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ING proposes ZKP notary service to bolster privacy, security of R3’s Corda blockchain platform

ING financial services have come up with a solution that would eliminate Corda’s compromise between privacy and security through the use of zero-knowledge proof.

Image: Fred Romero (Flickr)

Fri, 25 Oct 2019, 06:12 am UTC

ING has just announced that is has found a way to bolster the security and privacy of R3’s Corda, an open-source blockchain platform. As it stands, Corda has two types of notaries that are validating transactions.

The first one is the validating notary that necessitates the examination of a transaction’s contents before affirming that the information inside is sound. With the notary being able to view the contents, the privacy of the participants is at risk.

The second is the non-validating notary that doesn’t require the perusing of data within the transaction, resulting in the perseveration of privacy. However, this poses a security concern where the notary approves a transaction that may contain invalid information, ZDNet reported. So what is ING’s solution?

Zero-knowledge proof for Corda

Enter zero-knowledge proof. Defined in the 1998 paper titled “The Knowledge of Complexity of Interactive Proof System,” this method will allow notaries to validate transactions without privacy or security risks. It does this by identifying a piece of specific information within the transaction without needing to examine the rest of the data.

For instance, validating the authenticity of a person’s identity might require the system to only view certain information. The notary might check if the person is from America without the need to identify which state. Through a series of fact-checking, the notary can then increase its chances of successfully validating information as more data align with the proper identification. Once the requirement is met, the transaction is validated.

"ZKP can also be used to address privacy concerns in Corda notaries. Namely, it would be possible for the owner of a state to prove ownership to a notary, and it would allow for proving that the state has been transferred. Additionally, surprisingly, ZKP transactions that are sent to notaries take less time to verify than regular transactions (of which the entire content is visible)," ING said in its white paper.

ING’s solution may accelerate global blockchain adoption

This solution is quite important for the adoption of blockchain and digital ledger technology in sectors that needs security and privacy protection. Financial institutions, the medical sector, and online businesses are just some of the few that easily come to mind.

With Corda working with varying industries that aim to take advantage of digital ledger technology, this is an important step in solidifying the trust of private corporations and government agencies. And as this trust grows, this can accelerate the global adoption of DLT, streamlining processes that would otherwise take days to be completed.

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