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New Zero Knowledge Proof Services Provide Complete Transaction Privacy

Steve Cerveny
Founder & CEO
September 15, 2019
Since this post was written, Hyperledger FireFly has reached 1.0. Learn more here!

A common challenge faced by enterprise blockchain networks is how to protect private information from being shared on the ledger.  Some organizations need to prevent transactional data from being exposed to other members of the business network for business, legal or compliance reasons.  Privacy is always important to enterprises, and the challenge of maintaining privacy within a collaborative business network is not a new one.  Enterprises that adopt permissioned blockchains have always understood the importance of shielding sensitive information from other network participants.  

Privacy for enterprise blockchains can be achieved through different methods.  

  • Private Transactions - Supported by popular protocols like Quorum and Hyperledger Besu, this method compartmentalizes states according to subgroups of the permissioned blockchain participants and keeps the transactions off-chain. Only participants within the subgroup have access to the transactions.  A hash of the encrypted payload is submitted to the chain in order to represent the occurrence of the private transaction.
  • Channels with Data Isolation - This method creates separate blockchains for subgroups of the participants.
  • Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) - Based on trusted hardware, such as Intel’s Software Guard extensions (SGX), TEEs provides a computing platform that can be remotely attested for data and computation commitment, thus eliminating the need to expose the data for transaction validation purposes.
  • Zero-Knowledge Proof -  leverages advanced cryptography to provide a trusted compute framework so that state transitions can happen with encrypted data and be verifiable by everybody in the network without knowing the real data.  A global state is maintained by the entire network, making it possible for token use cases to ensure global mass conservation.

Zero-knowledge proofs (ZKP) can provide complete transactional privacy, enabling transactions where one party can prove to another party that they know a certain value, x, without actually conveying any information apart from the fact they they know x.  

We want to enable clients to focus on utilizing ZKP technology without having to invest a lot of time and effort understanding the complexities of how things actually work under the covers.  It’s the perfect solution for clients who are interested in adopting ZKP technologies for privacy, but don’t want to take on the daunting challenges of the steep learning curve with the underlying ZK algorithm or the large amounts of technical components (proof generators, verifiers, and integration with the token contracts) that must work together in order to make a cohesive solution.

Kaleido introduced two new services around zero-knowledge proofs.  Both of these new services are designed to promote secure, private transactions for organizations that require it.  

The two new services now available in Kaleido are:  Kaleido’s Zero Knowledge Token Transfer Service and QED-IT’s Private Asset Transfer Service.  

Zero Knowledge Proof Services

Kaleido Service:  Zero Knowledge Token Transfer

This new service provides an ERC20 token solution for private transfers protected by zero-knowledge proof.  Using this service, you can transact with network members while keeping your identity and token balances private.

At the core of the service is the Zether protocol, jointly developed by cryptography researchers from Stanford University and Visa, with extensions to enhance sender and receiver anonymity by JPMorgan’s Quorum development team.  Zether protocol allows ethereum accounts holding ERC20 token balances to fund Zether accounts and obtain ZTH tokens in exchange. Transfer of ZTH tokens among the Zether accounts are conducted with zero knowledge proofs, thus concealing the balances, transfer amount as well as the identity of the trading parties.

As with all Kaleido services, the Zero Knowledge Token Transfer service comes with intuitive UI to allow users to understand the usage flow. It also comes with a REST API that makes it trivial to program with the token transfer workflow. Clients can use the REST API to build personalized web or mobile applications for their users.

Zero Knowledge Token Transfer

Learn more about Kaleido’s Zero Knowledge Token Transfer service or watch a short tutorial video.

Kaleido Partner Service: QED-IT Private Asset Transfer

QEDIT is a leading privacy technology company that leverages zero-knowledge proof cryptography to enable data-driven collaboration among parties that cannot share transactional information for business, legal or compliance reasons.  

Kaleido has partnered with QEDIT to make their private asset transfer solution available in the Kaleido marketplace. You can seamlessly transition from executing asset transfers with ERC20/721 tokens, which leak data on the blockchain, to privacy-preserving asset transfers that leverage zero-knowledge proof cryptography, keeping sensitive transactional data off the blockchain. As companies launch projects with advanced privacy needs, the core QEDIT technical integration in the Kaleido platform across the Go Ethereum (Geth), Quorum and Hyperledger Besu protocols provides a groundbreaking way to access blockchain ZKP technologies.  

QEDIT publishing zero-knowledge proofs
QEDIT publishes zero-knowledge proofs, rather than raw transactional data, to the Kaleido blockchain

“Kaleido has played a leading role in accelerating the deployment of enterprise blockchain technology by removing the need for companies to invest significant resources in custom code development. The komgo blockchain network, which is used by the world’s leading energy companies and financial institutions, is a showcase example of what can be achieved on the Kaleido platform. We’re proud to be partnering with Kaleido and thrilled about having our ZKP privacy protocol available in their marketplace,”  said Jonathan Rouach, QEDIT co-founder and CEO.

“As our clients’ blockchain networks mature, many are looking to solve next-gen problems for their ecosystems. QEDIT’s leading privacy innovations in the zero knowledge space are compelling for our customers.  We’re excited to offer access to QEDIT’s deep tech in our marketplace,” said Sophia Lopez, Kaleido Founder and COO.

Learn more about QEDIT’s Private Asset Transfer service in the Kaleido marketplace

Both the Kaleido Zero Knowledge Token Transfer and QEDIT Private Asset Transfer services are available today in the Kaleido marketplace.  Just like all of our marketplace services, they are pre-integrated and API-enabled, making it easy to seamlessly pull into your blockchain solutions.  You can learn more about the technical integration in this deep dive blog post.

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