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Cryptography Comes Alive Again

Samantha Mitchell



Cryptography Comes Alive Again

In The Past

The infamous Whitfield Diffie was at Coindesk’s fourth annual Consensus Technology Summit this week and on day one was on stage sharing a coffee and talking about his wonderful findings way back when.

Diffie was jointly responsible for the 1976 published paper outlining public key Cryptography, which is so prolific today in Internet security and in Cryptocurrencies. The use of this technology, which relies on pairs of keys (public for distribution and private for the owner’s knowledge only), was crucial to where we are today. It allowed for not only authentication but also encryption. The first of these sees a public key confirming that the owner of a paired private key sent the actual message. In the second case, the paired private key holder can decipher the encrypted message by simply using the public key. These changed the way that finance operated and hence works today.

Diffie was most complimentary of the progress of Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies. Delighted that it all started with his paper outlining the future, over forty years ago. The aim then, as it is now, is to strengthen privacy and also to allow individuals to make their own choices and decisions and take their own actions.

Cryptographic technology has gone from strength to strength over the last few years with the introduction of Bitcoin. However, this was not always the case when in 1999 cryptography was at it’s lowest and there was absolutely no privacy whatsoever. It was a terrible time for the industry and not widely spoken about. There were a lot of embarrassed faces during that time frame. This was until the forefather of Cryptocurrencies – Satoshi Nakamoto – came to light with his successful technology after many failed attempts came and went, including Digicash.

Nakamoto introduced a very monumental moment for the finance world and saw governments lose their all-encompassing hold on cryptography. The public and private companies were now actually able to use encryption tools and have the empowerment they needed with cryptography. A huge shift of weight in the right direction.

The rest is now history.

Looking Ahead

As things move ever forward with cryptography, business development and political development should perform well together. Along with the instigation of market forces into procedures will see another large step taken. Although at present market forces are very basic and do not have the ability to determine the different Cryptocurrency coins, this will soon change. This is something to look forward to in the near future. Watch this space for sure.

The public are now becoming a lot more comfortable and at ease with Cryptocurrencies and are beginning to see the potential with the new digital economy. As security and broader use improves over the coming years, this confidence will only grow. It will soon become something that is widely recognized and not so much of a trendy word that people like to throw about. It’s going to be an interesting and exhilarating ride. Hold on tight!

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