Quantum supremacy, the moment when a quantum machine performs calculations that would be theoretically impossible on current computers, was one of the most significant tech breakthroughs of 2019. Developments in quantum computing present a serious threat to blockchain security, as a quantum attack could break existing encryption standards.
Now, the emergence of QAN, a scalable, enterprise-grade platform, looks to represent the next generation in quantum-resistant blockchains. QAN will debut as the first IEO on the BitBay exchange opening on January 20.
Stepping Up to the Quantum Threat
It’s long been known that once quantum computing becomes a reality, existing encryption standards will no longer be fit for purpose. This isn’t a blockchain-specific problem either. Most standard encryption uses SHA-256 or similar standards that are vulnerable to the quantum threat. However, for a centralized system, the issue can be addressed by a system-wide upgrade.
Because blockchains are decentralized, upgrading is a far more complex affair. In the event that the quantum threat becomes real, then any wallet that doesn’t upgrade and then attempts a transaction could expose itself to a brute-force attack.
To some extent, the blockchain community is aware of this challenge. However, current efforts tend to focus on the existing head-on challenges, such as the trade-offs between scalability, security, and decentralization. It’s fair to say that very few are looking forward to developments in computing that may be five or ten years away from becoming a reality.
Enter QAN. The developers of the platform are addressing the quantum challenge ahead of time, by doing away entirely with existing encryption standards and deploying a post-quantum algorithm. In the case of QAN, the platform uses lattice cryptography to secure key encryption, which is proven to be robust enough to withstand a quantum attack.
Although QAN isn’t the first quantum-resistant blockchain, it is the first quantum-resistant smart contract platform. Targeting an enterprise user base, QAN provides reassurance to companies that it won’t present any future quantum risks to their system security. Furthermore, by securing against the quantum threat in advance, it avoids the need to ensure all users upgrade their accounts to incorporate new security protocols.
Not a One-Trick Pony
Given that the quantum threat is still currently nebulous, the platform does offer plenty of other features to help it stand out against the competition to its target audience. For example, developers on QAN are incentivized to create smart contracts in reusable modules. Each time a smart contract is deployed, only the newly-written part will be chargeable.
Many business processes are based on repeatable transactions, so the ability to recycle smart contract functionality is another feature designed to appeal to enterprises and developers who will be keen to reduce their costs and workload.
In contrast to Ethereum, which only allows programming in Solidity, QAN also allows smart contract programming in multiple programming languages. This feature opens up the platform to a far wider pool of developers and avoids the need for programmers trained in other languages to learn Solidity.
QAN is also scalable and energy-efficient, overcoming two of the most significant existing blockchain challenges. The platform also fixes transaction costs in fiat currency, enabling businesses to accurately predict their system-based overheads. There’s no concern that volatility in the cryptocurrency markets will inflate prices out of control.
Ready to Launch on BitBay
QAN will launch its QARK token as the first IEO on the BitBay exchange. In contrast to most IEOs, the QARK token sale will be open to anyone who wants to participate using a variety of fiat and cryptocurrencies, without needing to own an exchange token.
The project documentation is already available on the BitBay site for anyone who wants to read up on the project in advance, and the token sale will open on January 20, available for purchase with Polish Zloty, Euro, GBP and USD.
Although many smart contract platforms claim to do what others can’t, QAN appears to be one of those rare projects that genuinely offers something different. If the team can deliver a platform that both solves existing blockchain problems and future-proofs against the quantum threat, it could have a winning formula for enterprise and developer adoption.