The United States National Security Agency are developing a quantum-resistant cryptocurrency. The NSA is doing this to battle cyber threats from other countries. North Korea, China, Russia and Iran are the main threat. This information comes from Bloomberg reporter William Turton.
A quantum-resistant cryptocurrency is supposedly needed to remove threat of cyber warfare. Theoretically a network of quantum computers can takeover an existing blockchain, like bitcoin. As a result this type of cyber warfare is a threat to the future of digital currencies.
The current hashrate of the bitcoin network is near 90 quintillion hashes per second. That’s almost 90.000.000.000.000.000.000 calculations per second. To take over the network a hacker needs 51 percent of the total hashing power on his control. However, quantum computers are more efficient in solving problems. That means that even a mediocre quantum computer would be able to solve hashes faster then any other normal computer.
Crypto ransomware threat for elections
Turton attended the Billington CyberSecurity 10th annual summit in Washington D.C. At this conference NSA director Anne Neuberger stated that ransomware threats are a major concern. Additionally she even labelled it a ‘key concern’ for the presidential elections of 2020.
A quantum-resistant cryptocurrency would give a country a geopolitical edge over the competition. In past years the agency has seen more use of cryptocurrencies in cyber warfare. For example, in July 2018 Russia used cryptocurrencies to hack into American computer networks. In addition the Russians also had disinformation operations funded by cryptocurrencies.
In the past 12 months there’s been a serious increase in cryptocurrency-powered ransomware. For example gamers who want to cheat in the online game Fortnite, now have a chance of being cheated on themselves. Furthermore cryptocurrency mining has been a focus for hackers in 2018, when cryptojacking increased with 4467 percent according to McAfee Labs.
Also published on Medium.