Andersen Cheng, co-founder of Post Quantum, a U.K. cybersecurity firm, told Newsweek that bitcoin will end the day the first quantum computer arrives. He said the quantum computer will undermine the cryptography surrounding bitcoin’s public and private keys.
I have to wonder if this presents an opportunity for XtraBytes (XBY). XBY developers are seeking to create a new blockchain far more secure than what is presently being used. While not immune to the encryption dilemma posed by quantum computing, their system of STaTIC nodes might serve as a safeguard against hacking in its own right.
In particular, XBY’s Proof of Signature requirement means that a multitude of signatures from its STaTIC nodes is needed in order for a blockchain transaction to proceed. As a result, no one can know the entire private key used by the static nodes. This system makes it impossible to create fake static signed blocks.
Moreover, STaTIC node owners will be locating one of their two wallets on their PC. Because this wallet has no coins in it, there is no financial gain for a quantum computing hacker to try and hack the system. This is the advantage of digital cold storage.
Quantum Computing As Security
Several cryptographers are already seeking a way to phase in quantum-proof technologies into the blockchain. Just this week a Russian cryptographer has asserted that his team had “designed, built, and tested a quantum blockchain system in which the security is guaranteed by quantum mechanics” (MIT Technology Review “First Quantum-Secured Blockchain Technology Tested in Moscow”)
Such a system would rely on the cryptocurrency sender and receiver verifying each other’s identities using what is called quantum key distribution. This technique employs photons for encryption – a form of quantum mechanics. But it appears a working model is still being tested. For now, XBY’s consensus solution (relying on trusted nodes) appears to be the best workable solution to such a security dilemma.