ING releases Zero-Knowledge Set Membership blockchain solution
ING Bank has announced the release of its Zero-Knowledge Set Membership (ZKSM) solution, which the bank says, marks its “further development of the Zero-Knowledge Range Proof (ZKRP), that empowers clients by improving privacy in a distributed ledger technology (DLT) environment”.
ZKRP enables numeric data to be validated with a specific number range – for example, a mortgage applicant could prove that their salary sits within a certain range without revealing the exact figure. The “breakthrough” technology of ZKSM allows for alphanumeric data to be validated within a specified set, ING explains.
“This opens up a whole new range of applications which can protect data privacy on the blockchain,” it states.
Furthering the ZKRP capability, ZKSM can prove dimensions such as geographic positioning making it faster and more cost-efficient. As an example, in a know your customer (KYC) check, a user can be validated to be part of a group – an EU citizen – without disclosing the exact country that he/she lives in. If the data set formed includes all countries in the EU and if the private information given is the country of residence of a user, the user can prove that he/she is an EU citizen.
“DLT presents a huge opportunity to increase efficiency and simplicity both for financial services and clients who have dealings with financial institutions,” ING believes.
One of the major challenges in implementing new DLT is protecting private information on a public ledger, where changes must be verified by each participant in the network.
Annerie Vreugdenhil, head of wholesale banking innovation at ING, says ZKSM – “a ground-breaking solution” – is now ready to be implemented and tested. “Some of the best minds in the industry” have been working on this initiative, she adds.
ZKSM is being launched as an open source. This enables external developers to access and further adapt the solution, encouraging the industry to pool its wider expertise to evolve the technology to meet industry demand.