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Quantum Computer Interview With Pavel Kravchenko, Founder at Distributed Lab

“A quantum computer could present a danger to modern cryptographic algorithms if they stop developing …”

Pavel Kravchenko, founder at Distributed Lab

How do you evaluate quantum computers potential impact on banking | financial sector nearest years and how quantum computers will affect cryptography (is there interconnection between quantum computers development and quantum cryptography growth)?  

By the core, the influence of quantum computers on mentioned sectors is absent (at least for now), currently there is no general-purpose quantum computer with a register length (number of quantum bits) that could pose a threat to cryptography used in most modern financial systems. Sure, after 10 years, such a computer can be built and can present a real danger to modern cryptographic algorithms. However, all this will happen only if cryptography in modern systems stops developing and will not be updated, which is very unlikely, given the importance of such systems.

The link between the development of a quantum computer and the development of post-quantum cryptography, of course, exists, and is very clearly seen. As soon as the idea of quantum computing was expressed (at first in the 1980s), cryptography began to develop at the same time, which will ensure the properties of information even under the conditions of an assumed quantum computer.

How cryptography will be transformed within 3-5 years? Do you see some drastic changes in cryptographic approaches for 2019 year?

In 2019, the transition of systems using RSA to ECC (Elliptic-curve cryptography) will continue. More attention will be paid to the security of key storage (including Trusted execution environment – TEE). Significant changes in approaches are not expected.

The modern research in the field of cryptography is actively developing efficient post quantum cryptographic algorithms, since the emergence of specialised quantum computers theoretically can destroy most of the used algorithms based on ECC, RSA. Nowadays, 3 main areas are being actively developed, with the help of which it is possible to create algorithms that are not affected by quantum computer attacks. Much attention is paid among them:

  • Hash-based cryptography (the basis of the merkle signature mechanism, the modern Sphincs family can be distinguished);
  • Cryptography based on anti-interference coding;
  • Lattice (NTRU).
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