In the last few years, the prospect of traditional computers replacement with quantum computers has become real.
As per a recent report published in the Financial Times said Google has claimed to accomplish the “Quantum Supremacy.” This is being stated that advanced quantum computers will come with the capability to solve even the most complicated mathematical calculations.
The experts of the market are suggesting that in the coming years that it will mark the era of quantum technology and the demise of Blockchain technology. This is rated as a major milestone in the computing world.
With The Advent of World’s First Cryptocurrency
In the year 2009, Bitcoin, the world’s first Blockchain-powered cryptocurrency, was unveiled. Regardless of the negative myth in the air, this concept of electronic currency became an instant. The cryptocurrency was selling like hot-cake, and the prices of Bitcoin were globally soaring.
With Bitcoin gaining global dominance, the quantum computing threat becomes real. This further leverages researchers, governments and techno experts worldwide to develop advanced software that thwarts the cyber-attack on the Bitcoin ecosystem by even the most powerful quantum computers.
Quantum Computing a Theoretical Thought
Even in today’s digital epoch, the concept of quantum computers is still theoretical; there isn’t an example of its practical implementation. It is believed that quantum computers will help to solve complicated mathematics computations. Quantum computers would have the capabilities to solve complex problems in seconds, something that requires lifespan of a human. In a nutshell, quantum computers will crack the most complex mathematical problems.
C.B.B. Insights, a renewed data research illustrated the technology of quantum computing is primarily focused on the “Naturally Occurring Quantum Mechanical Phenomena,” commonly known as Entanglement and Superposition.
The report further added, “These states of matter, when harnessed for computing purposes, can speed up our ability to perform immense computations.”
Canada Comes to the Fold
The University of Waterloo in association with the National Research Council (NRC) has proposed a two-year research program for the quantum-safe Blockchain technology.
Nic Defalco, communication advisor at the NRC, said “The research, led by University of Waterloo professors Srinivasan Keshav and Michele Mosca, is receiving a total of $180,000 over this two-year period to expand the team with other “highly qualified personnel.”
Andersen Cheng, CEO of quantum R&D firm Post Quantum said Canada is globally leading in terms of quantum computing research.
“Other governments are trying to play catch-up,” said Cheng. “ThU.S.S. is lagging behind quite a bit. ThU.K.U.K. is putting a lot of money into quantum computing hardware, and now, they’re just about to start thinking about post-quantum software and cryptography.”
Last December, Donald Trump-the president of the United States, inked the National Quantum Initiative Act. This act allotted $1.2 billion for activities related to the promotion of quantum science over a period of five years, ‘$193 million funds were received by the National Quantum Technologies Programme from U.K.e U.K. government.
Why the Fuss?
Not the governments, the private sector worldwide is too exploring the capabilities of quantum computing, with 200 per cent surge in the large six years.
With this mind Adam Koktun, Quantum Resistant Ledger Foundation QRL spoke
“A decade ago, people said it would take 50 years to get where we are now with quantum computing. Five years ago, they said it would take 25 years to get where we are now. So quantum computing has this nasty habit of exceeding people’s expectations,” said Koltun, adding:
The QRL group is claimed to have developed a world-first Blockchain system that has the power to prevent severe cyber-attacks from quantum computers.
Further, the group believes that the proactive approach to deter possible attacks, in the coming years Blockchain and Cryptocurrency would prove to be a major threat to the world of the Internet.
There is a spectrum of ways by which quantum computers can attack the Blockchain system.
First, the transactions done over a Blockchain platform are digitally signed and secured by ECC, known as the Elliptic Curve Cryptography. The ECC is also employed for the purpose of intercepting data of the user and web traffic.
Now, coming to the big problem; the ECC is not Quantum-Safe, this is what Post Quantum’s Cheng believes. This means the power of quantum computing can decrypt the encrypted ECC and forge the Blockchain transactions with great ease.
“Once that trust is broken, that will be the end of cryptocurrencies,” said Cheng, adding: If you can no longer tell whether [the right] people are signing transactions to you or not, then you have destroyed trust. This cryptocurrency world is based on a distributed, trustless environment.”
With a dilemma, this is the most prevalent security threat associated with the Blockchain, with the concept of the quantum computer is taking practical shape. Researchers and mathematicians worldwide are widely aware of Shor’s algorithm. This algorithm has the capabilities to break ECC signatures.
“We’ve had the math available for us for decades in terms of what the first and second generation of quantum computers are going to look like,” said the QRL Foundation’s Koltun.
However, on the flip Koltun was happy that Quantum computing technology in the coming years has the ability to make the Blockchain technology which is creating a lot of buzzes today will become obsolete.
Koltun said “You should be wary of anyone who claims to sell you a waterproof watch or quantum-proof Blockchain because we are not yet fully aware of the potential of quantum computers … For someone to proclaim any technological product, blockchains or otherwise, as impervious to quantum computers would require them to know what these computers are entirely capable of, which we don’t.”
Developing Safety Shield for the Blockchain Technology without Knowing the Enemy
As a matter of truth, since quantum technology is still in its research and analysis phase, we don’t know what its full capabilities will look like. So, we are ready to fight a battle with the enemy we don’t know.
Andreas M. Antonopoulos, a Bitcoin researcher and author, believed that quantum computing is more in our mind than real. We can migrate quite easily to another algorithm,” he said last year during one of his monthly Q&As. “It’s not really as big a threat as people think it is.”
What’s more, the power of quantum computing could be way more than we are expecting or merely a bustling bubble.
“Google’s quantum breakthrough is for a primitive type of quantum computing that is nowhere near breaking cryptography,” said bitcoin core developer Peter Todd. “We still don’t even know if it’s possible to scale quantum computers.”
Keshav said “his newly commissioned research team would be looking into a handful of the most promising “quantum-safe cryptography” tools, including lattice-based cryptography and multivariate public-key cryptography. His researchers will initially begin testing on the enterprise-focused Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain.”
Post-Quantum’s CEO Andersen Cheng said:
“You don’t need a quantum computer to come into existence to work out what is required to counter the threat from it. This isn’t trial and error because you can work out mathematically what is good enough or not.”