In a bid to promote users' privacy, ING's blockchain team is testing a whole new form of a technology called ‘bulletproof.' The latest piece of technology is designed to hide the amounts being transferred in bitcoin transactions, which are typically visible to everyone, according to reports on April 15, 2019.
A Drive Towards Privacy
Users' privacy is one of the main talking points in the cryptocurrency industry and one of the leading players to take the matter in its stride is the Netherlands-based global bank ING.
The latest piece of technology called bulletproof is developed and refined by hardcore cryptographers at Stanford University, University College London and startup Blockstream.
The primary purpose of developing this groundbreaking bulletproof solution is to make sure that a user can rest assured that his/her bitcoin transaction is not visible to any third party.
Although most banks have privacy concerns about distributed ledger technology (DLT), they have no choice since they don't want to expose competitive or sensitive client data to rivals.
To break this barrier, banks have tried their hands on one or two solutions, and one of the earliest was the zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs).
Zero-Knowledge proofs is a way of proving possession of sensitive data without revealing the complete details of the ‘data' itself.
Other variants such as range proofs (where a hidden number is proven to be within a certain range) and zero knowledge set membership (where alphanumeric data can be validated within a specified set) have been exploited.
Efficient And Applicable
Although the previous solutions have been able to keep the standard in their own rights, they, however, tend to eat up a lot of computing space and consequently slow down a blockchain network.
Now, ING is seeing bulletproofs as a more efficient and scalable solution.
Commenting on the effectiveness of the bulletproofs, Mariana Gomez de la Villa, the head of ING's blockchain program said that bulletproofs are
‘'roughly ten times faster than other range proof”.
She is also of the opinion that
‘'bulletproofs would allow a solution that is 300 times more efficient than other alternative range proofs.”
Meanwhile, scholars, cryptocurrency scientists, crypto enthusiasts and the major players in the industry seem encouraged by the prospect.
Blockstream mathematician Andrew Poelstra stated that:
‘'When we developed bulletproofs in 2007, we did not expect such an uptake. We are very excited and proud whenever we see the technology being applied to real-world problems if a little surprised its found a use-case in traditional banking.”
Although privacy is one of the main concerns in the cryptocurrency market, there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel, but with the introduction of the ‘bulletproofs, hopes are now high again, and maybe this might be the needed answer to the age-long problem.
Bitcoin enthusiasts are also of the belief that if user's transactions can be made private and shut against prying eyes, it might help reduce the cases of scams and fraud and attract more investors into the cryptospace.