Shell-Backed Firm Raises $2.5M for Zero-Knowledge Proof Platform

Shell-Backed Firm Raises $2.5M for Zero-Knowledge Proof Platform

Enterprises are increasingly adopting zero-knowledge proofs, with a Shell-backed blockchain firm raising $2.5M

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Applied blockchain, a Shell-backed distributed ledger technology, or DLT, firm, has secured $2.5 million in funding for applications that use zero-knowledge proofs, or ZKPs, in the context of business-to-business transactions.

The funding round was led by Hong Kong-based venture capital, QBN Capital, with the funds designated for the development of a platform featuring ZKPs and other privacy-oriented technologies.

QBN Capital’s Philea Chim described ZKPs as “a better way to share and handle data,” emphasizing that zero-knowledge proofs can be used to bolster the privacy of interactions between governments, corporations, and individuals.

Shell-backed firm secures $2.5M for ZKP platform

The platform is intended to facilitate collaboration between firms without risking leaking valuable proprietary data.

Applied Blockchain states it is currently testing the nascent platform with its enterprise client base, including businesses representing the “energy, shipping, aviation, automotive, telecoms, and financial services” industries.

“We are very excited to be building a platform to meet the demands of our enterprise clients to do more with their data, while keeping it safe, secure and private,” stated Applied Blockchain founder and CEO, Adi Ben-Ari.

The chief executive added his expectation that the partnership with QBN will allow Applied Blockchain to expand its presence in the Asian market.

Enterprises explore ZKP technology

While zero-knowledge proofs have largely been associated with privacy coins such as Zcash (ZEC) within the the crypto-sphere, ZKPs have attracted a spike in interest from the enterprise community as a possible means to protect data privacy when interfacing with other entities across a network.

ZKPs are a fundamental component of the Baseline Protocol — an enterprise DLT and smart contract programming protocol developed by Ernst & Young (EY), Microsoft, and ConsenSys.

In November 2019, Samsung SDS partnered with Israeli tech firm, Qedit, to integrate zero-knowledge proofs onto the Nexledger enterprise blockchain.

On April 19, 2019, EY announced it had released its ZKP private transaction protocol into the public domain.


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Enterprises are increasingly adopting zero-knowledge proofs, with a Shell-backed blockchain firm raising $2.5M

EY Releases New Version of Zero-Knowledge Proof Blockchain to Public Domain

EY Releases New Version of Zero-Knowledge Proof Blockchain to Public Domain

EY released a new iteration of its zero-knowledge proof blockchain tech to the public domain

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British auditing giant EY has released a new iteration of its zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) blockchain, intending to cut transaction costs by 90%.

A ZKP is a digital protocol that enables data to be distributed between the two participants without using a password or any associated information in the transaction.

According to an announcement on Dec. 19, EY released its third-generation ZKP blockchain technology to the public domain on the Ethereum blockchain.

The new ZKP blockchain aims to make private transactions on public blockchains more scalable by decreasing transaction costs by combining multiple private transfers in a single transaction. 

Specifically, the new iteration reportedly can batch up to 20 private transfers in a single transaction, reducing the transaction cost to $0.05. Available on GitHub, the new product is reportedly a 400-fold improvement over the initial EY blockchain prototype unveiled in October 2018, the announcement notes.

Paul Brody, EY global blockchain leader, noted that the new technology is potentially the “most important EY blockchain milestone” in its global effort to scale public blockchains. Brody noted:

“With this iteration, we cut the cost per transaction by more than 90% again, making private transactions more accessible for mainstream business application.”

EY launches token and smart contract testing service in public beta

The news comes just a day after Brody revealed that EY is planning to soon launch its smart contract and token testing service in beta. In a Reddit post on Dec. 18, Brody said that the beta product is available for review:

“As we previously announced, we are developing a smart contract and token testing service and planning to launch it in production shortly. A public beta of the initial version is now available for users to try out.”

As the EY smart contract and token testing product is available for the public, the firm is waiting for feedback and suggestions for further features, Brody said. In a tweet on Dec. 19, Brody revealed that the new service has received positive reactions despite it being “still early days for this product.”


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EY released a new iteration of its zero-knowledge proof blockchain tech to the public domain

Zero-Knowledge Proofs, Explained

Zero-Knowledge Proofs, Explained

Here’s what you need to know about zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs)

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1.

A zero-knowledge proof is a digital protocol that allows for data to be shared between two parties without the use of a password or any other information associated with the transaction.

In its most basic sense, a zero-knowledge proof (also commonly referred to as ZKP) can be thought of as a protocol through which a digital authentication process can be facilitated without the use of any passwords or other sensitive data. As a result of this, no information, either from the sender’s or receiver’s end, can be compromised in any way. 

This is quite useful, especially since such a level of safety provides tech enthusiasts with an avenue to communicate with one another without having to reveal the content of their interactions with any third party. 

The idea underlying zero-knowledge proofs first came to the fore back in 1985, when developers Shafi Goldwasser, Charles Rackoff and Silvio Micali presented to the world the notion of “knowledge complexity” — a concept that served as a precursor to ZKPs. 

As the name suggests, knowledge complexity acts as a metric standard to determine the amount of knowledge required for any transaction (between a prover and verifier) to be considered valid.


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Here’s what you need to know about zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs)

Samsung SDS to Use Zero-Knowledge Proofs on Business Blockchain

Samsung SDS to Use Zero-Knowledge Proofs on Business Blockchain

Samsung SDS’ enterprise blockchain platform Nexledger will use QEDIT’s zero-knowledge proof privacy solution

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Samsung SDS, the IT arm of tech giant Samsung, has integrated QEDIT’s zero-knowledge proof solution (ZKP) to its Nexledger blockchain. By applying ZKP, Samsung SDS intends to provide a higher level of privacy for users of its enterprise blockchain platform Nexledger, QEDIT said in a press release on Nov. 14.

To apply the technology, Samsung SDS has signed a memorandum of understanding with Israeli privacy-enhancing technology provider QEDIT in Seoul. According to the announcement, the agreement was signed by Jeanie Hong, senior VP at Samsung SDS’ blockchain division, and Jonathan Rouach, CEO and co-founder of QEDIT.

Based on ZCP cryptography, QEDIT’s protocol is designed to allow parties employing enterprise blockchains to record and authenticate transactions on a shared ledger without disclosing confidential data.

Specifically, QEDIT’s private asset transfer solution makes digital payments between banks private when they are transferred, while regulators and institutions can selectively disclose certain details about transactions. Hong said:

“The performance of QEDIT’s private asset transfer solution has been exemplary during the rigorous series of testing and trials we conducted. The QEDIT team has consistently demonstrated the ability to horizontally scale ZKP cryptography in a blockchain environment, and has shown a deep appreciation of the challenges confronting enterprises from a privacy perspective.”

QEDIT’s tech has already been deployed by major global firms

Prior to partnering with Samsung SDS, QEDIT has made similar agreements with other major global firms, including Big Four auditing firm Deloitte. Following an agreement announced in late October 2019, the CTO at Deloitte’s EMEA Blockchain Lab noted that QEDIT’s ZCP solution ensures that organizations can trust the authenticity of qualifications while maintaining data privacy and regulatory compliance.

As reported by Cointelegraph, ConsenSys’s enterprise blockchain startup Kaleido became the first firm to implement QEDIT’s ZCP solution in mid-September 2019.


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Samsung SDS’ enterprise blockchain platform Nexledger will use QEDIT’s zero-knowledge proof privacy solution

Kaleido Blockchain Implements QEDIT’s Zero-Knowledge Proof Solution

Kaleido Blockchain Implements QEDIT’s Zero-Knowledge Proof Solution

ConsenSys’s enterprise blockchain startup Kaleido implements QEDIT’s zero-knowledge proof privacy solution

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Enterprise blockchain startup Kaleido, a part of ConsenSys’s venture studio, became the first to implement crypto privacy firm QEDIT’s zero-knowledge proof solution.

An optional feature

QEDIT claims in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Sept. 15 that this partnership with Kaleido will enable its private asset transfer feature as an off-the-shelf option for businesses using the platform. CEO and co-founder of QEDIT Jonathan Rouach added:

“Kaleido has played a leading role in accelerating the deployment of enterprise blockchain technology by removing the need for companies to invest significant resources in custom code development. […] We’re proud to be partnering with Kaleido and thrilled about having our ZKP privacy protocol available in their marketplace.”

A notable platform

Rouach also named the Komgo blockchain as an example of Kaleido’s potential, claiming that it “is used by leading energy companies and financial institutions.” Per the announcement, Kaleido “is the only full-stack blockchain SaaS that is enterprise and consortia-ready.”

As Cointelegraph reported in May last year, leading cloud platform Amazon Web Service partnered with Kaleido to offer simplified blockchain cloud platforms for its clients. In November 2018, the two also launched a full-stack platform that helps enterprises implement blockchain solutions.


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ConsenSys’s enterprise blockchain startup Kaleido implements QEDIT’s zero-knowledge proof privacy solution