On November 7th, Xinxin Fan, head of cryptography at the IoTeX blockchain platform, published an article in The International Business Times inviting the blockchain community to stay up to date on progress made on quantum computers.
While reiterating that advances in quantum computing are "modest", Fan said that blockchains will have to keep pace to avoid being overtaken by quantum computers as technology grows and improves.
To this end, Fan outlined three main issues that the blockchain community must address as soon as possible: the standardization of cryptography "quantum-resistant", cryptographic agility and blockchain governance.
Quantum-resistant encryption standard
According to the expert, the first objective is to establish a process to standardize quantum-resistant cryptography while it is being developed. Fan noted that technology research has already started at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Stressing the need for such standardization, Fan wrote:
"The development and implementation of features specifically designed to resist quantum computers will be the key to the future of blockchains, as well as to their survival. Blockchain supporters and developers should therefore closely monitor the standardization process and prepare to integrate results in existing and future blockchain projects. "
The second is the so-called "cryptographic agility". Put simply, this is the ability of developers to implement quantum-resistant updates on existing blockchain networks.
The expert cited the Ethereum network as an example, pointing out that it is extremely important that these platforms are able to regularly update their systems, given the large number of projects that depend on them.
The third important issue is that of governance. According to Fan, blockchain projects must establish procedures to clearly define when and how to distribute updates "quantum-safe"in their networks.
Given the difficulty that the blockchains have had to face in order to establish optimal governance structures, the expert claims that the blockchain community should seriously begin to think and experiment with "ways to ensure that governance is not an obstacle to improving technology".
"There is no doubt that quantum computing is coming and will have important effects throughout the technology sector. But those who believe that its mere existence is a death sentence for the blockchain fail to consider that the latter will also grow and become will evolve along with quantum computing. Much can be done to make blockchains more dynamic and robust – and if we do these things, we will not have to worry about quantum supremacy. "
On October 25, the co-founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin expressed his opinion on the question of quantum supremacy, stating:
"To summarize my opinion on the question in one sentence, I would say that at the moment quantum computing is to quantum supremacy as hydrogen bombs are to nuclear fusion. This means that the phenomenon is tangible as well as the possibility of taking advantage of it, but it is still far from direct use in useful things. "