‘Big Four’ professional services firm, Ernst & Young (EY) has launched its prototype of a groundbreaking enterprise blockchain product that has integrated Zero-Knowledge Proof (ZKP) technology to secure privacy on the public blockchain Ethereum.
Entitled ‘EY Ops Chain Public Edition’ (PE), the professional services giant intends to boost the adoption of blockchain technology by negating the need to build or join various permissioned, private networks. EY’s Global Innovation Leader of Blockchain, Paul Brody stated:
“The biggest challenge for enterprises’ blockchain adoption is the ability to on-board business partners into their private or consortium blockchain network.”
To date, the lack of privacy on ‘public’ blockchains has been a major deterrent for adoption by enterprises, the idea that contractual and financial information could be made public knowledge is unacceptable, resulting in many of them seeking private solutions such as R3‘s Corda, Ripple or Hyperledger, as well as joining numerous industry lead projects such as RiskBlock, an insurance blockchain consortium that EY is also part of.
Addressing the general consensus that public blockchains offer greater security and liquidity than private systems, the news release on EY’s website states that with:
“market capitalisation of approximately US$20 billion and millions of users and investors, the public Ethereum blockchain dwarfs any private blockchain in operation.”
EY’s public edition, uses an alternative ZKP algorithm to enable the transacting parties to authenticate sensitive information securely and privately, allowing then for a trusted ‘proof of validity’ to be entered on a public blockchain, thus keeping identity and all other information encrypted “without breaking the consensus algorithm”.
Further to this, the solution incorporates the ‘EY Blockchain Private Transaction Monitor’, another of its prototypes designed to capture the transaction history for later review.
The idea is that by combining ZKP and off-chain encrypted swarm storage, EY Ops Chain PE is enabling all ecosystem partners, suppliers and competitors to transact within one blockchain environment, without giving up confidential business information. EY’s Paul Brody has stated:
“These tools will do for public blockchains what https did for the web.”
The firm is yet to reveal further details, however they did confirm that the solution supports both payment tokens and unique product and services tokens that are similar to the Ethereum ERC-20 and ERC-721 token standards.
Developed by EY blockchain labs in London and Paris, the professional services giant may have beat Ethereum‘s own developers in delivering a solution securing privacy on its public blockchain. The ‘patent pending’ product is currently being live-tested, and EY have stated that it expects a full-scale product launch by 2019.
As one of the worlds “big four” auditing firms, all of which are set for major disruption by blockchain technology, EY have made a number of impressive moves in the space. As per a previous BCTech Report, EY has joined forces with tech giant Microsoft to build a blockchain content rights platform that could become the world’s biggest enterprise network.