EY announced on Tuesday that it will release its Ethereum-based zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) protocol into the public domain, also announcing the launch of a smart contract testing service: EY Smart Contract Analyzer.

First revealed at Ethereum Devcon in October 2018, the ZKP techology allows companies to conduct private and secure transactions on the public blockchain, with private access to their transaction records. Since the prototype, which was a version of EY Ops Chain, EY development teams have reduced transaction costs by over 90%, and implemented a much more efficient ZKP protocol.

The company will release the technology into the public domain in the next four to six weeks, pending final reviews of the code. It will support ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens, and will allow for private transfers and payments on the public Ethereum network.

In a press release, EY Global Innovation Leader Paul Brody, explained how “making public blockchains secure and scalable is a priority for EY.” He added:

“The most efficient way to maximize blockchain adoption is to release this work to the community as a true contribution, with no strings attached. The only way that blockchains deliver upon their true promise to the world is if public blockchain networks are the preferred path for enterprises and investors.”

All transactions processed through this protocol are private to blockchain users, unless they are authorized to access the information. For those concerned that this introduces an element of trust back into a trustless system — companies will still have the ability to provide full, immutable transaction history to auditors and regulators.

Indeed, one of the biggest barriers to entry for enterprises has been the inability to conduct private transactions on a public blockchain network. Many opt to instead adopt the technology on private blockchains. With EY’s release, the days of private blockchains may be numbered.

EY Smart Contract Analyzer

In addition to the release of its ZKP protocol to the public domain, EY announced the launch of a smart contract testing service for Ethereum, which is just entering its private beta. Named EY Smart Contract Analyzer, the service will allow users to test smart contracts (which includes Ethereum-based tokens) for known security risks.

The EY Smart Contract Analyzer will monitor smart contracts both before and after their release, with the development team having implemented over 250 tests that cover known malware and coding errors, as well as clarifying if tokens are behaving according to industry standards. In addition, EY has developed simulation software, based on real data from the Ethereum blockchain, that will allow users to test smart contracts against various transaction scenarios.

Brody continued:

“Our clients are increasingly entrusting key enterprise business processes and valuable investments to software code. We don’t run enterprise computing systems without anti-virus tools and it only makes sense to run blockchain-based investment systems with smart contract and token testing tools.”

The EY Smart Contract Analyzer will be integrated into EY’s blockchain auditing platform, EY Blockchain Analyzer, later this year.

With these releases, EY have positioned themselves at the forefront of Ethereum development and adoption. Both the ZKP protocol and auditing service seek to tackle some of the biggest issues that businesses see in blockchain today.

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