Ripple CTO: Quantum computers will be a threat to Bitcoin and XRP – Crypto News Flash

In a chapter of the Modern CTO podcast, Ripples CTO, David Schwartz, expressed concerns about the development of quantum computers. Ripples CTO believes this technology is a threat to the security of Bitcoin, XRP, and cryptocurrencies. This is primarily because the consensus algorithms behind cryptocurrencies rely on conventional cryptography, as Schwartz stated:

From the point of view of someone who is building systems based on conventional cryptography, quantum computing is a risk. We are not solving problems that need powerful computing like payments and liquidity the work that the computers do is not that incredibly complicated, but because it relies on conventional cryptography, very fast computers present a risk to the security model that we use inside the ledger.

Algorithms like SHA-2 and ECDSA (elliptic curve cryptography) are sort of esoteric things deep in the plumbing but if they were to fail, the whole system would collapse. The systems ability to say who owns Bitcoin or who owns XRP or whether or not a particular transaction is authorized would be compromised().

Ripples CTO said that Ripple is trying to prepare for the emergence of quantum computers. Therefore, they are determining when the algorithms mentioned will no longer be reliable. Ripples CTO estimates that in the next 8-10 years, quantum computers will begin to pose a threat, as Schwartz further stated:

I think we have at least eight years. I have very high confidence that its at least a decade before quantum computing presents a threat, but you never know when there could be a breakthrough. Im a cautious and concerned observer, I would say.

The other fear would be if some bad actor, some foreign government, secretly had quantum computing way ahead of whats known to the public. Depending on your threat model, you could also say what if the NSA has quantum computing. Are you worried about the NSA breaking your payment system?

Despite the above, Ripples CTO made an optimistic conclusion and stated that even if there is a malicious actor with this technology, he will not use it against the average person. Therefore, Schwartz believes that most users have nothing to worry about:

While some people might really be concerned it depends on your threat model, if youre just an average person or an average company, youre probably not going to be a victim of this lets say hypothetically some bad actor had quantum computing that was powerful enough to break things, theyre probably not going to go after you unless you are a target of that type of actor.

As soon as its clear that theres a problem, these systems will probably be frozen until they can be fixed or improved. So, most people dont have to worry about it.

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Ripple CTO: Quantum computers will be a threat to Bitcoin and XRP - Crypto News Flash

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