ING, the Dutch multinational banking and financial services corporation, announced on 21st of October a blockchain breakthrough that improves data privacy for clients: its zero-knowledge set membership (ZKSM) solution. The release of ZKSM follows ING’s zero-knowledge range proof (ZKRP) solution announced last year, which helps overcome one of the biggest obstacles to using blockchain in financial services: protecting data privacy.
“Our overall goal with distributed ledger technology and specifically blockchain is to create solutions that empower our clients to transform their business models,” said Annerie Vreugdenhil, head of Wholesale Banking Innovation at ING. “One of the key elements in this process for clients is how to deal with data and privacy. The release of ZKSM is the next step in this journey.”
ZKRP enables numerical data to be validated within a number range. For example, a mortgage applicant could prove that their salary sits within a certain range without revealing the exact figure.
But data isn’t just about numbers, as ZKSM goes beyond numerical data to include other types of information, like locations and names, making it more powerful.
For instance, banks could validate that a new client lives in a country that belongs to the European Union, without revealing the country. Simply put, this technology allows information to be shared without revealing contextual details.
The ZKSM solution is open-source, which means that external developers can experiment with and improve distributed ledger technology privacy standards.
“At ING, we are fortunate to have some of the best minds in the industry working on our programme,” said Annerie. “We are excited that our ground-breaking solution is now ready to be implemented and tested.”