CSIRO And Monash Develop A Quantum-Proof Blockchain Protocol – The Most Efficient To Date

October 01, 2020, 7:00 AM AEST (updated October 16, 2020)

Researchers from CSIRO’s Data61 – the data and digital specialist arm of Australia’s national science agency, and the Monash Blockchain Technology Centre have developed the most efficient blockchain protocol worldwide.

Not only is it secure against quantum computers, but it also guarantees the privacy of its users and their transactions.

Use In Multiple Fields On The Horizon

Although the blockchain protocol seems to have originally been developed for cryptocurrencies – indeed, it has been licensed to an Aussie cryptocurrency developer known as Hcash – the new protocol can be used in a number of fields, including, but not limited to digital health, banking, finance, government services, and KYC (Know Your Customer) identity verification procedures. 

The protocol has been named MatRiCT and was developed by a team of researchers from both CSIRO and the Monash Blockchain Technology Centre. The team was led by Dr Muhammed Esgin, who took action once he saw that current blockchain technology may not be able to take flak from quantum computers.

“Quantum computing can compromise the signatures or keys used to authenticate transactions, as well as the integrity of blockchains themselves. Once this occurs, the underlying cryptocurrency could be altered, leading to theft, double-spend, or forgery, and users’ privacy may be jeopardized. Existing cryptocurrencies tend to either be quantum-safe or privacy-preserving, but for the first time our new protocol achieves both in a practical and deployable way.”

The new protocol is based on hard lattice problems –  which are quantum secure. They also introduce new particular features – one of which is the shortest quantum-secure ring signature scheme made so far, which authenticates activity and transactions using nothing but the signature itself.

Another innovation present in the MatRiCT blockchain is a zero-knowledge proof method, which masks all sensitive information pertaining to a financial transaction. MatRiCT also includes the ability to conduct audits, which the team hopes could prevent the illegal use of cryptocurrencies.

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