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Ripple advocates for quantum-resistant cryptography following expert warning

ripple-advocates-for-quantum-resistant-cryptography-following-expert-warning
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Ripple advocates for quantum-resistant cryptography following expert warning

Ripple is raising awareness about the need for quantum-resistant cryptography to secure blockchain systems against potential future threats from quantum computing.

Professor Massimiliano Sala, a renowned mathematician from the University of Trento in Italy, recently discussed the future of blockchain technology, encryption, and quantum computing with Ripple’s team as part of their ongoing university lecture series.

According to Sala, the current encryption methods utilized by present blockchain networks could be easily cracked by quantum computers in the near future, thus putting entire blockchains at risk:

“Quantum computers could easily solve problems that are foundational to digital signatures, thus potentially undermining the mechanisms that protect users’ assets on blockchain platforms.”

Sala is referring to a theoretical event known as “Q-day,” a point when quantum computers become powerful enough and easily available for malicious individuals to use to crack current encryption methods used to secure data.

Such a scenario would be devastating to every field where keeping data secure and untampered from external actors is of key importance, particularly emergency services, banking, national security, and medical fields. Similarly, it could plague the entire cryptocurrency and blockchain space by exposing vulnerabilities in smart contracts, digital wallets, and the underlying blockchain infrastructure.

The research also warned that all classical public-key crypto systems should be replaced with counterparts that are secure against quantum attacks. The idea conveyed here is that an upcoming quantum computer or quantum attack algorithm could easily solve the encryption keys using brute computational force.

Bitcoin, the world’s leading cryptocurrency and blockchain, could also inevitably fall if it were attacked by these future quantum computers.

Current cryptographic algorithms, like those used in Bitcoin, rely on mathematical problems that are computationally infeasible for classical computers to solve within a reasonable time frame. However, quantum computers, with their immense processing power, could potentially break these algorithms.

While at present there is no practical quantum computer capable of such a task, governments and scientific institutions around the world have been anticipating Q-day. Sala, however, alluded to such concerns, saying such an event may not be imminent.

He also discussed the technical challenges, such as higher computational demands and larger data quantities for secure transactions. Yet, Sala remained enthusiastic about the ongoing research to improve these implementations for practical usage.

Sala commended international collaboration initiatives, including the standardization process of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the United States, which advances the development of quantum-resistant cryptographic standards.

He stated that the collaborative method might ensure that new schemes are rigorously evaluated across the community, thereby improving their reliability and security.

Sala also advised incorporating current cryptography methods into traditional academic courses for education, with a focus on the sector’s developing issues.

“The probability of quantum threats materializing may not be imminent,” Sala stated. “But it is significant enough to warrant proactive measures.”