Bitcoin vs. Quantum Computers: US Government Says Post-Quantum World Is Getting Closer, CISA Warns Contemporary Encryption Could Break

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, (CISA) states that quantum computers cannot break public key encryption algorithms. However, both public and private entities must be prepared for future threats to cryptography that isn't quantum resistant. CISA believes that quantum computers will eventually be able to break the current strong> public key cryptography algorithms. This is why cryptocurrencies and most digital communications today use public key encryption.

The US Government warns nation-states and private companies that they are actively pursuing quantum computing methods that could threaten current cryptographic standards

Quantum computers could one day break cryptocurrencies that use modern encryption techniques. This is in addition to other digital communications such as email and messaging services. According to a CISA report, published in August, this is the case. In the report, the U.S. government agency stresses that a transition towards post-quantum cryptography must be made. CISA's report explains that it is important to not wait for quantum computers to be used by our adversaries in order to take action. "Always make preparations as soon as possible to ensure smooth migration to the postquantum cryptography standard.

Since 1998, scientists have been discussing whether quantum computing can break public key encryption. Quantum computers use complex physics to compute powerful equations that are relevant to modern cryptographic and mathematical systems. Super quantum computers have seen improvements since 1998. They now have 14 calcium ion qubits that were entangled in 2011, 16 superconducting quebits for 2018, and 18 entangled qubits for 2018. CISA believes quantum computers will open up new possibilities, but also have negative implications for encryption security.

CISA's report reveals that both nation-states as well as private companies are actively seeking out quantum computers' capabilities. "Quantum computing opens new opportunities; however, there are potential threats to current cryptographic standards.

Researchers say Bitcoin's Public Key Technology Leverages Multiple Quantum-Resistant One-Way Functions. However, some Blockchain Projects Are Preparing for a Post-Quantum World.

Modern encryption methods are used in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It has been repeatedly stated that cryptocurrencies need to be protected with post-quantum encryption. When Honeywell, an industrial company, revealed that it had built a quantum computer with six qubits of power, crypto advocates began to discuss the potential future impacts of quantum computers on Bitcoin and 256 bit encryption. Many supporters of digital currency have begun to prepare for a quantum-computer encryption-breaking event. Honeywell is currently working with Cambridge Quantum Computing on a project that can be "applied to any blockchain network."

Some researchers believe that large-scale quantum computers will not be possible despite the best efforts of cryptographers. Some scientists believe the timeline is closer than we expect, and some scientists suggest it could take five years. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, 15 years seems more realistic. In the meantime, Ethereum developers are researching quantum resistance in conjunction with Hyperledger Foundation's distributed leger project Ursa. Cryptographers preparing to live in a post-quantum world think encryption techniques such as AES-128 or RSA-2048 won't provide sufficient security against quantum computer attacks.

Andreas Antonopoulos: "Satoshi Nakamoto’s Little Genius Design Ellement is Not an Accident"

This debate has been ongoing for many years. Many people believe that the government's warnings, as well as recent quantum-based technological achievements made by Honeywell and Microsoft, are enough to encourage people to embrace post-quantum cryptography.

Research reports, mainstream headlines, and articles claim that quantum computing will be able to break all current encryptions, as well as forecast traffic jams or accidents long before they occur. Bitcoin supporters have stated on numerous occasions that Satoshi's SHA256 encryption is a formidable foe in a post-quantum world.

Your public key in Bitcoin is not (initially). made public. Although you can share your bitcoin address so that others can send you bitcoinss, your bitcoin adress is not your public key. Chris Pacia, a software developer and proponent of cryptocurrency, wrote in 2014. What does this mean in English? A hash function, a one-way cryptographic function, takes input and converts it into cryptographic output. One-way means that the output cannot be deduced from the input. It's a bit like encrypting something and then losing the key.

Software developer concludes his 2014 paper on the topic:

This is a complex way to say that an attacker using a quantum computer can derive the private keys from the public keys, but he cannot derive them from the bitcoin address because the public key was processed through multiple quantum-resistant oneway hash functions.

He said that it is crucial to use different bitcoin addresses at all times in a video with the bitcoin evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos. Antonopoulos stated that Satoshi's two cryptography designs are "absolutely brilliant." He also said that a Bitcoin address is a double-hashed copy of your public keys. This means that no one can see the public key until you spend the transaction. "This little genius design element was not an accident," Antonopoulos added in his keynote speech. It creates an abstraction layer of the cryptographic algorithm that is used in elliptic curve digital signings, which allows you to perform future upgrades.

Antonopoulos continued:

The past is protected because it is hidden behind a second veil. However, the future can be altered because an address can be presented that is not the hash or elliptic curvature, or the hash or a larger elliptic curvature, or the hash or a quantum-resistant signing algorithm that has nothing to do elliptic. You can forwards modify to protect the future and have backwards protection since you've hidden the past.

What did you think of the U.S. government's warning regarding quantum computers? Please comment below to let us know your thoughts on this topic.

By: Jamie Redman
Title: Bitcoin vs. Quantum Computers: US Government Says Post-Quantum World Is Getting Closer, CISA Warns Contemporary Encryption Could Break
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Published Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2022 19:30:32 +0000

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