Herman prescribes short-term & long-term security measures to safeguard crypto currency against quantum computing
(Forbes) Arthur Herman, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute and Director of the Quantum Alliance Initiative, writes about the solutions both short-term and long-term for crypto currency security in the face of threats from quantum computing. IQT-News summarizes here.
The recent study conducted here at the Quantum Alliance Initiative done in conjunction with the econometric firm Oxford Economics indicates that a quantum attack on crypto precipitating a 99.2% collapse of value, would inflict $1.865 Trillion in immediate losses to owners, with nearly $1.5 trillion in indirect losses to the whole economy due to that collapse.
Consider: in 2020 the total market cap of cryptocurrencies was $330 billion. Today it is approaching $2 trillion. Institutional investors account for 63% of trading in cryptos, compared to just 10% in 2017, which means a collapse of crypto value is bound to ripple through balance sheets all around Wall Street-and around the world.
All in all, we are looking at a $3.3 trillion blow to the U.S. economy.
That’s a calculation based on crypto’s current value. By the time a large-scale quantum computer emerges, by 2030 or so, cryptocurrencies will be even more embedded in the global financial system—and the losses even greater.
Fortunately, there’s a solution. The most immediate is post-quantum cryptography, i.e., deploying algorithm-based encryption that is impenetrable to future quantum attack but also to classical attack right now. Crypto exchanges have already drawn highly damaging attacks, like the one in 2018 on Bithumb, the South Korean crypto-currency exchange, which cost $30 million, or the assault on Poly Network this past August in which cyber thieves stole more than $600 million.
The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) is working on standards for post-quantum cryptography for rollout starting in 2024, but there is no reason to wait. Companies in the USA and Canada can offer solutions now, including hybrid solutions that offer the best of both post-quantum and quantum-based technologies—while others are creating versions of DLT that incorporates quantum solutions from the start.
Make no mistake; regardless of Bitcoin and Ethereum’s ups and downs in the current markets—even if a Bitcoin bubble bursts—crypto currencies are here to stay. Quantum-safe solutions can make sure they are stable and secure for a long time to come.