Applied blockchain, a Shell-backed distributed ledger technology, or DLT, firm, has secured $2.5 million in funding for applications that use zero-knowledge proofs, or ZKPs, in the context of business-to-business transactions.

The funding round was led by Hong Kong-based venture capital, QBN Capital, with the funds designated for the development of a platform featuring ZKPs and other privacy-oriented technologies.

QBN Capital’s Philea Chim described ZKPs as “a better way to share and handle data,” emphasizing that zero-knowledge proofs can be used to bolster the privacy of interactions between governments, corporations, and individuals.

Shell-backed firm secures $2.5M for ZKP platform

The platform is intended to facilitate collaboration between firms without risking leaking valuable proprietary data.

Applied Blockchain states it is currently testing the nascent platform with its enterprise client base, including businesses representing the “energy, shipping, aviation, automotive, telecoms, and financial services” industries.

“We are very excited to be building a platform to meet the demands of our enterprise clients to do more with their data, while keeping it safe, secure and private,” stated Applied Blockchain founder and CEO, Adi Ben-Ari.

The chief executive added his expectation that the partnership with QBN will allow Applied Blockchain to expand its presence in the Asian market.

Enterprises explore ZKP technology

While zero-knowledge proofs have largely been associated with privacy coins such as Zcash (ZEC) within the the crypto-sphere, ZKPs have attracted a spike in interest from the enterprise community as a possible means to protect data privacy when interfacing with other entities across a network.

ZKPs are a fundamental component of the Baseline Protocol — an enterprise DLT and smart contract programming protocol developed by Ernst & Young (EY), Microsoft, and ConsenSys.

In November 2019, Samsung SDS partnered with Israeli tech firm, Qedit, to integrate zero-knowledge proofs onto the Nexledger enterprise blockchain.

On April 19, 2019, EY announced it had released its ZKP private transaction protocol into the public domain.