Recently Google has made claims that they have reached Quantum Supremacy. It is a well known fact that Google has been working on a quantum super computer which they unveiled in March 2018.
Ever since Google announced that they are working on a Quantum super-computer the world has been eager to see the results of such a scientific and technological breakthrough. Last year in March, they presented the super-computer which boasted a 72-qubit computing power. Since then the word quantum computing has become very popular and nations around the world cannot wait to get their hands on this remarkable discovery. But why?
The main reasons might be the fact that quantum computing can solve issues ranging from artificial intelligence (AI) to even healthcare and drug development. But while others are only dreaming about it, Google is making these dreams reality. Now they are proud enough that they can declare that they have reached “Quantum Supremacy”.
When trying to describe what Quantum Computing is, the very short definition would be – a very tremendous computing power. Basically, while today we know that all the computers are using the binary code, or binary bits, which consists of 0’s and 1’s, then Google’s Quantum Computer uses a completely different processing power approach, using qubits. These qubits can be connected in a group in a way that allows for significantly more processing power than the same with binary bits.
Many experts say that Google Super-computer is way more powerful than some of the world’s super-computers. They even did a test where they put Google’s super-computer and IBM‘s Summit, which is commercially known as the world’s most powerful computer, to complete a calculation. The results of this test were astonishing. While IBM’s Summit would’ve completed this task in about 10,000 years, Google’s super-computer solved the calculation in 3 minutes.
“To our knowledge, this experiment marks the first computation that can only be performed on a quantum processor,” stated Google researchers.
Google described the achievement as a “milestone towards full-scale quantum computing.”
So What Does This Google’s Quantum Supremacy Mean For Blockchain?
One of the main topics, when speaking about quantum computing and crypto or blockchain in the same sentence, is about the fear that these super-computers could potentially threaten all well-known encryption algorithms, for example, Bitcoin. That is why many blockchain developers are talking about quantum-resistant blockchains. While some are talking, others are doing. For example, QANplatform already has developed a quantum-resistant blockchain called QAN.
“The most popular public-key algorithms are theoretically at risk of being broken by a quantum computing breakthrough. Most encrypted data intercepted and stored today could be decrypted by quantum computers in the near future,” the CTO, Johann Polecsak commented.
However, he also says that while this all sounds very dramatic, the reality is that “it’s hard to gauge the significance at this time,” he adds.
But not all are so optimistic. Andrew Yang, the pro-tech Presidential candidate, expresses his concern about the new technology and encryption standards as such:
“Quantum computers, using qubits, will theoretically be able to perform the calculations necessary to break our current encryptions standards in under a day. When that happens, all of our encrypted data will be vulnerable. That means our businesses, communications channels, and banking and national security systems may be accessible.”
However, in reality, the current cryptographic encryption standards are actually really high, says Chris Pacia from Openbazaar. He writes:
“If every one of the 7 billion people on Earth had 10 computers testing 1 billion key combinations per second, it would take the entire population 77,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years to find a single 128-bit AES key.”
In case of something going wrong – we would just need to switch to a different Encryption Standard. That also applies to Bitcoin. If a quantum computer would try to crack the SHA-256, the obvious solution would be to switch to a stronger encryption algorithm of the same family – SHA-512.
The conclusion is that this still is very early to judge, but at the moment, it still is science fiction, which wouldn’t have many practical applications in the world which we know now.
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