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30 Jan, 2018 11:54

Radioactive toxic waste from Chernobyl used to ensure cryptocurrency's security

Radioactive toxic waste from Chernobyl used to ensure cryptocurrency's security

In what is almost certainly a first in the history of cryptos, the developers of privacy-obsessed cryptocurrency zcash used nuclear waste from Chernobyl in its latest ceremony to ensure the digital currency’s security.

As part of their ‘Powers of Tau’ ceremony designed to create and then dispose of cryptographic "toxic waste,” Ryan Pierce and Andrew Miller used radioactive graphite sourced from the core of Chernobyl’s infamous nuclear facility to create low-level gamma and beta radiation – which were then converted into random numbers used to generate zcash’s public cryptography parameters.

“Powers of Tau is all about generating and safely disposing of cryptographic ‘toxic waste’. So, what better way to generate entropy than with actual radioactive toxic waste?” Miller wrote in a message published on the zcash mailing list.

To further guarantee that the digital ‘waste’ didn’t fall into the wrong hands, Pierce and Miller performed the procedure 3,000 feet (approx. 1km) above sea level on a small private aircraft in the airspace above Illinois and Wisconsin.

Far from being tin-foil paranoids, zcash developers conducted their unusual airborne ceremony in order to ensure that the code used to create zcash cannot be compromised in any way by outside actors – a vital factor in creating confidence in the cryptocurrency.

READ MORE:McAfee: Half the world will be using cryptocurrencies in 5 years

According to Miller, the compute time took approximately 30 minutes and, at least in theory, successfully created a completely random, secure piece of code with which to build zcash – which may now even be immune to nuclear catastrophe.

Zcash is currently the world's 26th most valuable cryptocurrency with a market cap of over US$1.3 billion, according to CoinMarketCap website.

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