Crypto Coins Face Quantum Attack


By The Maritime Executive 11-04-2017 07:33:48

The potential for block chain solutions and crypto coins to enter use in maritime industries has been increasingly discussed, but Australian researchers warn that that quantum computers could jeopardize the security of current cryptocurrencies in as little as 10 years time.

Macquarie University physicist Associate Professor Gavin Brennen, together with Australian entrepreneur Dorjee Sun and researchers in Singapore and Sydney, have therefore announced a collaboration with blockchain company Hyperchain to provide quantum security to digital currency. 

The team named Quantum Resistant Coin (QRC), includes researchers A/Prof. Brennen at Macquarie U., Prof. Miklos Santha at CNRS Université Paris Diderot and Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT), A/Prof. Troy Lee at Nanyang Technological University and CQT, and Senior Lecturer Dr. Marco Tomamichel at UTS.

The group has just released a study which finds that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be vulnerable to attacks that could see thieves equipped with quantum computers easily stealing funds without detection. 

“I’ve been working on the theory of quantum computers for well over a decade, and the exciting thing is that now very simple quantum machines, like the Google device, are a reality,” says Brennen. “Understandably, there is a lot of nervousness in cryptocurrency communities about whether their digital assets will resist future attacks by very fast quantum computers.”