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IOTA and CYBERCRYPT Announce New Lightweight Trinary Cryptographic Hash Function

Introducing the Troika Hash Function Developed by Expert Cryptographers; €200,000 Cryptanalytic Competition Invites Cryptanalysts Worldwide to Evaluate It

IOTA Foundation, a non-profit foundation focused on distributed ledger technology (DLT) and permissionless ecosystem development, today announced a new lightweight trinary cryptographic hash function in collaboration with CYBERCRYPT A/S, a world leading system provider in robust cryptography and cyber security. IOTA Foundation commissioned CYBERCRYPT to develop a secure hash function for IOTA’s trinary architecture and platform. This hash function, named “Troika,” was developed by CYBERCRYPT’s expert cryptographers, and will lay a strong cryptographic foundation for the final IOTA protocol.

Troika has been designed to withstand all known cryptanalytic attacks, and is now being opened up to the public for evaluation. The IOTA Foundation and CYBERCRYPT will host a competition aimed at inviting cryptanalysts to evaluate Troika with a total prize pool valued at €200,000.

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“The IOTA Foundation is honored and excited to be collaborating with CYBERCRYPT, to ensure we achieve world-leading security for the IOTA protocol. We hope that this competition will bring the cryptographic community together on solving security in the Internet-of-Things,” said David Sønstebø, Co-Founder and Co-chair of IOTA Foundation.

With Moore’s Law reaching its limits, the IoT industry is looking at new strategies, often called More-than-Moore (MtM), to increase the performance of computation, in order to satisfy an increasing demand for varied computational tasks. Nowhere is this more abundantly clear than in the ever growing Internet-of-Things, where energy constraints of billions of small devices are the deciding factor for implementation. Trinary has shown promise in varied fields of computation. Cryptography allows the storage and transmission of encrypted data so that it can only be read or processed by the intended recipient, an essential aspect to the security of IoT. With the introduction of trinary-based hardware, trinary algorithms will run more efficiently, leading to significant reduction in computation and energy consumption. These energy gains underlie the choice of trinary architecture in the IOTA protocol, and are one of the main drivers behind the creation of Troika.

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“CYBERCRYPT is delighted to be a part of this ambitious large-scale project for public-ledger based digital payments. We are happy to support IOTA in their quest for the secure digital ecosystem in future IoT applications,” said Andrey Bogdanov, Founder of CYBERCRYPT A/S.

The IOTA Foundation has therefore commissioned CYBERCRYPT, a company that has set industry standards for secure cryptography, to develop a new lightweight hash function suitable for the trinary architecture of the IOTA protocol. The result is Troika, designed to have a significant security margin against cryptanalytic attacks. Developing a new cryptographic primitive is no easy feat and requires time-intensive testing and peer review. With this in mind, IOTA Foundation and CYBERCRYPT are announcing a competition for cryptanalysts to evaluate Troika, with a €200,000 prize pool for breaking round-reduced variants of the Troika hash function.

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