Blockchain’s security has long been touted as one of the technology’s most attractive features. Cryptographic security is seen as one of the most viable options for securing private data, and it allows developers to create complex applications with fewer worries about user data being compromised. However, cryptography might not be a viable option for long. Researchers in the field of quantum computing have created some worrying crypto news this week. These researchers suggest they have found a way to break through cryptographic security measures. Will this news mean the death of crypto?
2023 is starting with a lot of chatter around the computer science space. That’s because, in late December, a group of Chinese scientists published a potentially revolutionary paper. The paper revolves around quantum computing, a relatively nascent yet quickly growing technology. It uses quantum mechanics to solve problems too difficult for normal computers.
In it, the team of 24 scientists claim they could crack encryption using a quantum computer. This has been theoretically possible since the origins of the technology. However, technologists had been confident that such an advancement was still at least five years away. Speaking to the Financial Times, computer security expert Roger Grimes called the paper “a huge claim” with major implications for security risks to come.
Experts have vouched for the details laid out in the paper, saying the contents seem like they hold water. However, there are several hold-ups with the research, which, without seeing this computing algorithm in practice, cannot prove that the quantum technology is yet capable of beating encryption. Pushback to the research mainly comes as the researchers lack detail around how the algorithm works, nor whether the research will make encryption breaking any faster.
Crypto News: Quantum Computing Paper Carries Big Implications for Blockchain
The quantum computing revelation is perhaps one of the larger topics of crypto news this week. If the claim holds water, it could force the crypto world to reckon with another security issue to address.
Investors are well aware that the crypto world is not without its pain points. While the market rests upon its encryption security protocol, there are plenty of opportunities for hackers and scammers to access funds in other ways. But, if the Chinese researchers’ assertions prove true, it could make the very foundation of blockchain security much weaker.
Transactions on the blockchain are secured using cryptography. When one makes a transaction to or from their wallet, they are passing along encrypted data across validators that process these transactions. Quantum computing could be feasibly harnessed to break these encryptions. Those who possess quantum computing power could also do things like mine crypto far faster than crypto miners of today. These quantum miners would be able to destabilize the decentralized nature of crypto by taking all block rewards and leaving traditional miners with none.
Crypto, of course, is just the most obviously endangered target by this revelation. Indeed, countless other industries and businesses secure their sensitive data using encryption. Governments, too, use encryption as a popular method of securing hyper-sensitive information. In an era of quantum computing where machines can quickly solve these encrypted firewalls, businesses can target competitors and a new wave of cyber warfare will become a legitimate threat. Still, the skepticism of many security experts over the recent findings provides some ease of mind. Moreover, the U.S. government and other holders of sensitive information are looking into newer, quantum computing-resistant cryptographic systems.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.