I am student having Math background. I want to shift in the direction of cryptography and willing to do my PhD in it.

I want to explore different areas of cryptography before choosing one.

What are the active areas of research in crypto?

Which areas of crypto will be used by industries in 5-6 years from now? I have heard that Blockchain is one such topic.

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    $\begingroup$ For the currently active areas you can take a look at the recent conferences of the International Association for Cryptologic Research (Crypto/EuroCrypt/AsiaCrypt are the main "general" conferences, the others focus on a subtopic). Thanks to Covid the last conferences were virtual, so you can see them on IACR's youtube channel. About industries: My personal opinion of Blockchain is a bit skeptical, it is/was quite hyped up. I'd see more future in post-quantum crypto, but look also at rwc.iacr.org. $\endgroup$
    – j.p.
    Oct 8, 2021 at 7:41
  • $\begingroup$ @j.p. What is the future of Searchable Encryption in industry based labs in the next 5-6 years? $\endgroup$
    – Saikat
    Oct 8, 2021 at 9:22
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, no idea. $\endgroup$
    – j.p.
    Oct 8, 2021 at 16:42

1 Answer 1


For very mathy research have a look at Elliptic Curve cryptography (isogenies). More generally, Post-Quantum cryptography is very active. There's NIST competition on that, although it should finish somewhere soon.

In blockchain, I think there are two large directions of research: on advanced cryptographic primitives (e.g. ZK-proofs, various cool signatures) and on privacy/economic/game-theoretic aspects. There's currently quite a lot of funding for research and probably easy to find a job in some blockchain company.

Secure cryptographic implementations is also a very active and industry-oriented topic.

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    $\begingroup$ Adding links: NIST's PKC competition and FAQ on the threats of hypothetical Cryptographically Relevant Quantum Computers. $\endgroup$
    – fgrieu Mod
    Oct 8, 2021 at 7:37
  • $\begingroup$ Could you tell me if Searchable Encryption is an industry oriented topic? $\endgroup$
    – Saikat
    Oct 8, 2021 at 8:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You could of course take a look at BlockChain within a Post-Quantum world, if you want to combine the two. There seems to be both a lack of research and lack of interest from the block chains themselves but we get - now and then - questions from users on the topic. $\endgroup$
    – Maarten Bodewes Mod
    Oct 8, 2021 at 10:49
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    $\begingroup$ "There's NIST competition on that, although it should finish somewhere soon."; the NIST competition is focusing on the basics of public key crypto (KEM, Encryption, Signatures) - they have stated that they'll continue looking (Round 4 alternatives + an "on ramp" for novel non-lattice-based signature proposals). And, there will also need for work on more advanced primitives (DAA, Threshold signatures, PAKE, IBE, ABE, Homomorphic...). Things are far from over yet... $\endgroup$
    – poncho
    Oct 8, 2021 at 19:47

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