Quantum Shield of Solace: Monero in the Post-Quantum Era

3 min readApr 15, 2024


The relentless advancement in quantum computing poses existential threats to many of the cryptographic systems currently in use. Monero, known for its stringent privacy protections built on such cryptographic frameworks, is particularly at risk. This article explores the vulnerabilities of Monero’s defenses against quantum threats and discusses potential pathways for fortifying its systems in the post-quantum world.

Understanding Monero’s Cryptographic Defenses

Monero integrates several sophisticated cryptographic techniques to secure user privacy:

  • Ring Signatures: This technique mixes the transaction outputs of one user with others, making it ambiguous as to who the actual sender is. This is crucial for hiding sender identities but relies heavily on the hardness of the Discrete Logarithm Problem (DLP).
  • Stealth Addresses: These are one-time addresses used for each transaction to protect the receiver’s identity and ensure that transactions cannot be linked to a user’s public address.
  • Ring Confidential Transactions (RingCT): RingCT combines ring signatures with confidential transactions to obscure the amount of XMR being transacted.

Each of these cryptographic methods depends on the assumption that the underlying mathematical problems are too complex to be solved by contemporary computers. However, quantum computers are poised to disrupt this assumption.

The Quantum Threat

Quantum computers leverage quantum mechanical phenomena to solve problems that are currently intractable for classical computers. Monero’s privacy features are primarily threatened by Shor’s Algorithm, which is capable of breaking the cryptographic foundations (like DLP and ECDLP) upon which Monero is built.

  • Compromising Ring Signatures: Shor’s Algorithm can efficiently solve the DLP and ECDLP, the security backbone of ring signatures. A quantum computer could potentially determine the actual signer in a transaction, thereby stripping away the anonymity that Monero promises.
  • Decrypting Stealth Addresses: Similarly, the capability to solve ECDLP would allow a quantum adversary to derive the sender’s private keys from their public counterparts, leading to the exposure of real wallet addresses linked to stealth addresses.
  • Unmasking RingCT: Quantum attacks that break ring signatures would inherently compromise RingCT by revealing transaction amounts, which are meant to be obfuscated.

Transition to Post-Quantum Cryptography

To counteract these threats, the exploration and adoption of Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) are critical. Here are a few of the promising directions:

  • Lattice-based cryptography: These systems are not only resistant to quantum computing attacks but also capable of constructing quantum-resistant ring signatures and stealth addresses.
  • Hash-based signatures: Although they generate larger signatures, these are a robust alternative to secure transactions against quantum threats.
  • Multivariate quadratic equations: Offering a potential foundation for future public key systems, these equations are currently believed to be quantum-resistant.

Challenges and Interim Solutions

Shifting Monero to PQC involves significant technical updates and community consensus within its decentralized network, which must be managed delicately to maintain trust and continuity.

PQC algorithms typically demand more from computational resources, potentially increasing transaction costs and processing times, which could affect Monero’s scalability and efficiency.

As a bridge to full PQC implementation, Monero could adopt hybrid systems that integrate both classical and quantum-resistant cryptographic elements. This would safeguard the network against both conventional and quantum threats during the transition period.


As the quantum era looms closer, the cryptographic underpinnings of Monero face imminent threats that could compromise the privacy of its users. By proactively transitioning to quantum-resistant technologies and fostering community engagement, Monero can continue to safeguard its position as a leader in privacy-centric cryptocurrencies. The journey will be complex and fraught with challenges, but the stakes — the privacy and security of millions of users — are too high to ignore.




Blockchain and Backend Developer, Privacy Advocate, Crypto Enthusiast. Twitter: ruisiang_tw