Distributed Ledger (Blockchain) Security and Quantum Computing Implications

NCC Group was recently posed the following by one of our UK CISO Research Council members:

‘Blockchain (especially BitCoin) is highly dependent on elliptic curve crypto and hashes like SHA256 and RIPEMD-160, which are all vulnerable to quantum computing attacks using Shaw’s and Grover’s algorithms. The banks are all going headlong into Blockchain generically and I see little on this being discussed other than some bold claims (heavily disputed) that it is sort of quantum safe.’

This brief research note gives the NCC Group Cryptography Services Practice and its subsidiary (Fox-IT) High-Assurance Development Division position on this topic as of September, 2016.

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