Celebrating five years of QRL
26th June 2023
After two years of painstaking development, we released the Quantum Resistant Ledger (QRL) on June 26, 2018, the first enterprise-grade blockchain with a full set of key foundational features, including:
- Desktop wallets for Linux, Mac, and Windows Web
- A web wallet with the full functionality of the desktop wallet
- Explorer, both on the web and bundled as part of the desktop wallet clients
- An API along with extensive documentation
- Colored Token functionality through QRT’s
- Two audits by Red4Sec and x41 D-Sec
- Flexible address format designed to be extensible and support a wide range of signature schemes and hash functions.
Over the next four years, we’ve continued to improve upon our network by adding things like an offline wallet generator, Mobile wallets for iOS along with Android, and Hardware wallet support with the Ledger Nano S/X. Other things we improved upon were multiple API’s documented at api.theqrl.org, a qrl-cli for easier command-line usage to compliment the node cli, Quantum resistant notarisation, and Weighted threshold multisignature transactions.
Progress over the last year
In our fifth year, the QRL team has shifted its attention to the final project Zond hard fork on the project’s roadmap, which involves releasing proof-of-stake as a consensus mechanism and enabling smart contract functionality compatible with Ethereum.
It has also been a watershed moment in project management and funding, and with that it heralded in the launch of the Foundation Grants Programme and Bug Bounty Programme.
Foundation Grants Programme
The QRL Foundation Grants Programme was established as a means of providing support for the QRL ecosystem. Applications are encouraged in the following areas: open source tools; education; open source infrastructure; post-quantum research; community and public goods; and open source infrastructure.
As the first round of Foundation grants closes, we are pleased to confirm the delivery of several grants and the formation of a few partnerships. These vary from cutting edge post-quantum cryptography research grants to a third party mobile-wallet application. Current grant partnerships include Geometry Labs, the Quantum Resistance Corporation, Singularity Systems, and Volt-Development.
QRL Bug Bounty Programme
Blockchains must identify and address vulnerabilities that malicious attackers could exploit. Third-party auditors such as Red4Sec and x41 D-Sec have been critical to QRL’s survival. However, capturing the realism of these penetration tests and vulnerability assessments can be difficult. The QRL Bug Bounty programme improves third-party audits by rewarding white-hat security researchers who share hackers’ knowledge and approach. On a continuous basis, this programme provides improved vulnerability detection and realistic threat simulation.
With QRL Zond, the emergence of decentralized finance (DeFi) applications will be available on a post-quantum secure blockchain network with Proof-of-Stake and EVM smart contract enhancements. Developers working on the QRL blockchain platform can be confident that they are on a stress-tested and meticulously maintained blockchain, with the importance of security and public safety first-in-mind.
In September 2022 we were delighted to launch our Zond Public Devnet including smart contract functionality and proof-of-stake with the same level of security as our previous proof-of-work blockhain network that has been running unimpeded for over five years.
Organisations and individuals can now use the QRL Zond devnet protocol to create DeFi applications, Web3 applications, new NFTs for gaming, decentralised exchanges, and DAO and Governance, using turing-complete smart contracts. Because the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is widely supported, developers have access to the tools they need to create safe, cutting-edge decentralised finance solutions that are secure from adversaries with and without sufficiently powerful quantum computers to render other blockchains obsolete.
This is the future of the QRL blockchain, a forward-looking, environmentally friendly, proof-of-stake-powered public ledger that offers post-quantum safe transactions and turing-complete smart contract capabilities for developers to easily create a thriving ecosystem.
It’s time to build.
Some notable quantum developments
Since our last anniversary, we’ve identified a few noteworthy quantum news developments. Companies like IBM continue to meet or exceed their current roadmap objectives, which hasn’t gone unnoticed by a number of large organisations that are preparing for the inevitable security threat posed by a sufficiently powerful quantum computer. The US government has called for infrastructure security preparations. Banks are also securing their systems, such as JP Morgan’s hiring of Charles Lim to assist in protecting the financial system, or cloudflare protecting a fifth of the internet from the quantum threat.
Internet connectivity, government networks, and centralised financial systems are all approaching readiness for sufficiently powerful quantum computers that can break the underlying encryption. For decentralised finance, QRL is ready; learn why this is significant for decision-makers.
IBM unveils its 433 qubit Osprey quantum computer
On 2022-11-09: IBM's Osprey quantum processor has 433 qubits, up from the 127 qubits of its 2021 Eagle processor. The company plans to hit the 4,000-qubit stage with its Kookaburra processor in 2025. - techcrunch
Centralized finance will be ready, decentralized finance will be ready with QRL.
Cloudflare's post-quantum cryptography protects almost a fifth of the internet
On 2022-10-03: Cloudflare has launched post-quantum cryptography support for all websites and APIs served through its network. This will introduce quantum computer-proof encryption for all sites using Cloudflare, which accounts for 19.1% of all websites according to W3Techs. Researchers estimate the market for such solutions will be worth $476.8 million by 2030.
Cloudflare isn't the only CDN provider looking to secure the Internet from quantum computing threats. Other vendors like PQShield, which announced raising $20 million in funding earlier this year, are leveraging post-quantum cryptography to enable enterprises to develop secure cryptographic solutions for messaging platforms, apps and mobile technologies. - venturebeat
China's Baidu reveals its first quantum computer called Qianshi
On 2022-08-25: Chinese search engine giant Baidu Inc revealed its first quantum computer on Thursday and is ready to make it available to external users, joining the global race to apply the technology to practical uses. - reuters
JPMorgan hires scientist Charles Lim to help protect financial system from quantum-supremacy threat
On 2022-07-28: JPMorgan Chase has hired a quantum-computing expert to be the bank's global head for quantum communications and cryptography, according to a memo obtained by CNBC. - cnbc
26th June 2023