Ernst & Young Utilizes Zero-Knowledge Proof for Private Payments

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Ernst & Young (EY), one of the ‘big four’ accountancy firms, has announced the world’s first implementation of zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) technology on the Ethereum blockchain. The prototype, called EY Ops Chain Public Edition (PE), allows for private and secure creation of product and service tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, with ZKP technology allowing competing companies to transact on the same public blockchain while retaining their privacy, blending two key aspects of cryptocurrency.

Enterprise Blockchain Adoption

EY revealed their intentions to move into the blockchain space in April 2017 when they announced the formulation of the Ops Chain team. EY global innovation leader Paul Brody said at the time: “Our EY Ops Chain vision is to drive the blockchain revolution by integrating finance with operations to industrialize blockchain for businesses.” Eighteen months’ worth of work seems to have paid off, with Brody labelling the breakthrough this week as “…a first-of-its-kind application and a major step forward that empowers blockchain adoption.” EY is working on a roadmap for EY Ops Chain PE and the EY Blockchain Private Transaction Monitor that aims to improve transaction efficiency and scalability, with a production offering penciled in for release in 2019.

Blockchain Breakthrough

The news is important for the blockchain space as it shows the caliber of organizations looking to use the technology on a regular basis, and is arguably more bullish for Ethereum given its recent scaling delays, although the price didn’t move upon the news. EY aren’t the first famous name to put resources towards using blockchain technology, with IBM having shown a keen interest in the technology, but EY’s move is the first time an organization of that size has built something new on a decentralized network rather than just utilizing parts of it. This shows an interesting development that could pave the way for more exploration within the sector.