Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs) received a show of support from leading data privacy advocates and European regulators meeting in Málaga, Spain, for Convergence – The Global Blockchain Congress 2019 from November 11-13, 2019. These stakeholders endorsed ZKPs as a trusted privacy-enhancing technology, capable of making decentralization a real possibility for enterprises on a global scale.
Convergence was organized by the European Commission, the EU Blockchain Observatory & Forum, the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA), and Alastria and boasted sponsorship from industry leading organizations such as ConsenSys. It was attended by more than 1,500 technologists, entrepreneurs, C-suite executives, blockchain thought leaders, politicians, regulators, central bankers, academics, and activists from around the globe.
Among many interesting and important discussion topics at the event was the potential for ZKPs to be a highly effective technique for keeping blockchain projects compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Every business in Europe has had to adapt in order to comply with GDPR, which came into effect in May 2018. The regulation was anticipated to have an enormous impact on businesses’ ability to adopt emerging technology, such as blockchain, which by its very nature is both immutable and transparent.
ZKP, as a resolution for the issue of adopting blockchain technology in a compliant manner, received wide ranging support at the Convergence event. The European Union Blockchain Observatory & Forum, one of the organizers of the event, released a report in the months following the implementation of GDPR, which validates the use of ZKPs in solving the GDPR compliance issue for the blockchain industry. The report states:
“Someone can produce proof that they are over 18 years old without disclosing their actual age. ZKP applications hold great promise when it comes to privacy-by-design and self-sovereign ownership of personal data.” – Blockchain and the GDPR
At the event, QEDIT’s Lead Cryptographer, Daniel Benarroch, was a keynote speaker in the Blockchain and Privacy session on behalf of ZKProof.org, an open-industry academic initiative that is advocating for the standardization of advanced cryptography, in which QEDIT is proud to play a leading role.
Daniel Benarroch, QEDIT’s Lead Cryptographer, giving a talk on behalf of ZKProof.org during Convergence.
Daniel’s speech, ‘Industry Adoption of Privacy Enhancing Cryptography’, addressed the rise in the number of enterprises collecting vast amounts of data on consumers to facilitate new business models and new revenue streams. However, the abuse and misuse of this data by some has led to new policies for consumer protection of data privacy. Daniel presented scientific evidence supporting the use of ZKPs as a solution to this problem.
In addition to this, QEDIT’s CEO, Jonathan Rouach, participated in a panel discussion at Convergence titled ‘Privacy in a Decentralized World: How to solve this critical component?’, as part of the Blockchain and Privacy session. The panel, moderated by Tom Lyons of the European Union Blockchain Observatory & Forum, also consisted of Bart Preneel (KU Leuven), Marie Wallance (IBM), and Enrique Factor Santoveña (Spanish Data Protection Agency). Together, these thought leaders discussed innovations and applications in the privacy and security space.
At QEDIT, it is our mission to allow enterprises to seamlessly collaborate, without compromising consumers’ rights to data privacy — a mission which is achieved through ZKP cryptography. As more and more enterprises begin to leverage blockchain technology, the ZKP community will undoubtedly continue to grow and gain recognition in this space, in particular as leading institutions validate the technology.
You can watch Daniel’s keynote speech and Jonathan’s panel discussion on YouTube.