Blockchain technology could be set for a major security boost

Blockchain
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Advances in quantum computing (opens in new tab) have the potential to change the world as we know it especially since today's security and encryption (opens in new tab) solutions won't be able to withstand attacks launched by quantum computers.

For this reason, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Cambridge Quantum (opens in new tab) (CQ) and the Monterrey Institute of Technology have identified as well as resolved several potential threats to blockchain networks posed by quantum computers.

In order to combat these threats, the project team has developed a cryptographic layer that enables blockchain networks to protect themselves from attacks carried out using quantum computers (opens in new tab).

The rise of Bitcoin (opens in new tab) and other cryptocurrencies has led to blockchain (opens in new tab) becoming increasingly popular and now that businesses are exploring using the technology's decentralized ledgers in finance, real estate and other industries, preparing for the quantum era has become even more important.

Post-quantum cryptographic layer

The post-quantum cryptographic layer developed by IDB, CQ and the Monterrey Institute of Technology protects networks and offers resistance to quantum computer attacks was developed on the LACChain Besu blockchain network which is based on Ethereum (opens in new tab) technology.

During testing, transactions and communications were protected with quantum-proof keys from CQ's IronBridge (opens in new tab) platform that uses quantum computers to generate certified entropy.

CEO of IDB Lab Irene Arias Hofman provided further details on the project team's breakthrough in a press release (opens in new tab), saying:

“In the digital age in which we find ourselves we have at our disposal different emerging technologies with the capacity to solve social problems, and to the extent that we are able to combine them we will achieve an exponential impact. In this case, the knowledge of the IDB team, together with CQ and TEC, in both quantum and blockchain technologies, has made it possible to achieve a fundamental milestone to guarantee the future integrity of LACChain, a blockchain platform created by the IDB Lab which more than 50 entities in the region are using already.” 

Expect to see more security solutions developed to defend against attacks from quantum computers going forward especially as they become more powerful as well as more widely available.

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.