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Mainstream: ‘Big Four’ Firm EY Builds Enterprise Product on Public Ethereum Blockchain

Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:06 PM
Gerelyn Terzo
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:06 PM

The big four accounting firms are pouring more resources into blockchain technology now more than ever, and now Ernst & Young (EY) has just deepened its commitment. The global professional services firm has unveiled a Public Edition (PE) prototype of its EY Ops Chain, using the public Ethereum blockchain to deliver what the company describes as the “world’s first implementation of zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) technology.” The technology offers the best of both worlds, giving businesses the opportunity to securely issue and sell ICO-like tokens tied to payments or products and services on the public blockchain while keeping transactions private.

Zero-Knowledge Proofs

The new platform is a product of R&D that unfolded at EY’s Paris- and London-based blockchain labs. It harnesses ZKP technology, which is a protocol that encrypts transactions on the blockchain while keeping the consensus algorithm intact that is also used by leading privacy coins such as Zcash. EY says PE supports tokens that have similar features as the ERC-20 and ERC-721 Ethereum tokens.

EY’s Paul Brody, who leads global blockchain innovation at the firm, said the new technology “empowers blockchain adoption,” adding:

“Private blockchains give enterprises transaction privacy, but at the expense of reduced security and resiliency. With zero-knowledge proofs, organizations can transact on the same network as their competition in complete privacy and without giving up the security of the public Ethereum blockchain.”

‘Enterprise’ Blockchain Can Utilize a Public Network

EY has been pushing enterprise blockchain adoption for a while now, and the latest solution could accelerate the process. It encourages businesses to use a public blockchain like Ethereum, whose market cap is currently hovering at more than $20 billion, rather than relying on the cumbersome process of developing and relying on an in-house or another private blockchain whose security and liquidity pales in comparison to their public-blockchain counterparts.

EY launched Ops Chain, which is a set of applications designed to bolster the integration of blockchain technology at businesses across sectors of the economy, more than a year ago.

As the “big four” accounting giants navigate the new corporate paradigm that blockchain integration has taken by storm, EY has been a first mover. The firm has inked deals with the likes of Xbox-maker Microsoft for a royalties management solution that is focused on the gaming industry. Another EY/Microsoft partnership also includes shipping giant Maersk for marine insurance . EY Switzerland also started a trend when it became the first of the accounting giants to add bitcoin (BTC) as a payment method for its services.

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