The Russian Quantum Center has announced a new blockchain project, which enables companies to transfer sensitive data without facing the threat of hacking through a blockchain protocol.
The solution is thought to be the first quantum-proof solution of its kind, marking yet another first for the technology which underpins digital currencies like bitcoin, amongst other enterprise systems.
Quantum computers are a significant risk to informational integrity, with the potential to wreak havoc and destruction throughout blockchains – including the platforms used for bitcoin and for secure internal government communications, for example.
Existing blockchains are thought to be vulnerable to these potential risks, a factor which is often cited as a cause for concern by investors, analysts and developers alike.
However, with the unveiling of the quantum-safe blockchain, there is now a potential solution to this problem, at least in the short-term.
According to the announcement from the development team, the reliance on quantum key distribution is the essential technology which protects the blockchain, beyond the standard digital signatures used at present.
“The quantum-safe blockchain developed by the Russian Quantum Center secures the blockchain by combining quantum key distribution (QKD) with post-quantum cryptography so that it is essentially unhackable…The technology creates special blocks which are signed by quantum keys rather than the traditional digital signatures. These quantum keys are generated by a QKD network, which guarantees the privacy of the key using the laws of physics.”
QKD networks are becoming more frequently used across the financial services sector, as well as in a number of other industries.
These networks are already extensively used in the US, China and across Europe, essential in processing financial transactions, maintaining smart contracts and facilitating the exchange of sensitive personal data.
As QKD networks continue to expand, it is expected that the quantum-proof blockchain will become increasingly utilised by companies and organisations worldwide.
The development has been welcomed by analysts and blockchain security specialists alike, and represents a significant step forward for the technology in protecting against algorithmically-driven quantum hacks.
However, while the quantum-proof blockchain will offer a significantly more robust infrastructure, ongoing development will be required to respond to the changing nature of hacking threats.