Professor Massimiliano Sala, from the University of Trento in Italy, recently discussed the future

Professor Massimiliano Sala, from the University of Trento in Italy, recently discussed the future of blockchain technology, as it relates to cryptography and quantum computing, with Ripple staff as part of the company’s ongoing university lecture series.

Sala’s discussion focused on the potential threat posed by quantum computers as the technology matures. According to the professor, it may be easier for future quantum computers to crack current encryption methods, putting entire blockchain systems at risk.

source: @ripple On

Per sala:

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

What the professor is referring to is a hypothetical model called “Q-day,” the point at which quantum computers become powerful enough and available for bad actors to break classical encryption methods.

While this would have far-reaching implications for any field where data security is important – including emergency services, infrastructure, banking, and defense – it could theoretically devastate the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

Specifically, Sala warns that “all classical public-key encryption systems should be replaced by their counterparts that are secure against quantum attacks.” The idea here is that a future quantum computer or quantum attack algorithm could decrypt on these keys using mathematical brute force.

It is worth noting that Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency and blockchain, will fall into this category.

While there is currently no practical quantum computer capable of such a feat, governments and scientific institutions around the world have been preparing for Q-day as if it were even possible. For his part, Sala says such an event may not be imminent. However, physicists at dozens of academic and commercial laboratories have demonstrated breakthroughs that have led many in the field to believe that such systems could arrive within years.

Ultimately, Sala says he is satisfied with the progress made in the sector and recommends that blockchain developers continue to work with cryptographic experts who understand the standards and innovations surrounding modern quantum-resistant systems.

Related: Harvard University built a hacker-resistant quantum network in Boston using existing fiber cables

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