April 8, 2019
Cryptocurrency, or digital currency, was introduced in 2009 by Bitcoin, and the market has since expanded to include many other brands such as Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and Zcash.
Because it is based on unique blockchain technology, a decentralized network that doesn’t require a third party to process transactions, cryptocurrency operates independently from the global banking system. Data stored in a blockchain is permanent and cannot be modified, and it has been adapted for a wide variety of uses beyond cryptocurrency.
The privacy that users of a network based on blockchain technology have, however, is a major drawback. Because users are nearly impossible to identify, these networks attract terrorists, criminals and black market businesses who wish to remain anonymous. Some experts believe that blockchain technology poses one of the biggest potential threats to U.S. national security.
A team of cybersecurity researchers from NAU’s School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems, led by professor of practice Bertrand Cambou, was recently awarded a $125,000 grant by the U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) to study how to apply NAU’s technology to secure the blockchain with novel digital signature schemes.