they have a good understanding of how they can leverage these open source projects that we have,” De la Villa said.

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