The news that two groups of Chinese scientists have achieved quantum advantages – a technical term for when a computer can perform functions beyond those of a classical computer – may be a sign that we have truly entered a new era. While Google’s 54-qubit quantum processor, Sycamore, was the first known example of an early stage of quantum computing, the latest news from the China University of Science and Technology in Hefei is the best evidence that we’ve crossed the information column code. …

But while there are many reasons to be happy with this development, there are also reasons to be concerned. While we can all look forward to the day when we can predict traffic jams, run animal experiments in the history books, determine the likelihood of someone developing cancer, and then develop a unique treatment — all in seconds — its tremendous power lies in the dark side.

Perhaps the most frightening thing for a society so addicted to the Internet is that quantum data processing threatens our entire digital infrastructure. Our modern internet is built on encryption ⁠— the use of codes and keys to protect confidential communications and data storage. But for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), whose concept is fundamental, a powerful enough quantum computer could mean stealing billions of dollars or destroying the entire blockchain. With digital signatures suddenly so easy to forge, the concept of “owning” a wallet would seem strange.

Related topics: Talking about the digital future: quantum data processing and cryptography

When digital currency was first implemented in the late 1980s, quantum computers were just a theoretical guess. While we all knew the impending arrival (people in the tech industry are often aware of a future that’s insanely close to us), in a world where we haven’t even seen the first browser, we haven’t spent much time thinking about the fact that at the time it really looked like deep future technologies .

The weakness of quantum computing
However, times have changed. Cryptocurrencies will improve over the next three decades and will be worth nearly $3 trillion. Analysis by Deloitte showed that more than 25% of all bitcoins could be stolen in a single attack, which is close to $300 billion at the time of writing. This will make it three thousand times more profitable than the second most important burglary. Given that 10% of global GDP is expected to be in crypto by 2025, this vulnerability will quickly go from worrying to frightening. Quantum computing is not only close, we’ve never been more vulnerable to it before.

Moreover, history shows us that we must beware not only of hackers, online terrorists and criminal organizations, but also of the authorities. The discoveries of Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden in the past decade have revealed to the world what the most powerful government on the planet can (and will) do when no one sees it. Totalitarian powers such as Russia and China have their own sophisticated methods of coercion and control of their people. Processing quantitative data will simply leave them in a state of turmoil.

Despite the fact that we already know many examples of early quantum computing, it would be foolish to bet on a country-level player who once acquired a highly advanced quantum system in a private enterprise. And when they get this technology, they don’t just come for your bitcoins. They will read your messages and every email, instant message or document you sent using old encryption; Now with their new quantum master key.

Is there any solution?
The puzzle we will face in the future is how to protect ourselves from their destructive potential. My team at Networkxx and I have spent the past few years building our own quantum secure blockchain as a way to solve this problem. Adding another layer of privacy with the flagship DApp, the xx messenger that destroys metadata, would be another way to protect yourself from attackers with quantum weapons. There will be other solutions from different creators, but they are not emerging fast enough.

There is reason to believe that the coming quantum computing revolution will not undermine our chances of creating a new decentralized world built on the blockchain. First, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology is already studying 69 potential new technologies for “post-quantum cryptography” and expects to have a draft standard by 2024 that can then be posted online.

There are also very few cryptographic techniques that would be completely redundant in the post-quantum world.

Source: CoinTelegraph

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