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IOTA and Cybercrypt Want to Reinvent Cryptography

4 mins
20 December 2018, 12:45 GMT+0000
Updated by Adam James
20 December 2018, 12:45 GMT+0000
The world’s top cryptographers were presented with an interesting challenge this morning, one that comes with a pretty big compensation package.
This competition from IOTA and CYBERCRYPT, both leaders in distributed ledger technology (DLT) offers 200,000 Euros, or $225K USD in a prize pool to crypto analysts willing to search for and discover flaws in a new technology release called Troika. Troika was developed as a solution to the Internet of Things (IoT) industry’s challenges related to Moore’s Law and its limiting effects on integrated circuits. This issue is pervasive across the industry, and thus far there is no resolution.

Squeezing More Out of ‘Moore’

Moore’s law states that the number of chips on a transistor double about every 18 months, while the costs are halved. This rate of exponential growth is obviously self-limiting, and will eventually reach an end-point. Most experts concur that Moore’s law reached the ceiling of its physical and economic constraints in the year 2017, and will continue to slow for about 20 more years until it reaches a theoretical limit. How does this affect the IoT? Transistors are used in integrated circuits — the more that exist, the smaller and faster computers and their computational power devices can be. In essence, every IoT-connected device is affected by Moore’s law. As Moore’s law reaches its upper theoretical limits, so does progress within the IoT. However, IOTA and CYBERCRYPT A/S believe they have circumvented Moore’s law with the creation of Troika. A secure, lightweight trinary cryptographic hash function, Troika is the groundwork for the final IOTA protocol. CYBERCRYPT was commissioned by IOTA to produce the Troika hash function as a result of their industry-leading work in robust cryptography and advanced cybersecurity. Created by renowned cryptographers, CYBERCRYPT works with private sector companies as well as governments to ensure immunity to an array of any and all cyber attacks, from the outside and within. The IOTA protocol is being developed out of a belief that the future for the machine economy and the IoT is only achievable with the utilization of DLT — in other words, blockchain technology. Traditionally associated with digital currency such as Bitcoin, and more recently smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps), IOTA is developing a protocol which will use the immutability, including veritable truth and transactional security, of blockchain to manage and oversee IoT data. IOTA

Why it Matters

The interconnectedness of nearly everything in today’s society requires a tremendous amount of data. Projected to reach 75 billion interconnected devices by 2025, IP traffic is already at 1.2 zettabytes per year, and that number will obviously increase as more devices jump on. Unfortunately, broadband speeds are not keeping pace with that rate of growth, and will barely double during that time period. Additionally, the electromagnetic spectrum for wireless traffic is already at its limit. In other words, the data freeways are already slowing, and current technology offers no relief. This is where IOTA comes in. Using a decentralized solution, where none of the current digital stakeholders stand to benefit or lose, IOTA offers shared digital and tech resources among existing devices using zero-fee transactions via the IOTA protocol. In the United States alone, there is an estimated $33 billion in unused technology sitting ignored or forgotten in desks, cabinets, and garages. This does not include partially used devices that lie dormant for many days. IOTA also envisions a solution where obsolete devices are a thing of the past, as manufacturers are incentivized to produce lasting and/or easily recyclable technology. Because nearly everything from media to appliances to health and wellness technology is moving toward IoT application compatibility. This solution creates the incredible potential for lowering the strain on natural resources including energy, landfills, and pollution. In short, the announcement today from Troika has the potential to literally change the world; not just the digital world, but also the natural world. Therefore, in accepting this invitation to join other cryptographers in evaluating the Troika ternary architecture for breaking round-reducing variants of the ternary hash function, participants will be making history. IOTA

Moving Toward the Future

Troika has been designed to withstand all currently known cryptoanalysis techniques. Its primary features include sponge-based construction, as well as permutation designed for ternary platforms. The output length is 243 trits, and the security level is 243 trits for (second) preimages, and 243/2 trits for collisions. For the competition, breaking both collision and preimage resistance variants are considered practically breaking the hash function. Potential competitors can access for more information about Troika. Also available on the website is a detailed reference guide and summary of the current security analysis. Like the rest of crypto, IOTA has been having a terrible year. If all goes according to plan, Troika and the IOTA protocol offer a solution that will not only save the world, it will launch IOTA out of the global crypto slump and into mainstream relevance. Do you think IOTA will be a top-ten cryptocurrency again in 2019? What are your thoughts on IOTA and the new Troika hash function? Let us know in the comments below!


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