Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Proposes Quantum-Resistant Hard Fork



Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has proposed a hard fork strategy to protect the Ethereum Network from quantum computing threats, sparking a community-wide discussion on quantum security.

Buterin’s proactive stance indicates Ethereum’s preparedness to tackle quantum vulnerabilities, ensuring the platform’s resilience against futuristic challenges. 

Buterin’s Proposal To Guard Against Quantum Threats 

Buterin, in a detailed post, discussed Ethereum’s capability to guard against a quantum computing attack and potentially safeguard the network and its assets against futuristic threats. The proposal outlines the urgency of preparing for quantum computers’ ability to solve problems such as discrete logarithms that underpin the security of several cryptographic algorithms, including those used by Ethereum. 

In the post, Buterin suggested that Ethereum could initiate a simple recovery fork to mitigate risks posed by quantum achievements. According to Buterin, the proposed hard fork will require Ethereum users to adopt new wallet software to minimize the loss of funds within the Ethereum community. 

“I argue that actually, we are already well-positioned to make a pretty simple recovery fork to deal with such a situation. The blockchain would have to hard fork, and users would have to download new wallet software, but few users would lose their funds.”

The Hard Fork Solution

According to Buterin, the hard fork would roll back the Ethereum network to a point where it was obvious significant theft had occurred and then halt regular transactions from that point forward. Developers will then introduce a new transaction type, outlined in EIP-7560, enabling transactions from smart contract wallets. In a situation where transactions are made directly from an Ethereum wallet, the transaction’s signature also discloses the public key. This could compromise the user’s private key in the post-quantum era. 

The quantum-resistant EIP (Ethereum Improvement Protocol) introduces a novel transaction type. This transaction type relies on Winternitz signatures along with advanced cryptographic techniques such as STARKs (zero-knowledge proof technologies). 

This will help transition wallets to a new, quantum-proof validation protocol that leverages the principles of ERC-4337 account abstraction. This would ensure private keys are secure during transaction signatures, neutralizing quantum attacks without compromising user privacy. 

“Preventing such a scenario is the goal of quantum-resistant cryptography (eg. Winternitz signatures, STARKs), and once account abstraction is in place, any user can switch to using a quantum-resistant signature scheme on their own schedule.”

Ethereum Is Protected Against Quantum Vulnerabilities 

Vitalik Buterin assured users that Ethereum is well-protected against quantum vulnerabilities. His foresight in developing necessary infrastructure is a testament to Ethereum’s commitment to maintaining its position at the vanguard of addressing emerging technological threats. His post not only reassures users of Ethereum’s long-term viability and security but also of a robust defense strategy to ensure the platform’s security. 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.



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