Modern cryptography is still a relatively young scientific discipline, but its history shows a significant pattern. Most developments are based on research that took place years or even decades before. There’s a good reason for this glacial pace of movement. Just as drugs and vaccines undergo years of rigorous testing before they reach the market, cryptography applications must be based on proven and thoroughly analyzed methods.
Blockchain is one such example of the development cycle in action. Satoshi Nakamoto’s work on Bitcoin was the application of principles first described by David Chaum in the early 1980s. Similarly, recent deployments of multiparty computation (MPC) for securing private keys or sealed-bid auctions make use of ideas developed around the same time. Now, as the threat of quantum machines looms over modern computers, the need for newer and stronger forms of cryptography has never been greater.
Torben Pryds Pedersen is chief technology officer of Concordium and was