Quantum computer attacks are among the biggest concerns in the crypto industry. In a future where quantum computers have advanced to certain levels, will your blockchain still withstand a quantum attack?
Take the case of Solana. Is Solana quantum resistant? Can current quantum computers break Solana’s encryption? What are quantum computers anyway?
Read on to find out more below.
Is Solana Quantum Resistant?
Yes. Solana is quantum resistant.
Solana uses SHA256 encryption to secure its blockchain network. Breaking this encryption level is just about as difficult as breaking the NIST P-256 RSA encryption with a classic computer of 3000-bits.
You would need a quantum computer with about 2300 qubits to break through such security in a practical scenario.
At the time of this writing, the world only has several quantum computers with an estimated 53 qubits.
Yet, they cannot process data laterally. Although quantum computers continue to increase in power, there is also a continued effort to quantum-proofing Solana.
Learn more: Is Solana Multichain?
What Are Quantum Computers?
Quantum computers use various principles of quantum physics to solve complex mathematical solutions and store data.
They solve problems that would otherwise be difficult for our standard computers.
Unlike usual computers which process information using a series of ones and zeros and electronic pulses, quantum computers use quantum bits (qubits) to interpret and execute commands.
Now, although not fully adopted, quantum computers can perform the following activities:
- Log and predict market movement data in the financial sector. For example, they can follow and predict rises and drops in market prices. Trading companies and institutional traders also benefit from using speedier computers while executing trades.
- In complex industrial activities like Mega factories which deal in detailed processing, quantum computers manage the design process, collect data and run the manufacturing process seamlessly.
- In internet security, there is a need to secure data from malicious attacks and hacking. Quantum computers are much harder to hack.
- In AI and ML quantum computers tighten the lag between response, reaction, and prediction. AI companies use quantum computers to improve things like face and fingerprint detection and response.
What Algorithms Are Quantum-Resistant?
The two main quantum-resistant algorithms are RSA and the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA).
RSA employs a public key and a private key to protect your crypto wallet. This private key is for your personal use, and you cannot share it with anyone else.
On the other hand, ECDSA ensures an authorized user alone can access the value in their crypto wallet.
According to the NIST, after testing over 20 algorithms for quantum resistance, there is yet to be another algorithm robust enough against quantum attacks.
Can Quantum Computers Ruin Crypto?
Compared to classical computers, quantum computers are much better at breaking encryption. A quantum computer could, in theory, break your wallet’s security features in a few hours.
Classic computers would need much more processing power to succeed at such an attack.
Since quantum computers can perform multiple complex arithmetics calculations at blinding speeds, a dedicated attack could ultimately break the encryption of any cryptocurrency.
However, most cryptocurrency frameworks are building systems that can withstand attacks from quantum computers. Most blockchains use asymmetric cryptography to safeguard your private key to your crypto wallet, which is quite effective.
Even so, there are few quantum computers in the world today. In a potential future where there are more quantum computers, these computers could be a threat to any blockchains’ security.
But, with more blockchains migrating to quantum-resistant encryption, quantum computers are unlikely to ruin crypto.
What Is Quantum-Safe Cryptography?
Quantum-safe cryptography, also known as post-quantum, is the idea of looking for algorithms that can withstand attacks from quantum and classical computers.
The primary purpose of quantum-safe cryptography is to secure digital assets from breach even with a massive quantum computer attack.
Which Cryptocurrency Is Quantum-Resistant?
There is little to no news about the exact cryptos that are wholly or partly quantum resistant. However, here is a list of cryptocurrencies that are quantum-resistant:
- IOTA (MIOTA)
- Nexus (NXS)
- Mochimo (MCM)
- Quantum Resistance Ledger (QRL)
- H Cash
Is Ethereum Quantum-Proof?
As of this writing, ETH 1.0 transactions are potentially susceptible to quantum attacks.
However, as Ethereum moves to its 2.0 standard, developers plan to deliver a quantum-proof cryptocurrency and ecosystem.
As a user of ETH 2.0, you can move to a post-quantum signature scheme which allows you to choose how you prefer to validate a transaction.
Also, taking up Lamport signatures works better than ECDSA as it is less complex. For Lamport to work, Ethereum participants need to have larger storage slots as it consumes 230 times more space.
Ethereum developers are also testing different signature schemes like SPHINCS, eXtended Merkle signature scheme (XMSS), and the Quantum Resistance Ledger blockchain to boost cryptographic security.
Is Cardano Quantum-Proof?
The Cardano blockchain is yet to attain the quantum-proof standard. Yet, the process is ongoing to ensure the entire blockchain has a good defense against such attacks.
Read our full guide on Cardano’s quantum-proof properties.
Can Quantum Computers Break SHA256 Encryption?
In theory, quantum computers can easily break SHA256 encryption. However, as things stand, we’re not yet close to such a possibility. You’re unlikely to ever run into a quantum computer.
Besides that, you would need several quantum computers to break SHA 256 encryption, hijack a blockchain and take over the majority stake.
Although quantum resistance is a real threat to current cryptography standards and blockchains, it’s a threat for the future.
At this moment, no single quantum computer has enough qubits to break Solana’s encryption. In the future, that might change, but blockchains have shown resilience and adaptability, so quantum attacks may never succeed.
However, by the time the quantum computer with enough power is invented, all blockchain networks will be quantum-resistant.