ING Bank has announced the initial release of its Zero-Knowledge Range Proof (ZKRP) solution and the technology signals a major addition to Blockchain technology and will help overcome one of the biggest obstacles to financial services in using Blockchain technology: improving confidentiality in a public ledger. The ZKRP solution has been internally developed by the ING Blockchain team and has demonstrated significant efficiency improvement.
Since inception, Blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies have generated huge interest for the potential to drive greater simplicity and efficiency. However, for the financial services industry, one of the main challenges is the protection of private information on a public ledger, where changes must be verified by each participant in the network. ‘Zero-Knowledge Proof’ offers a potential solution for this by allowing a party to verify the accuracy of a statement without conveying the actual information in the statement.
ING’s new solution adds the ‘Range’ factor to this by allowing users to prove they have a secret number that lies in a known range. For example, a mortgage applicant could prove that their salary sits within a certain range, without revealing the exact figure. Similarly, it could prove that a payment amount is within a limit, but it does not show the exact amount. One of the main benefits of ING’s specific ZKRP solution is efficiency: in benchmarks it is approximately ten times more efficient than other technologies and therefore has a much lower operating cost.
ING has launched ZKRP as an open source solution, which means that other interested parties in the development community are able to download, access and even contribute to the solution, which allows for greater testing and can lead to improvements.
“Until recently, one of the primary challenges for applying distributed ledger technology in the banking sector was ensuring that data privacy was protected while simultaneously meeting regulatory reporting requirements,” said Mariana Gomez de la Villa, global head of ING’s Blockchain programme. “While ZKP technology has provided us with a way of overcoming that, the main limiting factor is the resource and therefore cost that each verification would generate. However, ING’s ZKRP solution has been proven to be ten times more efficient than other ZKPs in the ethereum test network, while upholding the same three principles: completeness, soundness and zero-knowledge.”
Further details on ING’s Zero-Knowledge Range Proof solution are available in a downloadable whitepaper.