The Blockpass Identity Lab, a pioneering new research facility, will explore ways in which blockchain technology can protect personal data from online scammers and cyber criminals. The laboratory will be built at Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchiston campus as part of a £600,000 collaboration between the university and Hong Kong-based Blockpass. A blockchain is a growing list of records or blocks, which is secured using cryptography and is resistant to modification; the technology is currently being used by Blockpass to develop an identity verification platform.
What would you think if there were a cure for cancer, but the medical profession didn’t provide it? How about a plant that solves world starvation, but farmers couldn’t be bothered to grow it? Or if there were an Unbreakable cipher for perfect digital security, but the cryptography field doesn’t use it? Not only is that Unbreakable cipher real – it’s been around for over a hundred years! It was invented by Gilbert Vernam, a Bell Labs Engineer (not a cryptographer, mind you) in 1917 and is the only Unbreakable cryptographic cipher. All it took for anyone to send an Unbreakable message was to pre-share a one-time-only encryption key, which is known as a One-Time Pad or OTP. So if this perfect Unbreakable cipher exists, why doesn’t cryptography use it?