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Google Experimenting with Crypto for the ‘Post-Quantum Era’

Source: bitcoin

Google Experimenting with Crypto for the ‘Post-Quantum Era’

What happens to cryptography once quantum computers are everywhere? Will it still be possible to keep encrypted systems — like the Bitcoin network — secure?

Also read: The Halving Month Is Here; What Will Happen to the Bitcoin Price?

This week, Google addressed the question with a blog post titled, “Experimenting with Post-Quantum Cryptography,” which looks at how possible computing speeds in the future could compromise encryption, even today.

Quantum computing, long a computer science holy grail, promises to increase processing speeds on data operations exponentially. Rather than coding data into binary bits that must be either “1” or “0,” a quantum computer would theoretically use quantum bits (“qubits”) capable of existing in multiple states at the same time.

While this would have obvious benefits for almost every computer application in existence today — and even future applications — it presents a threat to any program that relies on cryptographic algorithms for protection, such as encrypted messages and bitcoin wallets.

Remember how it used to be OK to have a 5-letter password? Now, it’s advisable to have 20 or more characters, varying between numbers, symbols, and both upper and lowercase letters. This change in the need for password strength happened over time due to the progression of technology at its normal rate. Quantum computing would make simple password security obsolete, its processing power allowing it to crack even the toughest encryption with ease.

Such computers do have their limits, though. A more detailed research paper into the topic is available here.

What Would Quantum Computing do to Bitcoin?

The threat quantum computing poses to Bitcoin has been known and discussed in the community for a long time, to the extent that some old-timers have grown weary of the topic.

Common belief is that Bitcoin’s hashing functions (used in mining) are safe from large advancements in quantum computing, but that the elliptic curve digital signature algorithm (ECDSA) used to secure private keys could be compromised.

This would present a danger to any address containing large amounts of bitcoin, or one that is re-used often and well-known. If disposable addresses are used instead — as most modern wallet software does automatically — quantum computing would be less of a threat, though not a solution to the problem.

However, the arrival of quantum computers won’t constitute the first time Bitcoin has been affected by advancements technology. In his original white paper, Satoshi Nakamoto appeared to envisage mining on desktop CPUs, but users very quickly developed ASIC chips designed to do nothing other than solve Bitcoin’s hashing algorithm.

The Bitcoin protocol has adjusted difficulty accordingly, keeping blocks coming at roughly ten-minute intervals despite the hashing power added by ASICs. The possibility of adapting the Bitcoin network to quantum computing is not as certain, though.

Google’s Take

As Google’s post points out, this is not a threat yet — the experimental quantum computers that exist today contain only a handful of qubits and could not break current cryptographic algorithms. In fact, it is not known whether a larger-scale quantum computer is even possible, despite all the private and public sector research going into the field.

If it does become possible, though, a future quantum computer would be able to retroactively decrypt all of today’s encrypted communications — which is definitely something to think about.

Google is now experimenting with a “post-quantum key-exchange algorithm,” using it to encrypt small amounts of traffic between “bleeding edge” Chrome Canary browsers and Google’s servers. This will be on top of already-existing encryption, since the security of the post-quantum algorithm has not yet been thoroughly tested.

Don’t be Concerned Just Yet

Google’s post-quantum algorithm is called “New Hope,” but it’s just one of many possible solutions to the problem. Google wants to run its experiment with New Hope for under two years, “hopefully [replacing] it with something better” in the future.

In any case, for quantum technology to advance to the level required to break cryptographic algorithms, and for that technology to find its way to the consumer market, is expected to take decades, and that’s even if it proves to be possible.

Think about it — but don’t lose sleep over it. Yet.

Do you worry about advancements in computing technology affecting Bitcoin?


Images courtesy of D-Wave Systems via Wikimedia Commons.

The post Google Experimenting with Crypto for the ‘Post-Quantum Era’ appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Google Experimenting with Crypto for the ‘Post-Quantum Era’

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Bře 30

Promising FinTech Companies Appear in European Top 100 List

Source: bitcoin

FinTech

More than 55.000 financial technology enthusiasts from all over Europe have voted for their favourite European FinTech company. In addition a knowledgeable panel of judges from FinTech experts – consisting of experienced FinTech investors, innovation leads of European top banks (Deutsche Bank, Banco Santander, BBVA, Lloyds Banking Group en BNP Paribas) and FinTech visionaries – assessed this big selection of the most promising European FinTech companies. Combined with the public votes, the panel of judges constituted the European FinTech Top 100.

Disclaimer: This is a press release. Bitcoinist is not responsible for the products and/or services of these companies. 
By means of both these top financial technology companies (FinTech) and Google, Apple and Facebook tens of thousands of finance jobs are vanishing. Innovative companies are eager to please millions of frustrated banking customers. Nevertheless there are still phenomenal profits being made by banks struggling with outdated technology. At the same time, more and more money is being invested in FinTech. The Uber of the banking sector has not yet emerged, but this is only a matter of time. The latter makes it interesting to scrutinise the European FinTech landscape.

European FinTech Awards & Conference Amsterdam 2016

On April 14th the first European FinTech Awards & Conference will take place with a major focus on continental Europe. A holistic view of what is happening in the European financial technology space is given to all participants with thought-provoking panel discussions and captivating pitches. In the panel discussions FinTech leaders will discuss trending topics such as PSD2, blockchain and robo advisory. These discussions will alternate with pitches from the best European FinTech companies. The complete list of the European FinTech Top 100 can be found below.

1st UX Design Agency for Finance

Advicegames

Aire

AMP Credit Technologies

Ascribe

Aston iTrade Finance

Atom Bank

Azimo

Backbase

Bankable

BehavioSec

Bitnation

Blockchain

Bunq

Chebanca!

Clearmatics

ClearScore

Cloud Lending Solutions

Coinify

CoVi Analytics

Creamfinance

Credible

Credit Benchmark

Credorax

DealMarket

Domotz

Dopay

Duco

ebankIT

Ebury

Emerging Crowd

Environmental Rating Agency Ltd

eToro

ETRONIKA

Everledger

eWise

Fenergo

Fluo

FriendlyScore

Friendsurance

FundApps

Fundbird

Funding Circle

Future Finance

GetSafe

GoCardless Ltd

Holvi

Hufsy

Idea Bank

ImaginBank

Latvia

Netherlands

UK

UK

Germany

France

UK

UK

Netherlands

UK

Sweden

UK

UK

Netherlands

Italy

UK

UK

UK

Denmark

UK

Latvia

Luxembourg

UK

Malta

Switzerland

UK

Netherlands

UK

Portugal

UK

UK

UK

Cyprus

Lithuania

UK

Switzerland

Ireland

France

UK

Germany

UK

UK

UK

UK

Germany

UK

Finland

Denmark

Poland

Spain

Invoice Sharing

Iwoca

iZettle

Kantox

Kasko Ltd

Klarna

Knip

Kontomatik

Kreditech

Mambu

MangoPay

MarketInvoice

Mbank

Meniga

Metro Bank

Mondo

Monese

Monetas

MoneyFarm

moQom

NetGuardians

NoviCap

Number 26

Nutmeg

Onfido

Oseven

Pariti

Pich Technologies

QuanTemplate

Quantoz

Qumram

R5FX

Scalable Capital

SETL

SlimPay

Smart Engine

Spotcap

Storecove

SurePay

Tallysticks

Transferwise

TraxPay

Trustly

UnifiedPost

WealthObjects

WeSavvy

Wikifolio

WorldRemit

Zmarta

Zopa

Netherlands

UK

Sweden

UK

UK

Sweden

Switzerland

Poland

Germany

Germany

France

UK

Poland

Iceland

UK

UK

UK

Switzerland

Italy

Ireland

Switzerland

Spain

Germany

UK

UK

Greece

UK

Spain

UK

Netherlands

Switzerland

UK

Germany

UK

France

Austria

Germany

Netherlands

Netherlands

UK

UK

Germany

Sweden

Belgium

UK

Ireland

Austria

UK

Sweden

UK

All the companies included in the top 100 list will attend the European FinTech Awards & Conference in Amsterdam on the 14th of April.

The Winners

Within this Top 100, the 3 best companies within each category will give a pitch at the conference. The categories are Alternative Finance, Blockchain/Bitcoin, Challenger Banks, Financial Inclusion, Innovative Banking Software, InsurTech, Payments, PFM/Robo Advisory and Risk, Intelligence & Security. By virtue of the pitches the best European  financial technology company within each category will be awarded and there will be one overall winner.

The best 3 FinTech companies within each category are

Alternative Finance

Cloud Lending Solutions

Funding Circle

Iwoca

Blockchain/Bitcoin

Ascribe

Clearmatics

Everledger

Challenger Banks

Atom Bank

Holvi

Monese

Financial Inclusion

Azimo

Dopay

Kreditech

Innovative Banking Software

1st UX Design Agency for Finance

Backbase

Pich Technologies

InsurTech

Knip

Oseven

QuanTemplate

Payments

Bankable

Ebury

Trustly

PFM/Robo advisory

Meniga

Number26

Wikifolio

Risk, Intelligence & Security

BehavioSec

Credit Benchmark

NetGuardians

Witness the future of finance.

You cannot afford to miss out on this unique conference. Tickets are almost sold out and capacity is limited. Register now by clicking here.

For more information

Website: FinTech.nl

Twitter: @FinTechNL

Initiator: Alex van Groningen BV

For more information contact Teun van der Veeken at +31(0)6 11 30 40 82 or via tvanderveeken@fintech.nl


Images courtesy of  DogTown media, FinTech Info

 

The post Promising FinTech Companies Appear in European Top 100 List appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Promising FinTech Companies Appear in European Top 100 List

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