Hoskinson says Cardano is not working toward quantum resistance.
Cardano’s Charles Hoskinson, in a surprise, ask me anything session on YouTube has revealed that quantum resistance is not in the present Cardano roadmap, despite being in the original, highlighting three reasons why.
Why No Quantum Resistance?
According to Hoskinson, the first reason is that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was yet to pick a standard for quantum protocols. Hoskinson noted that without an established standard, the network going ahead with quantum resistance development risked picking an algorithm without NIST approval that could quickly become obsolete.
“… NIST at the time had not standardized the quantum protocols, the quantum resistant protocols. So it was entirely possible that we’d pick an algorithm that NIST decided not to pick, the whole industry would move differently. And then that would go wildly out of date,” Hoskinson said.
Secondly, Hoskinson noted that most protocols are not optimized and, as such, really slow and lack comprehensive security analysis.
“… many of the protocols are not optimized. So they’re really slow, the key sizes are huge. And the corollary is also that they… haven’t had robust security analysis. So while they have interesting proofs and approaches, because the mathematical complexity is higher, and the overheads higher, there are potentially many, many, many more attack vectors,” Hoskinson explained.
Finally, Hoskinson noted that these quantum protocols are yet to be translated for the next generation of cryptography. Additionally, the Cardano chief noted that at present levels of development, they significantly reduce the efficiency of blockchain networks.
However, it is worth noting that Hoskinson is not against the Cardano network pursuing quantum resistance in the future. “… we have plenty of time to go in and add new capabilities to basically slowly introduce quantum resistance,” Hoskinson said.
Why Is Quantum Resistance Important?
While blockchain is hailed as immutable and unhackable due to its secure cryptographic technology, which present-day computers can not break, many pundits think this will not be the case in the future with the development of quantum computing.
Experts estimate that a quantum computer possessing about 4000 qubits of processing power could theoretically crack Bitcoins cryptography. However, we may still be a long way away from this as the Eagle, the most powerful quantum computer in the world developed by IBM has only 127 qubits of processing power.
Cardano’s Vasil Upgrade
It is worth noting that the Cardano network is on the cusp of a significant upgrade called the Vasil hard fork. The Vasil hard fork, set to bring significant improvements to the network’s scalability and smart contract functionality, is believed to be just weeks away.
However, there has been a flurry of controversies recently that there are internal conflicts over the launch of the Vasil hard fork. Additionally, Hoskinson has been accused of not being on the same page with developers, as claims surfaced that developers have not thoroughly tested node 1.35.3.
Notably, the Cardano founder has refuted these claims. Speaking today during the AMA session on how he feels about recent criticisms, Hoskinson noted, “If you pay too much attention to it, you become neurotic and broken and smeared in self-doubt, ignore it, you have no ability to improve yourself. So you have to find the right balance between the two.”
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