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ING Plans to Introduce Zero-Knowledge Set Membership


In November 2017, multinational Dutch bank ING modified the “Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKP)” concept and launched the “Zero-Knowledge Range Proofs (ZKRP)”. Coindesk has reported that the bank is now on its way to launching another protoco,l titled “Zero-Knowledge Set Membership”.

Understanding ING’s ZKP Modifications

Considering blockchain technology provides a transparent network, some companies may require certain details to remain private. This is where ZKP comes in. ZKP protocol allows users to confirm that they know a secret without giving away any details of the situation. For instance, you can prove to another user that you know the specified date for an upcoming event without letting them know the exact date itself. However, ING worked on the original concept to create ZKRP, which allow users to not only prove but specify the range of the aforementioned number. So, now you can prove that the upcoming event may occur between January 1st and January 14th.

Since ZKRP can only be used for numbers such as salaries, transactions and dates, ING has decided to include different types of data as well. Mariana Gomez de la Villa, senior program manager blockchain at ING, said, “Set membership is more powerful than range proofs. For example, imagine that you could validate that someone lives in a country that belongs to the European Union, without revealing which one.”

Set membership is open-source, a practice which has previously helped ING in improving the ZKRP protocol. The bank works closely with cryptographers, such that the latter focuses on coding while the former manages its uses. “They can keep thinking about their crazy stuff and then we can say, ‘OK, how can we use it in order to make it available to the rest so it can actually work?” said Gomez de la Villa.

Zerocoin Electric Coin Company COO, Jack Gavigan, applauded ING’s effort to back such development in blockchain technology. “[W]hen this technology matures and is ready for prime time, they’ll be ready and able to hit the ground running,” said Gavigan.

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