Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin has released a blog post outlining where the crypto community is in solving some of its biggest, historical challenges. But he then suggested a new list for 2019, combining some previous issues with a few new ones that have snuck in. Here are some of the most pressing topics in his updated list.
Elliptic curve cryptography is one of the few things protecting the Bitcoin network from anyone being able to steal anyone else’s bitcoin. And it’s secure because it would need a really powerful computer to crack the encryption.
However, Google’s only gone and built a quantum computer capable of 53 “quantum bits” (qubits), known as Sycamore. It’s able to do calculations that normally take more than 10,000 years to perform, in 200 seconds. This caused many to worry how this will affect the cryptography underlying most cryptocurrencies.
Fuelling the fire, an article by researchers from the Russian Quantum Center suggested that quantum computing could eventually obsolete blockchain altogether.
“Within ten years, quantum computers will be able to calculate the one-way functions, including blockchains, that are used to secure the Internet and financial transactions. Widely deployed one-way encryption will instantly become obsolete.”
But is there a fix? We looked into that here.
Building unique human identities
One potential use case of blockchain technology is voting. This can be for on-chain governance, where coin owners choose how the technology behind the coin is developed. However, the big challenge here is vote rigging. If each account has a single vote, how do you know that multiple accounts aren’t owned by the same person, rendering the vote flawed?
Well, one solution is that you have unique human identities on the blockchain—whether the personal data is publicly available or not. The important thing is that each address or unique human identity is linked to one actual person. But it’s hard…