The Inter-American Development Bank and its innovation laboratory, IDB Lab, in partnership with Cambridge Quantum (CQ) and Tecnológico de Monterrey have identified and resolved potential threats to blockchain networks posed by the advent of quantum computer development.
In response to these threats, the project team developed a cryptographic layer that allows blockchain networks to protect themselves from this new generation of computing technologies.
Four potential threat areas for blockchain networks have been identified, including communication between network nodes and the integrity of digitally signed transactions.
Each threat area relies on cryptography and keys which are vulnerable to attacks by quantum computers and needs to be improved to ensure the security and integrity of blockchain networks.
To address these threats, a post-quantum cryptography layer that protects networks and offers resistance to quantum computer attacks was developed on the LACChain Besu blockchain network, based on Ethereum technology.
Transactions and communications were protected with quantum-proof keys from CQ’s IronBridge platform, which uses quantum computers to generate certified entropy.
“While certain quantum algorithms allow for breaches of digital security protocols, luckily we also have others we can use to strengthen our data protection capabilities,” said Salvador E. Venegas-Andraca professor-researcher and director of the quantum information processing group of Tecnológico de Monterrey.
Duncan Jones, head of quantum cybersecurity at CQ, said that LACChain blockchain was an ideal target for keys generated by their IronBridge platform. Only keys generated from certified quantum entropy can be resistant to the threat of quantum computing.
“In the digital age in which we find ourselves we have at our disposal different emerging technologies with the capacity to solve social problems, and to the extent that we are able to combine them we will achieve an exponential impact,” said Irene Arias Hofman, CEO of BID Lab.
“In this case, the knowledge of the IDB team together with CQ and TEC — in both quantum and blockchain technologies — has made it possible to achieve a fundamental milestone to guarantee the future integrity of LACChain, a blockchain platform created by the IDB Lab which more than 50 entities in the region are using already,” said Hofman.