The latest IBM and Google research proves that quantum computing is no longer sci-fi. How does the technology work and what impact it might have on Blockchain? BTCMEX explains.
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Quantum computing is a brand new way of processing the information based on quantum mechanics - a field in physics that describes the behaviors and laws on a subatomic scale. Till now, encryption methods used in blockchain technology, are considered to be the safest for a large number of applications, however, a quantum computer is believed to have the potential to make what we believe to be the latest security breakthroughs obsolete.
The threat is only theoretical now, but let’s discover what technology is behind such a powerful tool as a quantum computer. Unlike traditional computers, programmed to read 0/1 codes, subatomic particles can exist in multiple places at once - called superposition - move forward or backward in time, and even teleport through so-called entanglements. Superposition means there’s a possibility of something in between 0 and 1.
The transistors of classical computer processors operate with bits, which encode either a 0 or 1, quantum computers use so-called quantum bits, or qubits. Qubits is what allows a huge number of calculations to be carried out simultaneously and instantly.
Today, the leaders of quantum computing are United States tech giants IBM and Google.
The present-day quantum computers cannot break blockchains and their underlying cryptography. Quantum computing is not a threat to the blockchain itself, but to the projects that use the technology, for example, private keys would not be safe anymore. On the other hand, quantum might introduce new ways of storing and transmitting information.
Here’s a possible example of the technology in use. In today’s blockchain world is hardly possible to find the private key that generated the public key, but quantum computers can employ an algorithm to unravel the mathematical relationship between a public key and a private key, thus revealing and compromising the private key.
There are two main approaches to address the potential quantum threats: whether to create a quantum-resistant layer to an existing blockchain protocol to increase its security or create a quantum-resistant blockchain from scratch.
Many crypto believers are concerned about Bitcoin security, calling for conducting research to be prepared and consider upgrades to protect the network.
Please note, that the article is a part of BTCMEX Blog, the views and opinions expressed here are the contributing author’s only, and do not necessarily represent the views of the company.
Julia Bulakh for BTCMEX