Privacy-Enhancing Cryptography in Distributed Ledgers (PRIViLEDGE)

PRIViLEDGE is a H2020 EU project where Helger Lipmaa is the site leader of the University of Tartu.

Project overview

Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) have emerged as one of the most revolutionary developments in recent years, with the goal of eliminating centralised intermediaries and installing distributed trusted services. They facilitate trustworthy trades and exchanges over the Internet, power cryptocurrencies, ensure transparency for documents, and much more.

Although based on cryptographic techniques at their core, the currently deployed DLTs do not address privacy. Indeed, the very idea of a public ledger that stores a verifiable record of transactions at first appears inherently incompatible with the privacy requirements of many potential applications, which handle sensitive data such as trade secrets and personal information. New cryptographic techniques and protocols are therefore needed to protect the data, facilitate these applications, and make DLTs deliver on their promises.

PRIViLEDGE realises cryptographic protocols supporting privacy, anonymity, and efficient decentralised consensus for DLTs. In PRIViLEDGE, several European key players in cryptographic research and from the fintech and blockchain domains unite to push the limits of cryptographic protocols for privacy and security. Results from PRIViLEDGE are demonstrated through four ledger-based solutions: (1) verifiable online voting; (2) contract validation and execution for insurance; (3) university diploma record ledger; and (4) update mechanism for stake-based ledgers. The selected use cases are diverse and represent the principal application domains of DLT; this ensures wide reach and impact of the techniques developed in PRIViLEDGE beyond the immediate scope of the project.


Our goals

Tartu is mostly active in WP2 (privacy-enhancing primitives) and WP3 (blockchain ). We have previous expertise in the area of SNARKs and decreasing trust model needed to construct them. In addition, we are interested in the use of blockchain as a trusted third party and in general in every connection between blockchain and privacy-enhancing cryptography.


  • Team leader: lead research fellow Helger Lipmaa
  • "Postdoc": Michal Zajac
  • "PhD students": Toomas Krips (expected to defend PhD in early 2019), Behzad Abdolmaleki, Karim Baghery, Janno Siim (all started PhD studies in 2016), Hamid Khoshakhlagh (started in 2018)

Current MSc Students

  • Janno Veeorg


  • Prastudy Fauzi (defended PhD in 2017, now a postdoc in Aarhus)
  • Annabell Kuldmaa (defended MSc in 2017)


  • Aggelos Kiayias, Annabell Kuldmaa, Helger Lipmaa, Janno Siim and Thomas Zacharias. On the Security Properties of e-Voting Bulletin Boards. In Dario Catalano, editor, SCN 2018, volume ? of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages ?--?, Amalfi, Italy, September 5--7, 2018. Springer, Cham.

Please also see our publications in the PANORAMIX project.

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