Food, drinks, chain-analysis and post-quantum crypto at The LAB!

By Feax21 | My Masterpieces | 17 Nov 2022


It has been a while since my last post here in #Publish0x on my thoughts about Satoshi Nakamoto Part A and Part B, and although i was away from the platform and from publishing articles, I wasn't completely away from the crypto-world. I guess it is one of these periods in my life that I realised that currently fiat money are more important on this futile world and I had to work hard in order to accumulate them and pay my fiat-oriented obligations. Nevertheless, I wouldn't have missed the Cambridge Bitcoin Group meetup that took place at The LAB, a 1920s themed luxury cocktail bar at the heart of Cambrifge, UK, with a twist of science. The perfect venue to host parties, meetings, corporate events and more and it was actually one of the sponsors of the event.

The Cambridge Bitcoin meetup Group is a bitcoin-friendly group that organizes monthly events in Cambridge, UK with discussions and presentations about Bitcoin and the other blochain cryptocurrencies. According to one of the organizers, Trudy Mallow, it is one of the oldest Bitcoin-friendly meetups that has been run for a period in the past from Justin Drake, one of the Ethereum Foundation devellopers. In fact Drake, wanted at sometime to donate 1,000 ETH to the University of Cambridge as a teechnology donation which has been turned down from its board as it was considered "unecessary".


Food and drinks for the event has been sponsored by The LAB (venue) and by a UK based, FCA registered and compliant crypto exchange serving all UK and European crypto investors. From beginners to expert traders, has been serving the UK crypto scene since 2018. You can sign up an account in just a few minutes, make your first deposit via your UK bank account, and buy Bitcoin or other crypto instantly! leads the field in the UK with fees starting at 0.35% for trading and fee FREE trading for simple crypto swaps as well as a 24/7 award winning support team.


The event was quite crowdy with several individuals working on the well-known Silicon Fen of Cambridge discussing the recent events following the collapse of FTX trading exchange that has thrown the crypto-market into a deep bear period of uncertainty and shorting and in a parallelism of the 2008 financial crisis following the collapse of Lehman's Brothers that eventually led to the development of the Bitcoin Standard by Satoshi Nakamoto. I won't put myself into a deeper chain-analysis at the moment, however my personal opnion on the current situation can be summarized into the following Linkedin post from Don Stuart, founder and Investor of Sats Standard Capital as follows:

The past week has led many outside of the Bitcoin ecosystem to conflate Bitcoin with other cryptocurrencies. The fact is, #bitcoin is the innovation, everything else in crypto-land was always get rich quick schemes fueled by printing money out of thin air via tokens.


The event that has been organized from the Cambrifdge Bitcoin meetup was consisted of two very interesting presentations about Bitcoin and the Quantum technology.


The first presentation was given by Karz, a software Developer with title "Quantum resistant Cryptography", providing a brief overview for the need of quantum-safe cryptography, the end-of-life of some classical cryptographic algorithms and the beginning of post quantum cryptography and quantum key distribution. according to Karz, it is a no brainiac decision not to use a quantum cryptographic key however the technology has been currently limited from the difficulty of developing mass-produced and portable quantum-based computing devices that could substitute our personal computing devices.


The second presentation was given by Dr. Mark Webber of Universal Quantum with title "Quantum Computing and the threat to Bitcoin".  It should be also well noted that according to uktech magazine, Universal Quantum has recently secured a £58m German government contract for the development of the Quantum computing.


After providing a bried description of the quantum computing technology, Dr. Mark Webber tried to explore the vulnerabilities of the bitcoin blockchain due to the development of the quantum computing.



Dr. Mark Webber explained during his presentation but also on his article "The impact of hardware specifications on reaching quantum advantage in the fault tolerant regime" on AVS Quantum Science magazine that there are two main ways in which a quantum computer may pose a threat to the Bitcoin network as follows:

The first and least likely is the threat to the proof of work mechanism (mining) for which a quantum computer may achieve a quadratic speedup on the hashing of the SHA256 protocol with the Grover's algorithm.

The second and more serious threat would be an attack on the elliptic curve encryption of signatures. Bitcoin and most cryptocurrencies use Elliptic Curve Encryption, which is roughly equally vulnerable to a quantum attack as the RSA encryption. To make an attack, it is first necessary to know the public key. Under best practises the public key is known for storage addresses. But approx. 25% of total Bitcoin have known public keys right now, and 60% for Ethereum. With best practices (using new addresses for each transaction), the only point at which a public key is available and relevant to a eavesdropper is after a transaction has been broadcast to the network but prior to its acceptance within the blockchain. In this window, transactions wait in the “mem pool” for an amount of time dependent on the fee paid; the time taken for this process is on average 10 min, but it can often take much longer. Gidney and Ekerå estimated that it would require 20 × 106 noisy qubits and 8 hours of quantum computing to break the 2048 Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) encryption, which is of a comparable difficulty to the Elliptic Curve encryption of Bitcoin. 


Image shows number of PHYSICAL (not logical) qbits required to 'hack' bitcoin vs. time to achieve hack

Afte the end of the presentations, there were also more talks, mingle and questions among the participants about the quantum computing and the latest blockchain technology news. Nevertheless, it was a great well-organised and sponsored event that attracted the interest of the local community of Cambridge and i was delighted to attend it as well.

***Disclaimer 1: All information found on this article is for informational purposes only. I do not provide any personal investment advice so please make your own research before proceeding to any investment/trading action.***

***Disclaimer 2: Photos presented under the kind permission of Cambridge Bitcoin Group***

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