Acronym : SPE
Funder : INNOVIRIS (Brussels Region)
Start : Sept 2019
End : Sept 2022
Academic coordinators : Jean-Michel Dricot and Olivier Markowitch


One of the problems with the transparency, a property usually provided by current blockchain techniques, is privacy since everyone can look at the data inserted in the transactions compiled in the different block of a blockchain. In this way, the trust obtained on the basis of the content of the transactions comes at the price of lack of privacy. From a commercial perspective, if it may be needed to avoid sharing publicly the amounts and contents of transactions, however the payment history may be of interest for credits for example or to prove that deliveries were realized successfully. Two main techniques are used to improve the privacy of blockchains: zero-knowledge protocols and homomorphic Encryption.

Zero-knowledge protocols enable the transfer of information in a blockchain while ensuring privacy: the participants that have access to the content of the transactions of the blockchain only learn that a valid transaction has taken place. Nothing is disclosed for what regards the transaction itself and not even the amounts in the case of financial or monetary transactions.

Homomorphic Encryption is a method that allows performing operations and calculations on the data that are encrypted without having to decrypt them; therefore, the system remain secure almost permanently and the privacy of the information remains ensured.

In the frame of this research project, we aim at working on an enhancement of blockchain technologies to reach performance levels that are close to the load and transaction rate that centralized payment platforms can handle: A SPE transaction should be validated in less than a second, and the blockchain sustaining the SPE should be able to process 30 000 transactions per second.

This research project is a key strategic action to anchor and enlarge a Distributed Ledger Competence Center for Worldline in the BCR.