Can Blockchains Survive the Quantum Computer?
Suppose you were asked to rank the most significant innovations in IT over the last few years. What would come to your mind?
It is very likely that both blockchain and quantum technologies would come close to the top of your list.
Blockchains promise the secure exchange of digital assets (such as money, contracts, tokens…) using peer-to-peer networks, with no need for trusted intermediaries. They rely on cryptography to generate, protect and exchange these assets. Many believe that this will be a revolution in the way we conduct business over the Internet and much more.
Quantum technologies offer a change of paradigm in the way we process information. Quantum computers will provide a tremendous increase in computing power. They will be able to crack problems, deemed unsolvable with classical computers. Quantum networks will improve the security of transactions. And our imagination is still lacking to discover applications for the future quantum Internet.
Quantum computers will destroy some of cryptographic principles behind blockchain.
On the other hand, the very power of the quantum computer represents a threat to existing cybersecurity infrastructure. In particular, the quantum computer will destroy some of the cryptographic principles behind the blockchain. Can Blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, and Zcash survive the quantum computer? What do we have to modify to recover security? Can we possibly use quantum technologies to improve the Blockchain? These are some of the questions, which we address in the new paper: “Blockchains in the Quantum Era”.
This paper was written by the Quantum-Safe Security working group, in collaboration with the Blockchain working group of the CSA. We hope that it will help you get a clearer understanding of the interaction between two of the most interesting recent innovations in IT.