BBVA Bank, Spanish State-Backed Institute To Study Zero-Knowledge Proofs for User Data


The Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), a multinational bank based out of Spain has partnered with a state-backed research centre IMDEA Software Institution to study in detail the advanced use of cryptography in the financial domain.

In a press release dated May 4th, the combined research would look to develop various prototypes that can be readily incorporated into different products and services offered by BBVA.

The main focus of research would be exploring different use cases of Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs) as well as advanced cryptographic techniques. The partnership would see both the parties leveraging the technologies developed by each other to ensure quicker innovation and timely results.

The collaboration between the two parties would also work on ensuring data privacy so that the data shared between two parties cannot be access by any unauthorized third-party. IMDEA’s Antonio Faonio noted that:

“Until recently, these cryptographic techniques were only of interest on a theoretical level. In recent years, we have seen enormous advances that could make them applicable to some practical scenarios.”

Zero-Knowledge Proof One of the Key Area of Research

Since privacy and data sharing will be one of the key areas of research, the research would be focused on finding different use cases of Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs), a privacy centred protocol.

ZKPs is a privacy protocol, which allows the transfer of data from one party to another without the sender having to know what the data actually is.

The first stage of the research would be finding the various hurdles to the larger adoption of ZKP protocol like the lack of a common standard for integrating the protocol in different systems. Both the involved parties believe they have done extensive research on ZKPs protocols which can help them explore and overcome current hurdles in its adoption.

BBVA’s head of research and patents, Carlos Kuchkovsky noted that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the need and benefits of data privacy. He explained,

“There is a growing need to develop technological solutions that allow us to protect the information we share when consuming digital services in our everyday lives. This need has become even more tangible as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, which is demonstrating the need for robust data protection systems given the growing number of cyber-attacks and the use of apps that register users’ data to track the disease, which has emerged in some countries.”

ZKPs protocol was primarily used for privacy coins, however as its features and solution became more mainstream, it has gained among many enterprises looking to safeguard sensitive data from third-parties while interacting with them over their network.

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