Algorand CTO Says Quantum Computing Is A Bigger Threat To Crypto Than SEC

'If America banning crypto ends crypto, it wasn’t very strong to begin with'

By: Zack Guzman

June 28, 2023

If there is any crypto community that might have a right to be confused by the SEC's lack of regulatory clarity in the blockchain space, it might very well be Algorand's.

In just a matter of a few years, SEC Chair Gary Gensler has gone from constantly citing Algorand as "great technology" developed by another fellow professor when he was teaching at MIT, to now going after Algorand as one of a handful of tokens slapped with the label of unregistered security in recent litigation.

But when we caught up with Algorand's CTO John Woods, who used to work on the teams behind Ethereum and Cardano, he downplayed those concerns to emphasize that crypto as a whole is much stronger than any one regulator in any one jurisdiction.

"If America banning crypto ends crypto, it wasn’t very strong to begin with," Woods told Coinage in wide-ranging interview. "This idea that we have of permisionless money, this idea that we have of programable money — internet-native, decentralized, self-sovereign censorship-resistant assets — that idea is not going away just because a regulator in a single country doesn't like it. It's a concept."

Indeed, the concept of crypto as a whole has taken on fire from an increasingly aggressive SEC. Anatoly Yakovenko, the founder of Solana (which was also labeled a security in the SEC's recent lawsuits) previously told Coinage that crypto being pushed offshore would hurt its chances of succeeding in other jurisdictions. Woods stopped short of going quite as far, but echoed the downsides for America itself.

"Of course, the world is bigger than the United States. I mean, I know we focus a lot there on tech and some of the biggest tech companies in the world are there, but I think for the United States, generally, it’s just good to have clarity on on this because [entities and engineers] will probably end up offshoring," Woods said.

Interestingly, the larger warning the former Ethereum and Cardano builder had for all of crypto had less to do with the SEC and much more to do with technological advancements that have only accelerated as of late. Accepting that crypto will move past whatever regulatory hurdles exist in the short-term, Woods instead pointed to a quantum computing threat that could come to a head in the not-so-distant future.

“We will have quantum computers within seven years, and for networks that are not ready to deal with that threat and haven’t got the engineering talent on staff we’re going to see some of those networks fail," he said. "There will be entire cryptocurrencies out there that will fail with the quantum threat that’s looming ... Algorand is one of the only ones I’m aware of that has taken the steps to make it quantum resistant.”

Watch our full exclusive interview with Algorand CTO John Woods above. To support our community-owned outlet, own it with us, and unlock exclusive benefits, mint one of our NFTs today!

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