A multinational bank headquartered in Spain, The Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), has announced a partnership with Madrid-based research center IMDEA Software Institution to explore zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) alongside other “advanced cryptographic techniques.”
Both entities will utilize each other’s technologies and research to drive innovation as quickly as possible.
🔵 The #IMDEA #Software Institute -through @dariofiore0 and Antonio Faonio- and @bbva are partnering to research advanced cryptographic techniques to harness data’s potential while ensuring user’s data remain private, anonymous and secure. 🔗https://t.co/EOjYi7rnVR pic.twitter.com/I4Shxpb3L7 — IMDEA Software Institute (@IMDEA_Software) May 4, 2020
The partnership institutions research a number of applications for cryptography in the context of the financial sector, including ways to ensure that data shared within a network is not vulnerable to exposure to third parties.
A May 4 press release reveals that the research will also look at:
“The development of viable prototypes that can be incorporated in the digital products and services offered to BBVA customers.”
Until recently, these cryptographic techniques were only of interest on a theoretical level,” said IMDEA’s Antonio Faonio. “In recent years, we have seen enormous advances that could make them applicable to some practical scenarios.”
The institutions describe technologies like ZKPs as
“key to the creation of data-based digital solutions that protect the privacy and security of users’ data.”
The project’s first stage of research will focus on the current barriers to greater adoption of ZKPs such as the challenges of integrating zero-knowledge proofs into existing communications systems and the lack of common standards for the use of cryptographic protocols.
Both organizations claims to have conducted extensive research and possessing considerable expertise in the area of ZKPs.
BBVA asserts that the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the benefits of technologies that protect data privacy, in the form solutions addressing specific challenges relating to the crisis such as contact tracing apps, as well as a means of protection against the increased incidents of cyberattacks.
Head of research and patents, Carlos Kuchkovsky stated:
“There is a growing need to develop technological solutions that allow us to protect the information we share when consuming digital services in our everyday lives.”
Kuchkovsky further adds:
“This need has become even more tangible as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, which is demonstrating the need for robust data protection systems given the growing number of cyber attacks and the use of apps that register users’ data to track the disease, which have emerged in some countries.”