Predicted headline date: 21/01/2018

After the spectacular crash of Bitcoin and other Crypto currencies in March 2018, thousands of Bitcoin mining operations were left idling. Instead of declaring bankruptcy, a number of Bitcoin miners moved over to the Dark side. They started selling their processing power to start hacking computer systems of financial institutions. This increase in the likelihood of a catastrophic breach has lead leading practitioners to question the validity of traditional cyber security protocols and practices.

Traditional cyber security is based on mathematics. Prime numbers play a key role in this ecosystem as a prime number can only be divided by one and by itself. Ever since the dawn of the Internet, cyber security was based on Prime numbers. With a dramatic increase in processing power, as well as the unorthodox use of quantum computing to crack hashes, large financial institutions have become increasingly concerned about the reliability of existing cyber security solutions. They are currently exploring new technologies that may alter the world of cyber security forever. They are moving towards technology where physics, or rather quantum physics, is forming the foundation of this new era, instead of mathematics. Welcome to the era of quantum cryptography.

Quantum cryptography is based on the principle of quantum entanglement. Quantum entanglement is by far one of the strangest physical phenomena known to man. Einstein famously called it “spooky action at a distance”.  When two particles, for example photons, get entangled, each of the particles gets an opposite spin to the other. The particles either get a vertical or diagonal spin. The weird thing about quantum entanglement is that an observer does not know what spin each particle has unless they observe it. The exact moment that you observe the spin of one particle, the spin of the other particle becomes immediately apparent even though the particle may be thousands of kilometers away. By using this fascinating phenomenon, cyber security companies can immediately detect if their communication has been compromised. The Chinese military has been using this technology since 2012. It has been implemented in a variety of satellite communication systems as well as in their nuclear submarine fleet.

With the availability of thousands of repurposed Bitcoin mining centres that is aimed at cracking secure computer systems, it is no wonder that financial institutions worldwide are looking at replacing their traditional systems. A new era in Cyber security has begun to take shape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 May 2018: The crash in Bitcoin powers the uptake of Quantum Cryptography
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