Ethereum is getting renewed attention of late as the price reaches a new high. That is to be expected as larger companies showcase their adoption of Ethereum-based dApps/protocols. This month, accounting firm Ernst & Young showcased their blockchain protocol “Nightfall.” Designed for use on the Ethereum mainnet, the software allows companies to securely conduct private transactions through a shared ledger.
For Ernst & Young clients, the confidence-building factor with regard to privacy is the use of zero-knowledge proofs. The latter enables user authentication without having to resort to passwords. In short, zero-knowledge proofs allow one party to prove that they possess knowledge about a secret to a second party – without actually revealing the secret.
Given private transaction security concerns, enterprises and investors have been reluctant to fully embrace public blockchains. Zero-knowledge proofs ensures that transactions are private to all blockchain users – except for those authorised to see the information. However, moving forward with this unique technology requires extensive testing.
As Paul Brody, Ernst & Young’s global innovation leader, explains:
“Making public blockchains secure and scalable is a priority for Ernst & Young. The fastest way to spread this privacy-enhancing technology was to make it public. The gold standard in security is only achieved with this kind of intense review and testing that comes with public domain releases.”
By using zero-knowledge proofs with Nightfall, Ernst & Young has also been able to reduce their transaction processing costs for users.
In addition to providing for secure, private transfers and payments on the public Ethereum network, Nightfall also supports fungible token payments compatible with the ERC-20 standard and unique asset transfers compatible with the ERC-721 standard.