Adoption: Ernst & Young to release ‘Nightfall’ for the Ethereum blockchain
by Christopher Attard
One of the world’s largest financial services firms has announced an ambitious roadmap to release a zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) private transaction protocol called ‘Nightfall’ for its commercial clients on the Ethereum blockchain.
The financial services titan announced the move in a press release where it said it believes that this will “accelerate the adoption of secure, private transactions over public blockchains”.
EY claims that the inability to conduct secure private transactions has long been an obstacle hindering them from fully embracing public blockchain networks.
The Nightfall project was first announced in October 2018 at the Ethereum Devcon in Prague.
At launch, the prototype was an extension of EY’s flagship blockchain business application platform, EY Ops Chain. The prototype included a sample supply chain model built on the public Ethereum blockchain network that ran on private transaction technology.
Since it first debuted, EY has been working to enhance its performance by adding zero-knowledge-proofs. EY global innovation leader, Paul Brody, stated:
Making public blockchains secure and scalable is a priority for EY. The fastest way to spread this privacy-enhancing technology was to make it public. The gold standard in security is only achieved with this kind of intense review and testing that comes with public domain releases.
Consequently, EY has reduced transaction processing costs for prototype users by a dramatic 90% through an updated data encoding system and the implementation of a more efficient ZKP protocol.
As per EY’s claims, Nightfall is set to allow for private transfers and payments on the Ethereum network, supporting fungible token transfers compatible with the ERC-20 and ERC-721 standards.
Blockchain users will benefit from private blockchain use, except for those authorised to see the information. In fact, companies will still be able to have full traceability and transaction history – a sigh of relief for auditors and regulators.
Final reviews of the software are currently under way, with the expected release date to be by mid-Q2.