Cryptography: Security for the Digital Age

Published on
February 1st, 2021
49 minutes

Cryptography: Security for the Digital Age

The Interview - Crypto ·
Featuring Yehuda Lindell and Ash Bennington

Published on: February 1st, 2021 • Duration: 49 minutes

Yehuda Lindell, co-founder and CEO of Unbound Tech, joins Ash Bennington, Real Vision senior editor, to discuss the growing need for cryptography, its use in Bitcoin, and the various ways it protects modern digital infrastructure. Lindell explains the importance of asymmetric key cryptography, separating keys into a public key and a private key, that has been integrated into much of the security on the web today. The separation of a public and a private key enabled Bitcoin to work as the network utilizes a public facing address for users to share and receive coins as well as a private key to allow those users to access those coins. Lindell explains that the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi, was able to combine existing elements of cryptography, including Proof of work and Asymmetric keys, to produce a novel and secure way to transfer value across the internet. He believes that as society continues to go digital, the need for cryptographic security will only grow. Filmed on January 19, 2021.

Key Learnings: Cryptography is crucial to many aspects of the web as it exists today, including e-commerce, identity, and other credentialed access points such as social media. Cryptography will play an increasingly important role as more aspects of our lives become digital. Combining several pre-existing types of cryptography is what enabled the rapid proliferation of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.



  • JJ
    Johnny J.
    24 February 2021 @ 13:03
    Great video, thanks! I think someone else on RV posted this link, but I found it to be one of the clearest explanations on elliptical curve cryptography.. for a non-mathematician, and he goes into Monero as well -
  • IN
    I N.
    13 February 2021 @ 20:24
    Never thought that on a medium such as RV we would be having this type of discussion, let alone an interview. This speaks to the diversity and to the "renaissance man" character of RV viewers. Much love! I know Ash was searching, for a while, the technicalities of how EC over FFs work. Lots of notions are obviously skipped here, but there are some things not mentioned that if one understands, the content is easier to digest. As an example, the modular arithmetic, which is necessary for having well-defined operations (multiplicative inverse in this case) in order to have a field, relies on the notion of "congruence relations" and the resulting "equivalence classes". This generalizes the notion of "equality", in a way, and this is foreign to most non-mathematicians. The Diffie-Hellman key exchange relies on modular arithmetic as well. The DH key exchange is now done with elliptic curves instead of repeated multiplications, and it is in every browser. Prof Paar's videos, mentioned here, are cool to watch. (Data on DH parameters, large primes, and eilliptic curbe parameters are published by NSA and NIST, but cryptanalysts use those with caution.) Great stuff, and I can only hope to see more of it. Now I am going to start reading Lindell's books on what he mentioned.
  • PR
    Peter R.
    12 February 2021 @ 12:04
    Here's an "Introduction to Elliptic Curves" by Christof Paar. He starts in his native German but after two minutes of nagging his students, he switches to English. [] For the brave, his whole course "Introduction to Cryptography" is here [].
  • SA
    S A.
    2 February 2021 @ 18:01
    Ash & Yehuda, great tech talk. Awesome interview for us tech geeks. One thing I didn't see mentioned is the role of quantum computing as it relates to creating new forms of encryption, cracking legacy ciphers and the impact to cryptocurrencies in the near term. Quantum Computing As a Service could be a game changer for good and bad actors.
    • PR
      Peter R.
      12 February 2021 @ 11:46
      A difficult subject to answer due to the complexity and inherent security around such subjects. However, I did watch an MIT online course in which the mathematician guy was saying that hash functions have strange mathematical properties and due to this they may not be affected by quantum computing. At least that's what I think he was saying, the mathematics gets too complex (for me). The course is online (youtube) and called "Signatures, Hashing, Hash Chains, e-cash, and Motivation" ;-) Asymmetrical encryption (private/public key) could well be broken, but then there is the possibility of quantum encryption ciphers. It's also pretty common knowledge that the secure hash algorithm (SHA3-256) was backdoored by the secret squirrels during its design [FIPS-202], which is why Ethereum uses Keccak [ref; Mastering Ethereum - Cryptographic Hash Functions*]. Don't think anyone should worry unless you have a spare supercomputer and a team of cryptoanalysis, and if you did have those resources why would not just set up a PoW miner? * The book is online here; [covers Ethereum 1.0]
  • RK
    Ron K.
    3 February 2021 @ 22:42
    Ash, please send some links to those youtube videos you referenced and also hoped to find.
    • PR
      Peter R.
      12 February 2021 @ 11:02
      This is the online blockchain demo by Anders Brownworth;
  • DD
    David D.
    7 February 2021 @ 19:10
    This was Ash and RV at their finest. It was a great guest with a unique perspective. It was all very well suited to the long format interviews that make RV special. Ash --unlike so many other interviewers on television, who do more talking than the guest-- nicely kept the conversation flowing in an intelligence and unobtrusive manner.
  • BG
    Bart G.
    5 February 2021 @ 08:31
    Can someone please fix CC subtitles? It seems there are subtitles from one of the daily briefings I when click on CC. Thanks.
  • SV
    Santiago V. | Contributor
    3 February 2021 @ 18:35
    I can only tell you that I personally intend to use MPC in my business models as there is no other multi-sig model that comes even remotely close to the architectural flexibility and rigor offered. This isn't a sales pitch, this is the real deal next-gen of counterparty risk free cryptography that involves humans & machines as coexisting verifiers. People, I can't overstate how important this is.
  • yp
    yung p.
    2 February 2021 @ 05:56
    Fantastic interview, a master propellerhead who knows how to articulate his craft in layman ! Love it !
  • PJ
    Pat J.
    2 February 2021 @ 05:16
    Ash, would you please provide more information on the author/illustration location you cited roughly midway through your interview.
  • CD
    Chris D.
    1 February 2021 @ 18:44
    Interviews like this are why I subscribe to RV. I knew a small amount about the topic but Mr. Lindell teaches with the sort of simplicity and clarity which comes only from a deep understanding. This interview was as valuable as those you've done with people like Caitlin Long or Olaf Carlson-Wee. All I can say is, please do more like this.
    • AB
      Ash B. | Real Vision
      1 February 2021 @ 23:43
      Thanks, Chris. Much appreciated. Totally agree with you on this! "Mr. Lindell teaches with the sort of simplicity and clarity which comes only from a deep understanding"
  • JG
    Jonnie G.
    1 February 2021 @ 11:16
    this guy is pretty cool. I like how passionate he is. Great interview
  • BS
    Boris S.
    1 February 2021 @ 09:10
    I'd love more technical vids! What about some blockchain technical series in which we take a deep dive into inside workings of biggest/most innovative DLT projects.