Ethereum (ETH) Might Not have Quantum Resistance on its Roadmap, the QRL Team Reveals

The developers at Quantum Resistant Ledger (QRL), an externally audited “enterprise-grade” blockchain platform that claims to be secure against a potential (future) attack from quantum computers, stated that Ethereum (ETH) could go quantum computer resistant through “a unique smart-contract.”

The QRL team said that a project called EnQlave helps users secure their computers against a quantum computer attack. They pointed out that the Ethereum 2.0 fork will bring many improvements like sharding, zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs), enhancing overall blockchain efficiency, and lower transaction fees.

They noted:

“One of the biggest hindrances to blockchains right now that’s affecting its adoption is its ability to scale. [We] think [the Ethereum 2.0 related upgrades] will help out quite a bit…Proof of stake, Ethereum is going there, and so are we [at QRL.] … Transparency, trust, immutability, pseudonymity, security … all these things are core tenets of blockchain.”

They added:

“When it comes to Ether, [Ethereum’s native token,] we’re soon going to have another option. And that option is to make it quantum secure, or not. But why quantum? … Quantum computers are quite cool [even literally.] In 2016, the NIST or National Institute of Standards and Technology (in the US) initiated a process to solicit, evaluate, and standardize one or more quantum resistant public key cryptographic algorithms.”

They explained that this was basically the NIST calling upon academics and the general public to write and propose new asymmetric or public key algorithms to be used in the post-quantum era (i.e. when quantum computers powerful enough to threaten or practically outperform existing binary computers have arrived).

The QRL team revealed that so far there have been 60 submissions, out of which 12 were reportedly broken and there were five withdrawals from the competition. There are currently two quantum-secure protocols in “draft recommended state,” the team revealed. One of these is called XMSS which is the underlying protocol used by QRL.

They confirmed that quantum computers are available right now. For instance, D-Wave has been manufacturing them since 1999, the team said. IBM has also been releasing more and more powerful quantum computers.

The QRL team noted that, in 2019, Google announced “Quantum Supremacy” which is defined as “the construction of a device that can solve a problem or perform a function that would be unfeasible for any classical computer.” Google was able to carry out a function in 200 seconds and based on their calculations, it would take a supercomputer 10,000 years to complete the same function, the QRL team revealed.

They added:

“It appears that quantum resistance is not on the Ethereum roadmap, so this is where I think the QRL team can help. Project EnQlave is an Ethereum smart contract that creates a quantum secure safe to store your Ethereum cryptocurrency….[this means, that] using your browser, you can access your Ethereum and transfer funds into a quantum secure safe, all while staying on the Ethereum blockchain.”

However, the cost associated with doing this is that every time a smart contract is called or invoked for this purpose (moving funds in and out of your EnQlave wallet), you would incur a gas (fee) charge from the Ethereum network, The gas charge price is set by ETH miners who are processing transactions on the world’s largest smart contract development platform.

Gas fees are a financial incentive for Ether miners to process users’ transactions.

The QRL team recommended:

“Due to gas costs, EnQlave works best as a long-term, post-quantum secure storage solution. It’s not something you’d want to move your funds in and out of every day.” 

As of June 2020, EnQlave has been running on an internal test network (testnet) and the code is being audited.

As previously reported, many experts believe quantum computers could “completely shatter” the current Internet security systems protecting the Bitcoin (BTC) network, digital payments, and IoT devices.