Here’s how quantum computers actually affect cryptocurrencies:

Recently, much focus has been placed on cryptocurrency in the context of cryptocurrencies. Naone Implemented in Bitcoin, more cryptographic primitives have been added to make the Bitcoin network more secure and private. The main privacy upgrade is to make it indistinguishable between multi-signature transactions and single-signature transactions. This makes it impossible to determine, for example, which transaction involves the start of a Lightning Network channel and which is different from a regular base layer transaction. The transition from ECDSA signatures to Schnorr signatures includes encryption changes and upgrades.

However, these crypto primitives may need to be shifted or migrated in the face of new computers such as quantum computers. Going back to how these technologies work, they are built from unsolved mathematical problems. Humans have not found a way to reduce the ability of the brain to be creative, but memory acquisition is limited. Get memory. Resolving these issues can have a dramatic impact on current technology.

I sat together Dr. Joel Arwen, The chief cryptographer of Wickr, an encrypted chat app, talks about post-quantum cryptography and how evolving crypto standards affect cryptocurrencies. Here is a summary of the insights:

1-Quantum Computers and Cryptography — Now there’s a lot of hype, but few in substance

Despite the marketing hype about quantum computing and “quantum transcendence,” the world is not at a stage where the largest (public) quantum computers can meaningfully break current cryptographic standards. That may happen in the future, but commercial quantum computers are currently unable to meaningfully dent the cryptographic standards on which cryptocurrencies are built.


2-Quantum Computers and Cryptographic Experts Need to Close the Gap Between Each Other

Quantum computers and cryptographic experts are not communicating with each other as much as they need to. This means that discrete advances in quantum computing can occur with a slight delay in the way cryptography works. The fact is that nation-states such as China are “darkening” in quantum-related research. This has the effect of overshadowing whether serious attempts can be made to today’s cryptographic standards and making a sudden camouflage. Or the ultimate erosion of cryptocurrencies — sudden interruptions that can mean the devastation of cryptocurrencies and other industries that rely on cryptocurrencies.

It is known that many cryptographic schemes that defeat classic computers may not be able to defeat sufficiently powerful quantum computers. Grover’s algorithm Here is an example. This is a known issue, and with the continued development of quantum computers, it can become a serious issue in terms of time.

3-3- Breaking the encryption will change not only the present but also the past

Today’s diluted cryptographic standards are not only a risk for the future, but also attacks on conversations and transactions that people have had to keep private in the past. The past forms of encryption that people depended on are lost — the privacy they envisioned in the past is also lost.

4-Proof of stake and proof of work are not important here. All digital signatures are vulnerable.

Cryptographic primitives are embedded in cryptocurrencies regardless of the consensus algorithm. Sudden changes in cryptographic standards undermine the ability of anyone trying to demonstrate with cryptographic proof that they have “acquired” the right to broadcast a transaction in the case of a proof of work miner or proof of stake design. Proposed by Ethereum. A common point of vulnerability here is digital signatures, as well as elliptic curve cryptography used to protect private keys.

If the digital signature is no longer valid, everything breaks here. Anyone with access to the public key can spend the money on behalf of others. “Ownership of the wallet will be available,” says Dr. Arwen. Proof of work or proof of stake as a consensus algorithm is also threatened — in all cases “proof” is no longer valid and is authenticated with a digital signature — anyone could take someone else’s block. There is.

Proof of work blocks have some protection as hardware (ASICs) manufactured specifically for block mining are becoming more specialized, but when the underlying encryption scheme is weakened, both systems Vulnerability arises. Hash threat may be low — But quantum computing threatens key ownership and the credibility of the system itself.

5-Cryptocurrencies can actively work on post-quantum cryptography

Post-quantum cryptography is certainly possible, and the shift towards it can and should be aggressive. “There is really something we can do,” says Dr. Arwen. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can take a long time to tackle this issue, so preparatory work should be considered important because of the benefits and costs- “Many from careful analysis. You can earn mileage. ”

Here, the fact that there is a good bottleneck in a way helps. There are actually only two or three types of encryption technology that need to be exchanged. Digital signatures and key sharing are two areas that need to be focused on. Patching these two areas resolves most of the potential vulnerabilities associated with quantum computing.

It is important to note that sudden and significant interruptions in encryption will affect other industries as well. There may be different reasons for increased attack productivity or slower response. But if there was a “revolution” tomorrow, this would pose a clear and direct threat to the decentralization and security commitments inherent in cryptocurrencies. Depending on how important cryptocurrency and signing are to cryptocurrencies, the crypto community can have more discussion before and after a sudden break, but time is important in this scenario. Still, cryptocurrencies are a very important part of cryptocurrencies, and it is expected that the community will be more agile in this regard than the traditional industry.

If a gap of several years is identified before this break occurs, Soft fork or hard fork By bringing together the community, we can mitigate this threat with new clients. However, attention must be paid to prior changes and built-in resistance, and post-quantum cryptography.

6-Cryptographic standards need to evolve to face quantum computers

Instead of thinking about how to upgrade the number of keys used and gradual changes, post-quantum cryptography may need to address a category of problems that traditional cryptography does not use.Dr. Arwen Lattice-based encryption As a potential solution. NIST, Currently in charge of National Institute of Standards and Technology Cryptographic standard He also announced the process of testing and standardizing post-quantum public key cryptography.

7-Hardware wallets, in principle, provide the highest security for your keys

Hardware wallets are, in principle, the way to go now for security in the classic environment, as pointed out by Dr. Arwen, who studied in space. The fact that it’s difficult to upgrade is a problem, but it’s far superior to complex devices like laptops and cell phones in terms of the security and focus given to private keys.

8-It’s best to refer to some resources to keep up with encryption

To keep up with cryptography and its challenges, the MIT and Stanford open courses are a good place to learn basic vocabulary. For example MIT cryptanalysis and cryptanalysisWith MIT OpenCourseWare Similar free Stanford online course..

There are two areas of focus: Applied Cryptography or Cryptography Theory. Applied cryptography is a field adjacent to software engineering rather than mathematics-intensive cryptography. An important area is understanding what role is best suited for learning. Understand how to move forward in breaking cryptography theory or implement secure cryptography from an engineering point of view.

When you go a little further and focus on cryptography Eprint Is a server that allows crypto engineers to open forums for preprinting. Many of the most important developments in this area are listed there.

Forums on common cryptographic tools support not only applied cryptography, but also some of the cryptographic theories out there. Signal forum, Or Wickr blog Here is an example.

Cryptocurrencies are co-evolving with other technologies. As computers evolve into different forms, there are great opportunities, from space-based cryptocurrency exchanges to distributed devices that give everyone access to running nodes.

But in this era, there are also new technologies that adapt cryptocurrencies to changing realities. Quantum computing and the potential for it to eventually destroy the crypto primitives on which cryptocurrencies are built is one such technology. Nevertheless, the new governance principles embodied by cryptocurrencies can help adapt.

Here’s how quantum computers actually affect cryptocurrencies:

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