The Baseline Standard Across Industries
The digital business landscape is transforming at a speed never seen before. 3D printing is revolutionizing the speed at which physical objects can be prototyped. Generative AI is propelling automation and personalization. Autonomous vehicles and IoT devices are changing the way we navigate and interact with our physical environment. Meanwhile, the growth of peer-to-peer transactions through blockchain networks is reshaping our economic systems, providing provenance, tracking, and facilitating secure transactions of digital assets. In the realm of privacy and security, zero-knowledge proofs are enabling more secure and private data transactions. This rapid pace of change underscores the need for adaptability in today’s digital business landscape.
Maintaining pace with these technological advancements coupled with the challenge of attracting and retaining the necessary talent needed, constitutes a significant layer of complexity for enterprises. Leaders must also contend with the Digital Business Trilemma, which suggests that among the key business goals of Decentralization, Security, and Performance only two of three can be achieved at the same time. As businesses chase better performance and begin to distribute their data and computing resources more broadly (decentralization), security becomes more compromised. An example of this can be seen with the Internet of Things (IoT). There were 15 billion connected Things in 2022 (doubling every 3 years). While enterprises benefit from the extensive data collection and processing capability offered to support their digital business processes, the exponential growth in device connectivity also exponentially expands potential security vulnerabilities. This risk intensifies further due to ever-shifting regulatory landscapes. These liabilities threaten profitability, as businesses grapple with potential regulatory penalties and customer dissatisfaction.
Given these powerful forcing functions for digital transformation and the need to focus on expanding digital revenue securely and in a compliant way, every enterprise must at least be able to:
- Authenticate and authorize every other participant for every single digital business interaction at all times,
- Prove and verify the authenticity, integrity, and correctness of every digital service transaction, and its associated supply chain of prior digital transactions informing and triggering said digital service transaction,
- Minimize the exchange of sensitive data in a digital service transaction, ideally to zero ( zero-knowledge).
These three critical requirements can be formulated into a framework called Multiparty Zero Trust under Zero Knowledge (MZTZK). The first global MZTZK framework and standard is the Baseline Protocol — one of the focus and contribution areas of ConsenSys Mesh’s Enterprise ZK team.
When we zoom in on the mobility sector, we see that digital transformation is driven by several factors, including the rise of electric and autonomous vehicles with new supply chain regulations focused on sustainability and labor protections, shared mobility services, and the need for enhanced security and privacy measures.
To address these challenges, mobility companies are turning to frameworks and technologies such as the Baseline Protocol and zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) to create more efficient and secure systems and processes. The Baseline Protocol is an open-source initiative that uses blockchain and zero-knowledge technology to streamline multi-party business processes and create a common language for enterprise systems. In that context, ZKPs are used to enable secure and private transactions without revealing sensitive information.
One of the most promising use cases of the Baseline Protocol and ZKPs in the mobility industry is in the area of supply chain management, in particular for electric batteries. With the rise of electric vehicles, there is a growing demand for the efficient and transparent tracking of batteries from raw materials to finished products. By using the Baseline Protocol, companies can create a shared system for tracking the entire supply chain, with ZKPs ensuring the privacy of sensitive information. This method supports a supply chain that is efficient, sustainable, and free from fraud and corruption.
Another mobility area where the Baseline Protocol and ZKPs are useful is in the management of vehicle data. With the increasing number of connected vehicles, there is a need for secure and reliable systems for collecting and analyzing data. The Baseline Protocol can be used to create a common language for different systems to communicate with each other. At the same time, ZKPs can ensure that sensitive data (such as location and driver behavior) is kept private and secure.
In addition to supply chain management and data management, the Baseline Protocol and ZKPs can be applied in other areas of the mobility industry, such as:
- Mobility as a Service (MaaS): With the rise of shared mobility services, there is a need for a secure and efficient system for managing transactions between different providers. The Baseline Protocol can be used to create a shared system for managing transactions, and ZKPs can ensure that sensitive data, such as personal information and payment details, is kept private and secure.
- Autonomous Vehicles: As autonomous vehicles become more prevalent, there is a need for secure and reliable systems for communication between vehicles and infrastructure. The Baseline Protocol can be used to create a common processing framework for disparate systems to efficiently communicate with each other, with ZKPs ensuring that sensitive data, such as vehicle location and destination, is kept private and secure.
- Electric Vehicle Charging: With the increased adoption of electric vehicles, there is a need to securely and efficiently manage the charging infrastructures within and across provider networks. The Baseline Protocol can be used to create a shared network for managing charging infrastructure with Baseline Protocol ZKPs, ensuring that sensitive customer and provider data (such as energy usage and payment details) are kept private and secure.
- Car Dealer Loan Management: To ensure that dealer vehicles with outstanding loans are correctly accounted for, large car lenders employ human auditors to perform what is called “dealer floorplan auditing.” This inefficient process results in higher vehicle prices for consumers. The Citopia vinTRAK pilot, a collaboration with the ConsenSys Mesh Enterprise ZK Team that applies MZTZK, verifiably attests correct attributes of vehicles, such as their location or membership to a group of vehicles (i.e., a car dealer fleet). In tests, this has been demonstrated to significantly reduce the number of personnel required for an audit and significantly decrease financial and data compliance efforts eliminating substantial process costs.
Overall, the Baseline Protocol and ZKPs have the potential to revolutionize the mobility industry by creating more efficient, secure, and sustainable networks of systems. By creating a common framework and “language” for different systems to communicate with each other while ensuring the privacy of sensitive information, the Baseline Protocol and ZKPs can help mobility companies overcome the challenges of the forcing functions of digital transformation and meet the demands of an ever-changing industry.