EY To Make Ethereum Private, Announces ZK-Snarks Integration

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London-based professional services firm EY has announced the development of an EY Ops Chain Public Edition (PE) prototype that could improve privacy without compromising consensus algorithms on blockchains, such as Ethereum.

This will theoretically allow companies and private entities to enhance their privacy and security when participating in transactions, as well as allowing for private access to their records on a formerly transparent blockchain, like Ethereum.

This patent-pending technology based on the Ethereum blockchain is the result of years of research in EY’s blockchain labs situated in London and Paris. Through an official press release, EY has claimed that the prototype can support payment and utility tokens similar to the Ethereum-based tokens that follow today’s ERC-721 and ERC-20 standards.

A New Edition of Last Year’s Product

Last year, EY had released EY Ops Chain as an enterprise-level suite of applications and services that could assist businesses with commercializing blockchain applications. At the time, Paul Brody, EY’s Global Innovation Leader, said the following about the novel product:

“It’s time for blockchain to go beyond finance applications alone and deep into industry. Our EY Ops Chain vision is to drive the blockchain revolution by integrating finance with operations to industrialize blockchain for businesses.”

The primary goal of EY Ops Chain is to allow enterprises to gain access to greater transaction privacy, while still maintaining a high level of security or resiliency. With improved zero-knowledge proofs (zk-snarks) expected to be included in the Public Edition, enterprises can essentially use the same blockchain protocols as their competitors with less risk of losing sensitive corporate data.

The Public Edition is also expected to help reduce the cost of bringing business partners on board. As Brody, the aforementioned EY executive put it:

“The biggest challenge for enterprises’ blockchain adoption is the ability to on-board business partners into their private or consortium blockchain network. Using the standard, secure infrastructure of a public blockchain while keeping their transactions private, businesses greatly reduce the expensive and time consuming process of setting up private networks and on-boarding business partners one at a time.”

Release Roadmap For Ethereum-based Product Still In The Works

The London firm, classified as one of the largest professional services firms on the globe, is still working on rolling out EY Ops Chain PE for public consumption. EY is also in the midst of creating a release roadmap for both this new edition and the included EY Blockchain Private Transaction Monitor, which will capture transaction history for future review. EY Ops Chain PE is expected to be released to the public in 2019.

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