Starting with zero-knowledge proofs, ING bank has been delving into the possibility of blockchain technology helping to facilitate greater privacy for quite a while. According to CoinDesk, the trouble is: they just can’t seem to settle on one solution to actually try out live, even in the case of a live pilot.
Their latest effort involves researching a technology called “bulletproofs,” which amount to a form of zero-knowledge proofs with a few different features. Judging by a post from Stanford University’s crypto group, chief amongst these features is the ability to verify the truth of a document or a transaction without needing any information at all about the parties involved.
With both this post and CoinDesk’s article today on the subject in mind, however, one particular difficulty with using bulletproofs at scale comes to light. Reportedly, they are just too time-consuming, even more so than traditional zero-knowledge proofs. Considering this statement, it is hard to follow how ING’s claim that bulletproofs may be “10 times faster than other range proofs” can be true, at least at first.
Perhaps, despite the fact that this statement was given with a particular caveat could lead us to a likely answer. In saying that bulletproofs are the fastest, ING also seems to have been speaking about a comparison involving one proof being sent at a time. Therefore, they never meant to suggest that bulletproofs are the fastest at scale.
In the end, since this appears to be true, it may also be concluded that for now, ING Bank is nowhere closer to finding a cryptographic privacy framework that would fully work for them. The key to doing so might be to embrace the open-source ethos of the blockchain industry and collaborate with other institutions on the research to speed up the process. The problem is: for now, there’s no indication that ING Bank would be interested in doing that since their main interest in using privacy technologies seems to be to protect their own assets from competitors and nefarious parties.
By: BGN Editorial Staff