Will ROT29 be a new standard for cryptocurrencies?

Antonio Marandino
2 min readApr 1, 2018


Private keys’ loss is a big problem for cryptocurrencies’ users. Press has widely echoed the story of « pity poor James Howells », an english man who has lost 7500 Bitcoins when he let his private key on an old hard drive.

Internet forums are full of hopeless messages asking how to get private keys back.

A group of researchers led by the French cryptographer Vivien Berriche has taken this problem seriously. A new protocol has been developed by the team, the ROT29.

« We conclude the main problem of ECDSA, the cryptographic algorithm used by Bitcoin, is the non-reversibility. We developped the ROT29 algorithm as an alternative », Vivien Berriche explains.

The team has already developed some tools. It has released sources on github under the GNU General Public License. Moreover, they have created a new cryptocurrency, the PoissonCoin, which implements the ROT29 protocol. The ICO starts today, April 1st.

« PoissonCoin is not only a new cryptocurrency, it’s a real proof-of-concept! » Vivien Berriche says.

However, according to some scientists, the ROT29 may not respect the Kerckhoffs’s principle while ECDSA does.

« Some conservative cryptographers try to plant seed of doubt about ROT29. But they are not able to present an academic paper showing the weakness of ROT29. In the same time, RSA protocol remains massively used while the difficulty of the factorization of a semiprime number is still not mathematically proved! », Vivien Berriche explains.

Will ROT29 replace RSA and ECDSA for cryptocurrencies? Truth is: the quantum computer will definitively change the future of cryptography.

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Antonio Marandino

Journalist French Tech