At this year’s EY Global Blockchain Summit, the EY blockchain team announced a series of notable releases, not least of which was their forthcoming publication to the public domain of Nightfall — a zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) private transaction protocol aimed at helping enterprises leverage the public Ethereum network.
EY, a multinational accounting powerhouse, has built a sprawling blockchain team in recent years, so it’s unsurprising the firm had the resources and vision to create Nightfall. What’s more surprising is that the company is committing to releasing the privacy protocol freely to the public domain next month upon the completion of its final code review.
EY’s blockchain innovation head Paul Brody characterized that atypical move as a bid to bring public blockchains toward the mainstream in the here and now:
“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 the kind of intense review and testing that comes with public domain releases.”
Thanks to its ZKP tech, Nightfall will allow companies to keep transaction data — e.g. value transferred — private on the public Ethereum network, which could mitigate the dynamic of enterprises feeling comfortable with only using private, permissioned blockchains.
“Companies will still be able to provide full traceability and transaction history to auditors and regulators without revealing transaction content more widely,” EY said in their announcement.
Brody and his blockchain peers at EY envision Nightfall as an ideal way for companies to implement Ethereum-based ERC-721 non-fungible tokens (NFTs, a la CryptoKitties) into their business operations.
Such tokens can be pegged to physical goods and then used to optimize supply chain activities, for example, and EY’s Nightfall can ensure the privacy and auditability of these tokens all the while.
EY Boosts Analyzers
On April 16th, EY also announced the launch of the EY Smart Contract Analyzer and the second version of the EY Blockchain Analyzer.
As its namesake suggests, the Smart Contract Analyzer is a software suite that users can leverage to test the security of smart contracts on Ethereum.
This week, a new fiat-crypto Dai gateway, DAIHard, had critical bugs in its unaudited software that led to a whitehat hacker sweeping all of its funds. It’s the specter of more tragic episodes that EY’s new smart contract tool is designed to mitigate, as the company noted:
“EY has developed a list of more than 250 standard tests that cover aspects ranging from known malware and coding errors to standard tests that confirm for investors that tokens are behaving according to accepted industry standards.”
The accounting firm simultaneously launched the next-generation version of its Blockchain analyzer, which is designed to give clients all the tools necessary to facilitate enterprise-grade operations via blockchain.
To that end, the aforementioned Brody said:
“With the second generation of EY Blockchain Analyzer, we are building a true platform solution that can be used for multiple purposes such as audit, tax and transaction monitoring, depending on client needs.”
EY Ops Chain 2.0 Goes Live
Lastly, EY has released its second version of the EY Ops Chain and published its first version to the public domain.
The software, a blockchain business application, “allows enterprises to represent their operations on a blockchain using digital tokens and smart contracts,” per EY.
The accounting firm said that EY Ops Chain could accordingly be used to improve the speed of some business processes by as much as 90 percent.
The inaugural rendition of the software has already been used to tokenize over 11 million bottles of wine. If EY has their way, these bottles will only be the start amid a wider tokenization trend.