XTRABYTES™ Defence Against Quantum Computing

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    October 15, 2018 at 06:42
    Imagine: It’s 2020, and a leading Chinese tech company has just created a quantum computer that can break the current Bitcoin encryption standard. Despite promises by the company to safeguard its innovative technology, a rogue employee uses it to open the wallets of several large bitcoin investors. The employee absconds with several million bitcoins, and as word leaks, the market crashes. Before Bitcoin can update its encryption standard, investor confidence in cryptocurrency has been shattered. This scenario is the threat that quantum computing presents. This is the threat that quantum computing presents.

    The above scenario is not that far-fetched. Indeed, at the speed at which quantum qubit capacity is increasing (a qubit is a unit of quantum information), it’s merely a matter of time before quantum computing poses just such a risk. Hackers seeking to break Bitcoin’s current encryption algorithm (SHA-256) using quantum computing will require one with 1600 qubits capacity. At present, the best quantum computing efforts have reached 72 qubits,​

    Quantum Computing: A Systemic Risk

    For security purposes, Bitcoin owners are currently able to generate both a private and a public key. Although private keys are used to generate public keys, it’s fairly difficult to calculate that private key based upon how the public key was generated. Quantum computers have that capacity to do just that. And as quantum computing power grows, its ability to wreak havoc on cryptocurrency will expand as well.

    By having the capability to reveal private keys, quantum computing leaves open the possibility of theft. The only silver lining here is that the theft is perhaps limited to a few individual accounts. A quicker way to bypass private key security is to break the digital signature technique used to verify private key ownership.

    This digital signature technique (properly known as an elliptic curve signature) is expected to be at risk from quantum computing by 2027. Breaking this safeguard would ultimately be more systematic and destructive to cryptocurrency in general than the theft of a few individual accounts. After all, these digital signatures guarantee that the Bitcoin owner possesses the private key and can spend Bitcoin.

    What can be done to safeguard the blockchain from such attacks?

    The Outlook in 2019

    In a recent article by Fortune, Vern Brownell, CEO of D-Wave (the “world’s first quantum computing company”), suggests that quantum computing developments will be implemented somewhat gradually:

    Often, people learning about quantum computing will point to their smartphone and ask, “So when will this run on quantum?” The answer is: “Possibly sooner than you think.” But the quantum computer will not be in your handset. Instead of a replacement of our classical devices, the quantum future will be hybrid. QPUs
    (quantum processors) and classical processors will work together to tackle day-to-day computing as well as complex, enterprise-level problems across industries. So even if smartphones won’t contain a quantum computer, they are likely to access quantum computers for certain applications via the cloud within the next few years.

    Brownell argues that quantum computing’s immediate future appears limited to practical applications. He foresees it being implemented in industries “that are most ripe for quantum advantage, like material science, machine learning, and complex optimization problems.” Whether more this technology can easily translate to more nefarious purposes remains to be seen.

    Adaptability and Trust As A Security Safeguard

    “Quantum Resistant” technology does indeed exist. For instance, XTRABYTES[​IMG] currently uses a very secure hash algorithm standard (SHA-512) to safeguard its Zolt algorithm from quantum computing hackers. More Importantly, XTRABYTES has the ability to easily upgrade its security protocols as quantum computing advances, That is, the code with which XTRABYTES is built upon is easily changeable. With encryption technology, security is often simply a matter of staying ahead of the curve.

    Because blockchain security is partially dependent upon the length of cryptographic keys, creating longer keys as a safeguard is always a temptation. Unfortunately, longer cryptographic keys require additional time for encoding and decoding encryptions. Given that XTRABYTES is currently testing at 10,000 transactions per second, it might have greater luxury than most with regard to encryption time. Nonetheless, other variables such as time-stamping and encryption methods must be factored in as well.

    With its Proof-of-Signature requirement, XTRABYTES creates an additional security layer as well. Using Proof-of-Signature, transactions only proceed if XTRABYTES’ STATIC nodes sign off on them. Because it’s impossible for anyone to know the entire private key used by several thousand STATIC nodes. hackers cannot fraudulently create a signature-verified block. And should a malicious node attempt to compromise the chain, it will be blacklisted automatically.

    Well, what about breaking into the STATIC node owner’s wallets? STATIC node owners locate one of their two wallets on their PC. Since this wallet has no coins in it, a hacker has no incentive to hack it. This is the advantage XTRABYTES has with locking its digital coins in cold storage.

    Would you like to know more?

    We don’t just publish articles, XTRABYTES is a whole new blockchain platform that allows DApps to be programmed in any language, utilizing a new consensus algorithm called Proof of Signature. In doing so, XTRABYTES presents a next – generation blockchain solution capable of providing a diverse set of capabilities to the general public.

    You can learn more on our website, where you can also help to spread the word through our bounty program and get rewarded in XFUEL, or join our community and hop into the discussion right now!







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