ING unveils data privacy solution for blockchain technology
Dutch multinational banking corporation ING has unveiled a new solution for data privacy protection to be used in blockchain technologies, something that will look to revolutionise blockchain within the banking sector.
“Until recently, one of the primary challenges for applying blockchain in the banking sector was ensuring that data privacy was protected and at the same time meeting regulatory reporting requirements,” explained Mariana Gomez de la Villa, the Global Head of ING’s blockchain programme.
“While existing zero-knowledge technology has provided us with a way of overcoming that, the main limiting factor is the resource, and therefore cost, that each verification would generate,” Mariana continued.
In order to resolve this problem, the new technology, known as “zero-knowledge range proof” (ZKRP), uses a code that adds a layer of cryptographer to blockchain.
Further, ING claims that ZKRP is 10 times more efficient that existing technologies that have been designed to keep information on a public ledger private.
“ING’s ZKRP solution has been proven to be 10 times more efficient than others in the Ethereum test network, while upholding the same three principles: completeness, soundness and zero-knowledge,” said Mariana.
ZKRP has been launched as an open source solution, enabling other parties within the community of blockchain development to download, access and contribute to the solution.
Start-ups receive $60 billion investment, smash 2020 record
Start-ups on the continent have raised a massive 43.8 billion euros ($60.9 billion) in just the first six months of 2021, according to figures from Dealroom, surpassing the record 38.5 billion euros invested last year..
This is despite the fact that the number of venture deals signed so far is around half the amount agreed in 2020. Only about 2,700 funding rounds have been raised so far this year, compared to 5,200 last year.
Prime examples in times of change
Examples are Swedish buy-now-pay-later firm Klarna which has raised more than $1.6 billion in two financing rounds, the German stock trading app Trade Republic received $900 million in May and British payments provider Checkout.com snapped up $450 million at the start of the year.
The figures suggest that European tech firms are pulling in far larger sums of money per investment than in previous years, which defies the economic uncertainty of the pandemic and boosted online services enormously.
The CEO of Checkout.com, Guillaume Pousaz, said start-ups have often been created in times of crisis, citing the emergence of several new financial technology companies in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.
He added that big transformational change was often the time when there is the emergence of a lot of new start-ups, sometimes when people are losing their jobs for associated reasons.
UK leading the charge
Scale-Up Europe, a group that includes the founders of UiPath and Wise, proposed 21 recommendations to help the region build “the next generation of tech giants.” Among the suggestions are tax credits to corporates for investing in start-ups and regulatory changes that adapt to new innovations.
Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna, said the U.K. leads Europe when it comes to tech policy, and that there were a number of regulatory issues needing to be addressed before the European Union can produce tech giants of its own.
Siemiatkowski highlighted EU regulation of web cookies as an example of “poor regulation.” Yet, as the number of $1 billion start-ups in Europe continues to grow, the number of exits in the continent is also increasing.
This year has already seen some notable acquisitions, including Etsy’s $1.6 billion purchase of U.K. fashion resale app Depop and JPMorgan’s takeover of London robo-advisor Nutmeg.
As for stock market listings, a number of notable debuts have taken place in London in particular, including food delivery app Deliveroo, cybersecurity firm Darktrace and reviews site Trustpilot. Money transfer giant Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, plans to go public in the U.K. capital soon.