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The Spanish major bank BBVA researches with the Madrid research institute Zero-knowledge Proofs – and how to make them fit for adaptation.

The Spanish bank BBVA is going into crypto research. A recently agreed collaboration with the Madrid research institute IMDEA Software is intended to make zero knowledge proof technology (ZKP) suitable for the masses. This involves the confidential comparison of information (e.g. account balances) without the communication partners having to disclose their data to each other. The crypto technology is used, among other things, for the Privacy Coin Zcash.

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Zero-knowledge proofs on the way to market maturity

The Zero Knwoledge Proof will soon be ready for the big stage, says Antonio Faonio, postdoctoral fellow at the IMDEA Software Insitute:

Until recently, these cryptographic techniques were only of theoretical interest. We have seen tremendous progress in recent years that could make it applicable to some practical scenarios, but some challenges remain: efficiency and integration into larger systems,

The aim of the collaboration is to find solutions to these problems that previously prevented zero-knowledge proofs from entering finance and industry.

This collaboration could help us and the scientific community to share this technology with relevant industrial players. Antonio Faonio, IMDEA Software Institute

The research collaboration apparently also came about due to the corona crisis. The corona virus pandemic has given digital data protection a new urgency. At least that’s what Carlos Kutschkowski, head of the research and patents department at BBVA, thinks.

There is a growing need to develop technological solutions that enable us to protect the information that we share in our daily lives when using digital services. […] This need has become even more tangible due to the COVID-19 crisis, which has highlighted the lack of robust data protection systems in the face of the growing number of cyber attacks and [corona tracing apps] now appearing in some countries
Carlos Kutschkowski, BBVA

The BBVA has had a foot in the door to the crypto sector for several years. For example, the major Spanish bank was already testing the blockchain platform Waves for data transfer at the end of 2017. In 2018, she also processed a loan using distributed ledger technology for the first time. In addition, the BBVA is one of the partner banks of the California blockchain company Ripple.