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ING Bank Introduces New Zero-Knowledge Privacy Tool With KYC Applications

Oct 23, 2018, 7:48AM
1 min, 1 sec READ

ING Bank has created a privacy tool that can verify many kinds of data without revealing that data. What are the implications for users?

ING Bank has announced a new privacy add-on that can be built into public blockchain platforms. The tool, dubbed Zero-Knowledge Set Membership (ZKSM), enables a blockchain to validate data without actually exposing it. The tool was both released to the public as an open-source project and integrated with ING's own platform.

This is not ING's first creation; the major financial institution entered the blockchain world last November when it introduced zero-knowledge range proofs. This technology allows blockchains to validate numerical information (such as monetary amounts or user ages) without exposing that information on a ledger.

Now, ING's new ZKSM technology can privately verify non-numerical data by comparing information between datasets. ZKSM could, for example, be used to perform KYC checks that are not overly intrusive. Users could validate their general location but hide their precise location. By comparing user-submitted data against a larger dataset, ZKSM would be able to validate that a citizen is in an E.U. country without revealing their exact country.

Zero-knowledge proofs are already used more broadly by privacy coins such as Zcash to protect transaction amounts and addresses. As blockchain platforms begin to handle increasingly complex information that goes beyond transaction data, ING's new technology could become more widely prevalent.

Disclaimer: information contained herein is provided without considering your personal circumstances, therefore should not be construed as financial advice, investment recommendation or an offer of, or solicitation for, any transactions in cryptocurrencies.