Major Cryptos Could Be Worth 'Close to Zero' if Quantum Resistant Features Don't Work Properly: Analyst

Twitter user Noclone3, who has “a passion for quantum physics, cryptocurrencies, and programming,” recently argued that the world’s largest cryptocurrency platforms may not be adequately prepared for a time when quantum computers become powerful enough to pose a legitimate threat to the binary blockchains of today.

According to Noclone3, the “main thesis behind” the Quantum Resistant Ledger (QRL) project is that, “even though Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH),” and some of the world’s other leading cryptocurrency networks intend to “implement quantum resistant signature schemes in the future (and they will),” they might still not be able to successfully transition to platforms that are resistant to quantum computing threats.

“Issue Of Lost Addresses Or Lost Keys” When Quantum Computers Arrive

Noclone3 further noted that “either it will be too late (widespread suspect of #quantumcomputer acting) or it will be too early (and people will not move funds, leaving partially exposed coins).”

The programmer added that “in either [of the scenarios], there will be the issue of lost addresses, whose owner died or lost the keys (eg Satoshi?).” Noclone3 believes that if this actually happens, then users will begin using what he considers the “most prominent” quantum resistant (QR) blockchains.

Users Will Turn To “Most Prominent” Quantum Resistant Blockchains?

These include IOTA, which uses Tangle (based on Directed Acyclic Graphs, not a blockchain) and the QRL platform, an “externally audited enterprise-grade blockchain platform” which is designed to be “secure against an attack from quantum computers.”

Noclone3 added that “if the above thesis is correct, [then] the value” of the world’s largest crypto networks “will go close to zero at some point in the future.” He also mentioned that “we can debate here, [however] the point is no one really knows ... I personally guess before 2030.”

Quantum Resistant Chains Could Also Be Valued At “Close To Zero” In The Future

Because it’s possible that “the above thesis is not correct,” Noclone3 stated that the developers of the Bitcoin protocol could “devise a method that allows for an early decentralized migration of funds.”

Noclone3 further noted that “there’s [also] the possibility that the QRL goes to zero, unless other features become more relevant (QR messaging anyone?).”

Per the programmer and crypto enthusiast: “The most probable solution ... is that at some point BTC ETH etcetera will introduce optional PQ schemes. Later, they will have to hard fork and burn unsafe addresses. At that point, their communities will split again (think of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) / Ethereum Classic (ETC).”

QRL Team Looking For “Organic Growth”

Noclone also noted:

The QRL will have to compete against those bashed but battle hardened coins. It will have to demonstrate [that it can properly] substitute BTC/ETH [in terms] of usability and features. We can't currently claim this, because of the small community, but things are constantly moving.

He continued:

Specifically, we would like organic growth in a very decentralized fashion. We would especially like to attract developers. Of course, a spike in price would help, but it's already happening that, for people who are interested, the QRL is a reference.

HTC Says Its Latest Cryptophone Puts 'A Metaphorical Swiss Bank in Your Pocket'

On Saturday (October 19), Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC launched the Exodus 1s, which it says is "the first ever mobile device with Bitcoin Full Node support."

A Brief History of HTC's Experience With Building Crypto-Friendly Phones

On 15 May 2018, at the Consensus 2018 blockchain summit in New York City, Phil Chen, the "Decentralized Chief Officer" (DCO) for HTC announced the firm's plan to create HTC Exodus, "the world's first native blockchain phone."

The first Exodus model to launch was the Exodus 1, which went on sale in Europe and the U.S. late last year. It initially cost 0.15 BTC (though later, it became possible to buy it for $699). HTC's reason for calling this a "blockchain phone" was that it came with a built-in hardware wallet and a pre-installed Decentralized Apps (DApps) browser that was integrated with this hardware.

HTC says that its wallet app, Zion Vault, "uses the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) to protect your private keys and sensitive data," and that it supports storing, sending, and receiving organize over 100 types of cryptocurrencies."

The HTC Exodus 1 is a dual-sim Android-powered phone with the following specs:

  • 6.0” Quad HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 processor
  • 3500mAh battery
  • Android Oreo (i.e. Android version 8.x)
  • 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM

What happened next is that HTC used its experience with the Exodus 1 and feedback from developers and the market to build a more budget-friendly device: the Exodus 1s. This is the device that HTC introduced yesterday at the two-day Lightning Conference in Berlin. In fact, HTC started selling some of the first production units at this event, and was even accepting payments via Bitcoin's Lightning Network. Other cryptocurrencies that HTC accepts as means of payment are Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Binance Coin (BNB), and Bitcoin Cash.

The HTC Exodus 1s

So now know that HTC has two crypto-friendly phones, the Exodus 1 and the Exodus 1s. These days, HTC has a new term to describe its crypto-friendly Exodus phones; on the Exodus website, it says  "SMARTPHONE + HARDWARE WALLET = CRYPTOPHONE". This means that HTC is currently selling two cryptophones.

What is special about the HTC Exodus 1 is not just its lower price (EUR 210, which is approximately USD 235), but the fact that, according to HTC, it is the first mobile phone that supports running a Bitcoin full node (with the blockchain data to be stored on a 400GB microSD card that needs to be purchased separately).

HTC says that running a Bitcoin full node on your phone "not only grows the Bitcoin network, but also help secure it." HTC also believes that it is better not to "wait for others to verify your transactions", and that with this phone, you can "verify yourself, anytime, anywhere."

Here is Chen (HTC's DCO) explaining to Forbes the significance of running your Bitcoin full node:

It plays a really important role in the whole bitcoin ecosystem. It allows you to relay transactions, confirm transactions, validate transactions, and it’s basically one of the best ways for anybody to contribute to the whole security of the network.

According to Techcrunch, Chen believes that with the Exodus 1s, you can essentially have a "a metaphorical Swiss bank in your pocket":

We gave users the ability to own their own keys, and now we’ve gone one step further to allow users to run their own full Bitcoin node. We are providing the tools for access to universal basic finance; the tools to have a metaphorical Swiss bank in your pocket.

Chen also told Forbes that HTC is considering adding support for other major blockchains:

We’ll certainly learn a lot of how people will interact with bitcoin, what they do with a full node, and we want to apply those learnings to future other public blockchains.

 These are the specs for the HTC Exodus 1s:

  • 5.7” HD+ 18:9 display
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 435 processor
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android Oreo 8.1
  • 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM

The HTC Exodus 1s will be initially available in Europe, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE (but HTC plans to offer the phone at some future date in other countries).

In case you are wondering why HTC is so interested in crypto, this is what Chen told CNBC:

Initially considered a gimmick by some, crypto technology is the next frontier of smartphone innovation. For the smartphone category to grow again, we need more adoption of cryptophones.

HTC's CEO said in an interview with Techcrunch that although we don't yet have mainstream adoption of cryptophones, the Exodus 1s gives consumers "an inexpensive way to see what the technology provides today."

 

Featured Image Courtesy of HTC