A senior executive at Big Four auditor Ernst & Young (EY) thinks blockchain will revolutionize commerce – if the community can solve its privacy issues.
“Blockchain is going to be the tool that ties together not just individual companies, but whole business ecosystems and networks,” says EY global innovation lead Paul Brody. “Enterprises will not go on to the public mainnet without privacy and security.”
In this interview with Christine Kim, Brody discusses a range of privacy solutions, including Nightfall, EY’s open source code repository. The protocol integrates zero-knowledge proofs with smart contracts, enabling private transactions on the public ethereum blockchain.
Procurements are one particular use case. Any enterprise that can leverage different pricing models often leaves money on the table when making purchase orders. Nightfall, however, can set up smart contracts "without any additional administrative or operational overhead" that execute at the best price, Brody argues.
Although the basic product remains free on GitHub, Nightfall’s transaction costs are still high at around $10. Brody thinks these costs could drop below $1 in the coming year, meaning that Nightfall could eventually be more cost effective than private, permissioned blockchains.
Paul Brody image/video via Ali Powell for CoinDesk
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.