One of the many goals when crypto currency (CC) was first invented was to establish a secure digital system of transaction. The technology used was Blockchain, and still is. Blockchain systems were designed to be impervious to problems often found with online financial systems using older technology – – problems such as account hacking, counterfeit payment authentications, and web site phishing scams.
Blockchain itself runs on peer-to-peer global record-keeping networks (distributed ledgers) that are secure, cheap, and reliable. Transaction records all around the world are stored on blockchain networks, and because these records are spread out over the whole community of users, the data is inherently resistant to modification. No single piece of data can be altered without the alteration of all other blocks in the network, which would require the collusion of the majority of the entire network – – millions of watchdogs. BUT – what if a website looks like it is providing you a gateway to a legitimate crypto coin exchange or crypto wallet product, but is really a website designed to trick you into divulging information? You don’t have the security of Blockchain at all – you just have another phishing scam, and there is a need to be protected from all this.
MetaCert is a company that says it is dedicated to keeping internet users safe, and its main security product can be used to protect enterprises from a range of malicious threats, and now they have a product designed to keep CC enthusiasts safe. This new product is called “Cryptonite” and it is designed to be installed as a browser add-on. Current browsers rely on SSL certificates that show users a small padlock in the browser address bar. Users have been told for years that SSL Certificates assure you that a website is authentic – not so fast – phishing sites use SSL Certificates too, so users can be fooled into thinking a website is legitimate when it is not. Once added to your web browser Cryptonite will show a shield next to the address bar. This shield will turn from black to green if a website is deemed to be “safe”. MetaCert says they have the world’s most advanced threat intelligence system with the world’s largest databases of classified URL’s for security.
Staying safe is always a good thing, but more safety products may be needed in future as technology marches forward, at an ever increasing pace. On the horizon is Quantum Computing (QC), which is showing great promise. QC is touted by many to be one of the biggest technological revolutions of the modern era. By harnessing the power of quantum mechanics, QC machines will be able to take on much more complex tasks, and to achieve speeds previously unattainable. Traditional computers are based on a binary model, using a system of switches that can be either on or off, represented with a 1 or a 0. QC’s are different in that their switches can be in both the on and off positions at the same time, which are called ‘superpositions.’ This ability to be in two simultaneous states is what makes QC’s so much faster. Google announced over two years ago that the quantum prototype they possess was 100 million times faster than any other computer in their lab. The development of this technology is pushing ahead at an increasingly fast rate. The first marketed quantum computer was produced in 2011 by the California based company D-Wave. D-Wave’s machine was equipped with a processor that contained 16 quantum computing units, called QUBITS. Since then, industry leaders like IBM and Microsoft have announced their own quantum programs. This trend will lead to an exponential scaling up of the number of QUBITS these new machines can handle over the next several years. While quantum computing holds the potential for significant advancements in many spheres, and for providing innovative solutions to some of the most complex problems, it will surely generate a need for improved security, as these machines will also have the power to assist hackers with their dastardly deeds. Protection and security will always be needed in the crypto currency space, same as with all other on-line spaces.