(BlockBar) A privacy feature for ethereum-based blockchains has been developed by JPMorgan Chase’s blockchain team, obscuring not only how much money is being sent but who is sending it. According to the reports, JPMorgan has built an extension to the Zether protocol. It is to be noted that Zether protocol is a fully decentralized, cryptographic protocol for confidential payments.
JPM’s head of Quorum and crypto-assets strategy said: “In the basic Zether, the account balances and the transfer accounts are concealed but the participants’ identities are not. So we have solved that. In our implementation, we provide a proof protocol for the anonymous extension in which the sender may hide herself and the transactions recipients in a larger group of parties.”
Employed by ethereum, an account-based approach is incorporated by Zether’s confidential payments architecture. The UTXO is also a feature of the privacy-oriented cryptocurrency zcash on which the original ZKP component of Quorum was based. In this way, the extension could benefit not only users of Quorum, but also enterprises building on top of other ethereum variants. It could be a boon for projects like ethereum-based Komgo which involves trading in the energy space, keeping all facets of transactions between banks and other confidential.
“When we think about the community building on top of Quorum,” said Harris, “if anyone is looking to get an efficient trustless mechanism for trustless and anonymous payments in a consortium then that’s when it’s relevant. That’s why we wanted to open-source it back to the community so anyone can build on it further and continue enhancing it and potentially put it into their use cases as needed.”
Even after so many advantages there is one drawback of complex zero-knowledge proving schemes is the amount of computation they eat, potentially slowing down blockchains. But Harris said the extra dose of cryptography to blur participant identities didn’t appear to have that effect with Zether. He said: “The performance is quite good; we had done multiple iterations to improve it and we are doing the verification in solidity smart contracts. We’ll be including in our report the performance measurements for proving and verification.”