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Johann Polecsak: The Blockchain Will be Unhackable Until Quantum Computers Arrive

Blockchain’s inherent safety is commonly seen as one of its major benefits. However, it was seen most recently in the hack of $600 million worth of digital assets stolen from...

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This story originally appeared on ValueWalk

Blockchain’s inherent safety is commonly seen as one of its major benefits. However, it was seen most recently in the hack of $600 million worth of digital assets stolen from the Poly Network, that the platforms that sit on the blockchain –or indeed bridge different blockchains as well as the chains themselves– are not impervious to threat.

- Valuewalk

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Another attack recently saw a cybercriminal exploiting a vulnerability in Ethereum Classic’s network in order to rewrite the data in its transaction history, leading to the hacker double spending the cryptos there and stealing over $1 million.

The truth of the matter is that blockchains do have vulnerabilities, and these are proving to be an attractive target for savvy cyber-attackers.

Further, the majority of hacks around cryptocurrency are phishing and malware attacks according to the FTC, but we can expect the number of on-chain hacks to go up by as much as 51% over the short term.

Johann Polecsak, co-founder and CTO of QANplatform discusses how this can be prevented, and what the company is working on to offer a way out of the problem. The company raised a total of $2.8 million in funding over two rounds in June –in the VC round it raised $2.1 million with investments from Fairum Ventures, DeltaHub Capital, Insignius Capital, and BlackDragon.

Where Does The Biggest Threat To The Blockchain Come From?

IBM recently announced that they would release a 1,121+ qubit quantum computer that will break the cryptography behind 99% of today’s blockchain platforms.

The most worrying and already proven part is that they will be able to break most asymmetric cryptography-related schemes, including the digital signature scheme used by bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies.

In short, we trusted these algorithms because incrementing the key size would increase the hardness of breaking it exponentially. Quantum computers will linearly tackle this, meaning doubling the key size will only need double the qubits to break. Everything we considered safe so far is gone for this reason.

Proof Of Work (PoW) And Proof Of Stake (PoS) Are Common, But There Is An Alternative: The Proof Of Randomness (PoR) Algorithm. What Is It And Why Is It Better?

While PoW is fully democratic, it is often more and more criticized for its humongous electricity consumption –which is a very valid point. PoS was born to mitigate issues arising from the aforementioned energy-wasting consensus mechanism, but it did not come without flaws.

The validators need to stake their funds and in return they are permitted to validate blocks and receive rewards. The problem is that, mostly, the stakes also influence the weight of probability the validators get to process blocks, so it is a lot less democratic than Proof of Work.

With PoR, security is of highest priority and the mechanism not only provides detection of any anomalies but can also actively prevent them.

This means that if any validator would vouch for an otherwise invalid block for their own economic benefit, that operation would be immediately detected and prevented before sealing that block –and would of course result in an immediate ban of the given malicious validator chosen by PoR.

What Is QANPlatform Working On About This?

We implemented a post-quantum signature scheme which is used to cross-sign transactions for when quantum computers become available.

We solve this issue by building integrations for existing and widely used and loved programming languages (Rust), DevOps technologies (Docker, Kubernetes), and Cloud platforms. Developers will build quantum-resistant smart contracts, DApps, DeFi solutions, tokens and cryptocurrencies, and NFTs on top of the QAN blockchain platform.

Our mission is to build a future-proof blockchain platform, not just another one on the list. Quantum-resistant security is our USP, but we put an enormous focus on lowering the entry barrier for the developer community, so startups and enterprises can build their Proofs of Concept (PoC) and Minimum Viable Products (MVP) as fast as possible to accelerate mass adoption.

How Do You Envision Blockchain Security Networks In The Next Five Years?

One thing is for sure, there will certainly be more focus on blockchain security as the criminals step up their game and try to get one step ahead of the networks.

We see the magic key to succeed on the blockchain market with a new product by lowering the entry barriers for the developer community: Learn a new language (Ethereum’s Solidity or Algorand’s TEAL) vs. use any other language you already mastered (QAN).

It mostly takes hours to install any private blockchain vs. one-click containerized solutions. Deployment of dApps on Ethereum takes nowadays 500/1000+ USD as the ETH ecosystem does not incentivize writing and reusing software modules.

It is an incredibly complex matter to design and build decentralized systems like blockchains, let alone making them financially viable for a decentralized community where every single participant type is financially motivated to act according to the sustainability requirements of such a system.