A Tale of Two Challenges
Two key events are set to significantly impact blockchain technology in the near-to-mid-term future. Both these events have been long in the making, unfurling slowly from difficult-to-perceive distant threats to issues that risk extinguishing the blockchain ecosystem altogether. The first of these concerns is with the eventual advent of attack-capable quantum computers, and the resulting vulnerability of asymmetric cryptography and therefore digital signatures (the fundamental security mechanisms for authenticating blocks). The second event is an older issue: the growing global concern with climate change and the transition to more sustainable methods of living and doing business.
While the former remains a very niche area of focus for organizations and governments, an attack-capable quantum computer will break the vast majority of blockchains existing today (alongside most cybersecurity technologies using cryptography). Blocks will be broken and many crypto-currencies will be easily hackable. The latter reflects a more generalized concern for the planet, rather than any direct obliterating…
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