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This Ethereum Update Is Critical for Future, Vitalik Buterin Explains

Ethereum is gearing up for an important update that could make it safer from potential threats posed by quantum computing. This update is focused around a new proposal called EIP-7702, which was put forward by Vitalik Buterin. This proposal is an improvement over an earlier one, addressing some specific technical issues related to signing processes that were seen as limitations before.

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However, a major topic of discussion in the community is the actual threat of quantum computing. Some argue that quantum computing is often used as a scare tactic, without real solutions being offered. For example, developer James Prestwich pointed out that if quantum computing were truly an imminent threat, more drastic measures would be necessary right now. He suggests that bringing up quantum computing without proposing solid steps toward a solution is not very helpful.

The risk that quantum computing poses to current encryption methods, like those used in Ethereum, is significant. If quantum technology advances enough to break these methods, it could potentially put the whole system at risk. This is why there is an urgent call to start moving away from the current encryption standard, ECDSA, which is a foundational security element in many of Ethereum’s operations.

Vitalik Buterin has been proactive in addressing these concerns in the past. Since 2017, he has been developing codes for wallets that are resistant to quantum attacks, which can be seen in his public work on GitHub. His approach includes focusing on advanced cryptographic methods, known as STARK protocols. These are seen as a promising defense against quantum attacks. Buterin advises that the best course of action is to keep refining these protocols and make sure every new development in Ethereum is compatible with a future where quantum resistance is necessary.

EIP-7702 is not just about defending against quantum computing. It also introduces features like signature aggregation, which could become more important as the technology evolves to meet new challenges. This proposal is part of a broader strategy to not only address immediate concerns but also to ensure that Ethereum remains secure and functional in the face of future technological advancements.

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