Press release

14 Feb 2023 London, GB

EY contributes the beta version of zero-knowledge-proof compiler Starlight to the public domain to enable secure, private business logic on Ethereum

London, 14 February 2023. The EY organization contributed to the public domain the functional beta version of zero-knowledge-proof (ZKP) compiler Starlight to enable secure, private business logic on the public Ethereum ecosystem.

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EY Global

Ernst & Young Global Ltd.

  • Starlight bridges knowledge and development gap for zero-knowledge applications (zkApps)
  • Developers can now experiment and build privacy-enabled features for solidity smart contracts 

The EY organization contributed to the public domain the functional beta version of zero-knowledge-proof (ZKP) compiler Starlight to enable secure, private business logic on the public Ethereum ecosystem. Starlight supports the needs of complex business agreements where business logic must be shared between parties at the network level but privacy from competitors also remains critical.

Paul Brody, EY Global Blockchain Leader, says:

“Starlight’s beta release is the next step in industrializing blockchain privacy technology. The goal is to help transform how enterprises do business by making B2B integration simple and standardized. With Starlight, developers can migrate complex, B2B business agreements from private portals and point-to-point systems like Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), on to the public Ethereum network all while retaining the privacy and security that enterprises require.”

EY teams first contributed Starlight to the public domain in 2021 as a prototype business logic complier to facilitate the creation of zkApps, or decentralized applications that use ZKP technology. This is not the first time EY teams have contributed to the advancement of ZKP technology. In 2019, EY teams contributed the blockchain privacy-based protocol Nightfall. Then earlier this year, EY teams updated the public domain source code of Nightfall to help enable the development of privacy-focused enterprise blockchain solutions. Nightfall and Starlight were both developed to address concerns around data sovereignty and privacy as enterprises learned how difficult it is to preserve commercial confidentiality on a shared network.1

Starlight is also designed to bridge the knowledge and development gap for zkApps by making it easier for developers to bring and use privacy features in the construction of decentralized applications.

Dr. Duncan Westland, EY Global Head of Blockchain Research and Development, says:

“zkApps have a steep learning curve, can take weeks or more to build, and require extensive experience with ZKP technology. Using Starlight, developers can easily mark-up standard solidity contracts with the elements and logic that need to be made private and compile them into zero knowledge applications that can be deployed on-chain.”

Brody concludes:

“With the combination of Starlight and Nightfall, the goal is to make it possible for enterprises to handle both large scale asset, inventory and payment management and multi-party business logic all on the public Ethereum network. Enterprises are still in the early stages of maturing these systems, but the end-state goal is clear: any multi-party business agreement with both shared data and business rules should be manageable on the public Ethereum blockchain, and without the need for a centralized intermediary.”

The source code for Starlight and supporting tools are in the public domain and are available on GitHub.*


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    1.  “Enterprise Commitment To Blockchain Remains Strong,” a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of the EY organization and Dell Technologies, May 2021.

    *This code is not owned by EY and EY provides no warranty and disclaims any and all liability for use of this code. Users must conduct their own diligence with respect to use for their purposes and any and all usage is on an as-is basis and at your own risk.