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Abelian Takes the Lead in Anti-Quantum Encryption Amid the Arrival of “Quantum Supremacy”

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The blockchain industry faces a critical challenge in the form of quantum computers’ ability to crack traditional digital signature algorithms, raising concerns about the security and integrity of digital assets on non-quantum-resistant blockchains.

Quantum computers employ the principles of quantum superposition and entanglement to construct quantum bits, or qubits. In contrast to classical bits, which are strictly limited to representing either a 1 or 0 state, qubits can exist in a superposition of both states concurrently. This characteristic imparts upon quantum computers an unparalleled capacity for computation, with an exponential growth in processing capability. Through the application of algorithms such as Shor, common cryptographic technologies used in digital signature algorithms like ECDSA and RSA can be compromised by a (large-scale) quantum computer in a matter of hours.

In December 2022, IBM announced it would unveil a 1,000-qubit universal quantum computer in 2023, with plans to release a >4,000-qubit quantum computing module in the next 36 months. Notably, numerous entities, including Google, state-owned laboratories, and well-funded startups, are expediting their development on universal quantum computers. A team of researchers from the University of Sussex, UK, calculated that a quantum computing system containing 317 million qubits would have the capacity to break the ECDSA algorithm utilized to secure the Bitcoin blockchain in under an hour. A quantum computer with 1.9 billion qubits would be capable of doing so in just 10 minutes.

Furthermore, non-quantum-resistant blockchains are vulnerable to the “hack-now-decrypt-later” threat, whereby compromised digital signature algorithms result in a loss of ownership guarantees for digital assets. Consequently, there is a pressing need to develop quantum-resistant blockchain networks to ensure the security and longevity of digital assets in the blockchain space.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the United States has been working to standardize post-quantum cryptography (PQCrypto) algorithms for the past five years. In 2024, the first set of post-quantum algorithms are expected to be officially published for all governmental departments and institutions to adopt.

According to Dr. Duncan Wong, a former computer science professor at the City University of Hong Kong, over the next 5-10 years, blockchains that can withstand quantum computing attacks will emerge as the sole survivors. He believes that it’s time to start creating the new generation of blockchain technologies which are quantum-resistant by design.

The team of mathematicians and cryptographers Dr. Duncan Wong is working together started to develop such a quantum-resistant public chain four years ago. Abelian is a blockchain project led by a team of experienced scientists with proven expertise in cryptography and computer science. The team members have over 20 years of experience in the field, and they have contributed to the development of various blockchains such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, R3 Corda, and Hyperledger Fabric. The team includes renowned cryptographers such as Dr. Duncan, Prof. Huaxiong Wang, Prof. Khoa Nguyen, and Prof. Guomin Yang. Abelian’s research papers are published in reputable academic journals, and their post-quantum cryptographic algorithms were peer-reviewed by scientists as the world’s first proven secure post-quantum Blockchain system.

Exploring the Future of Quantum-Resistant Blockchains

Abelian is an L1 blockchain platform which has prioritized privacy as a critical component of its architecture. The platform leverages lattice-based cryptographic algorithms standardized by NIST, offering a robust security framework grounded in cryptographically verified techniques. Its overarching aim is to create a digital ecosystem characterized by imperviousness to external threats, including those posed by quantum computing. Abelian endeavors to establish a post-quantum zero-knowledge bridge, and extend support to EVM-compliant blockchain networks, empowering Web3 and DeFi applications. In line with its mission, the platform envisions the creation of an L2 network fortified by post-quantum and privacy-protective features, with the ultimate goal of building a network that is both highly efficient and highly secure.

In the cryptocurrency world, privacy protection is more crucial than ever before. When relying on public ledgers visible to anyone, cryptocurrencies have more exposure to privacy-related risks. To address this issue, many developers and leading venture capitalists are focusing their attention on privacy-focused projects. To assure privacy protection in the quantum-resistant setting, Abelian blockchain has applied a linkable ring signature based on lattice-based post-quantum cryptographic technology, which is also employed by the Monero privacy coin project (but is non-quantum resistant). Abelian blockchain further safeguards privacy and assets by using a lattice-based commitment scheme and zero-knowledge proof system to hide wallet addresses and transaction amounts.

While privacy protection is crucial, privacy coins have received criticism due to their potential use in illegal transactions. To address this concern, Abelian blockchain offers its participants three privacy level options. The first option, Basic Privacy, is similar to the pseudonymity feature of Bitcoin. The second option, Complete Privacy, utilizes a lattice-based linkable ring signature and commitment scheme to conceal transaction amounts and wallet addresses. The third option, Complete Privacy with Accountability, may be particularly appropriate for enterprises operating in highly regulated industries such as financial services.

ABEL as Security Element

Abelian is the first quantum-resistant privacy-preserving blockchain with its own privacy coin, ABEL. ABEL has a total supply of 225.18 million with the smallest currency unit in the Abelian network being the Neutrino. The exchange rate is 1 ABEL = 10^7 Neutrinos. Abelian produces a block every 256 seconds, with the mining difficulty checked and adjusted every 4,000 blocks. The mining reward per block decreases over time, with the final era rewarding 0.5 ABEL per block. The genesis block pre-mined 20.58 million ABELs, which were dedicated to promoting decentralization and supporting the Abelian community.

The project raised $3 million in funding in 2022, led by Draper Dragon, a venture capital fund that has invested in early-stage companies such as Coinbase, Minimally Invasive Medical, Ledger, and YeePay. As of October 2022, there were over 3,000 miners from across the globe in the Abelian network. However, the scalability of Abelian has room for improvement since it is based on Proof-of-Work (PoW) with GPU mining. Abelian is currently building its L2 EVM-equivalent smart contract layer, which supports 500 transactions per second. A bridging protocol is also underway to connect the Abelian mainnet with its L2 network.

The project aims to empower the privacy-protected and posti-quantum Abelian ecosystem. ABEL is planned to be listed on leading exchanges in 2023, as indicated in the project roadmap.

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