(Gizmodo) Quickly advancing quantum technology poses a vulnerability for the much-hyped blockchain. Blockchain has found uses as a secure digital ledger and authentication system maintained by its users, rather than by one central authority. But quantum computers may soon have the ability to break its codes.
“Quantum computers pose a risk to any kind of security where public key cryptography is involved,” Alexander Lvovsky, experimental physicist at the University of Oxford, says. “However, blockchains are especially at risk, because they’re completely anonymous. They’re only protected by public key cryptography, whereas banking has human tellers, plastic cards, and ATMs. You have to be a human to use a bank, but you don’t have to be human to use the blockchain.”
Robert Sutor, vice president at IBM Research who is responsible for the IBM Q program, agreed that it’s not too early to beef up security.