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JPMorgan Tests Ethereum Privacy Tech ‘AZTEC’ with Zero-Knowledge Proofs

Originally published on: CoinSpeaker
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March 01, 2019

Photo: Ben Sutherland / Flickr

Photo: Ben Sutherland / Flickr

It doesn’t seem that the CEO of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon is a huge fan of Bitcoin (as it was him who named it a fraud last year). Nevertheless, his company has nothing against the emerging technology and digital assets.

Let us remind that on February 14, the bank launched its own blockchain-based digital currency JPM Coin which caused a rather controversial reaction of the community. But it’s not the end of the bank’s work with the new technologies.

Now it has become known that JPMorgan is testing an Ethereum-powered privacy technology called zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs).

Just for a reminder, yesterday, February 28th, Ethereum Constantinople and St. Petersburg hard forks have finally gone live activating four different Ethereum improvement proposals.

What ZKPs Can Offer

As it is known, ZKPs can enable a person to utilize a set of data and prove the correctness of a statement without a necessity to reveal the data that is being evaluated. Such an approach is intended to increase the level of privacy and security of data in the network and it quite differs from the majority of blockchains including Bitcoin. As most networks presuppose a public validation process and all participants have an opportunity to see the directions of money flows.

Earlier, the bank has already begun to use the benefits of a private version of Ethereum called Quorum with a view to address the blockchain privacy issues with the help of the technology.

Now, as it has become known the bank is testing two solutions. One is based on Quorum and the second one is powered by ZKP and is called AZTEC. Being developed by a London-based company, the AZTEC solution is aimed at providing more efficient and less expensive blockchain encryption in comparison to many other products in the industry.

Commenting their cooperation with JPMorgan, AZTEC CEO Tom Pocock stated:

“It’s being tested by the most important bank in blockchain today. JPMorgan Quorum actually.”

The partnership of JPMorgan and AZTEC is said to be a rather interesting one as they both have rather different approaches to privacy. While the bank’s blockchain is a closed system that only vetted clients can access, AZTEC has an aim to bridge the gap between the public and private blockchain networks.

“AZTEC allows you to take what would normally be restricted to a private blockchain and to issue those assets, trade and clear them on a public blockchain, with all of the additional execution guarantees,” said Tom Pocock.

How to Eliminate the Public/Private Gap

The Ethereum community has already heard about the AZTEC protocol. An ETH-based stablecoin Maker DAI has utilized it to ensure more reliability of its transactions.

According to Dr. Zac Williamson, AZTEC’s CTO, there is a huge difference between the Quorum’s working principle and the AZTEC’s one that applies ZKP solutions.

The AZTEC system will provide a user with a possibility to prove that some sum of the input notes is equal to the outputs which will be enough for confirmation of the transaction. As a result, there won’t be a necessity to let anybody know the details of a transaction.

It is believed that such a system will ensure faster and more cost-efficient transactions.

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