Dutch multinational bank ING is testing a new technology that would implement a privacy technology called “Bulletproofs” on Bitcoin, hiding transactions amounts. This is the same technology that Monero implemented last year.
The technology has been developed by cryptographers from Stanford University, the University College London, and Blockstream. The particular method was chosen over zero-knowledge proofs methods that projects like Zcash have popularized. Bulletproofs reduce the amount of data in each transaction and greatly decreases confirmation time.
As stated in the CoinDesk report, Mariana Gomez de la Villa, global head of ING’s blockchain program, says that:
“The bank found bulletproofs turn out to be ‘roughly ten times faster than other range proofs, for a single range proof.”
The team ultimately went with bulletproofs, as they are far more efficient than other range proofs.
Privacy in financial transactions is a development which has divided authorities, most of whom are against it. However, if implemented, it would give banks an advantage in that sensitive financial data would be invisible to competing rivals.
Speaking to CoinDesk, Blockstream mathematician Andrew Poelstra said,
When we developed bulletproofs in 2017, we did not expect such an uptake. We’re very excited and proud whenever we see the technology being applied to real world problems, if a little surprised its found a use-case in traditional banking!
Privacy Technology Gaining Momentum
Privacy technology like zk-SNARKs are quickly gaining developmental momentum, even if governmental figures, like those in France, are opposed to the idea of financial transactions being completely anonymous.