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Could Quantic Computing Threaten the Future of Cryptocurrencies?

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Cryptocurrencies are revolutionary because they are based on a distributed and decentralized infrastructure supported by blockchain.

Not only do we see entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk bidding high for them, but also how some of them are admitted by the créme de la créme of those entities most favorable to crony capitalism and the current fraudulent fractional reserve system, having even gone so far as to go public.

The very problematic and demonic modern states, with the cooperation of big banking and the encouragement of the World Economic Forum (whose political-economic pretensions are well known), are destabilized as their monetary repression may vanish.

There are other concerns which do not necessarily have to come from the most convinced skeptics. Rather, there are those who fear that there could be a process of “creative destruction” of the technology itself as what is known as quantum computing develops.

Yet, having first learned what this concept related to computer science consists of, this article will explain whether this computational advance actually poses a risk of extinction for cryptocurrencies as we know them today.

Threat of quantum computing

Quantic computing - El American
Quantic computing might change the way we interact with technology. (Flickr)

Quantum computing, a more advanced paradigm, whose differential characteristic is the use of cubits as information units. These are special combinations of zeros and ones (binary values) that allow for even simultaneity of states, based on a geometric structure of symmetrical space that would be the Bloch sphere.

Proof of its higher performance is the use of the Grover search algorithm, whose order of complexity is square root, so that to search for an element it would only be sufficient to check the power of the total raised to a half (which is equivalent to calculating the square root).

Following the example given by IBM in its Quantum section, you want to search for an element in a trillion list, and the check of each element took 1 microsecond, then what would take a conventional computer 1 week, could take them units of a second.

It perhaps makes sense that alarm bells are ringing about the integrity of cryptography as we know it. The European Data Protection Observatory warns that symmetric and public-key cryptography could be at risk, with this risk extending “to core Internet security protocols.”

Prior knowledge of private keys could become unnecessary for decrypting systems by means of quantum mechanisms, with more of the same occurring with key exchange mechanisms linked to symmetric cryptography. This would certainly affect the HTTPS protocol, which is based on the SSL/TLS pairing.

Thus, in the same way as those solutions that provide security for increasingly everyday mechanisms such as requesting a doctor’s appointment or making a series of purchases (apart from managing email from the browser, inter alia), blockchains could be affected.

Is quantum computing worth talking about?

There are those who argue that quantum computing can replace computers and mobile devices as we know them. It is unwise to rule anything out categorically, being simply aware of the progressive innovative evolution of technology.

A couple of months ago, Jay Gambetta, vice president of IBM’s Quantum Computing area, pointed out that the same IBM Q System One – Montreal had seen its quantum speed doubled (resulting in 128). At the same time, they announced the execution environment called Qisqit, which will allow more circuits to run at higher speed.

In fact, they estimate that from 2023, service models oriented to natural sciences, finance and optimization, working new skills as well as workflow integration and application development (as tasks for developers) can be implemented.

Moreover, it is not only worth noting that one of the fastest supercomputers on the planet is a Google quantum computer whose calculations would take a computer 10,000 years and would be intended for astronomy, medicine and artificial intelligence enhancement purposes. Alibaba has also done its own thing, with R&D, in China.

Geopolitics is also a factor. The UK intelligence services have already warned that “the development of sovereign capabilities in areas such as quantum computing is necessary both to prosper and to feel secure,” pointing to a kind of alliance between China, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

At the same time, the Biden-Harris administration plans to incorporate in its infrastructure plan (pending House approval and new state “indebtedness” cause factor) a $180 billion budget that would boost quantum computing and artificial intelligence chips. Blockchain can hold its own, even if it is subject to change

Technological solutions are constantly developing and evolving (the same can happen, for example, as seen throughout history, with mobile telephony, office automation and programming languages), it being clear that many concepts, still existing, are not the same today as they were twenty years ago.

Thus, faced with the “danger” lurking in the public and private keys that give technical meaning to the functioning of blockchains, two researchers from the University of New Zealand, Del Rajan and Matt Viser, proposed converting the blockchain into a system of qubits intertwined both spatially and temporally.

Yet as Wei Cui, Tong Dou and Shilu Yan of the South China University of Technology (Guangzhou) point out, there are opportunities for quantum cryptography not only based on mathematical complexity, but also on quantum laws: “the measurement process of a quantum system distorts the system in general”.

They go on to speak of the “detectable Byzantine agreement” (an evolution that is the result of the problem of generating secure correlated lists), whose quantum solution could be based on the Aharonov state of the three intertwined qutrits, the singlet state of the four qubits or the single qudit protocol.

In addition, 11 academic and industrial entities such as NXP and the Technical University of Eindhoven are working on a cryptographic protocol called PqCrypto ICT-645622, inspired by a post-quantum era that will try to improve the speed of post-quantum public key systems.

A similar project is being worked on by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, which aims to have new cryptographic standards ready by 2022. The aim is to solve problems related to RSA and schemes based on the elliptic curve.

The same project also envisages two types of algorithms to be distinguished between those of key establishment that enable consensus on a shared secret between two unknown parties and digital signature algorithms. But for this it will be necessary to measure the security and performance trade-offs, and to implement them with secure techniques.

We could say that there will always be challenges to computer security, the key being to work to make a difference and allow certain areas to evolve for our own good, understood as a guarantee of subsidiarity (decentralization), private property and monetary freedom.

Ángel Manuel García Carmona es ingeniero de software, máster en Big Data Analyst, columnista y tradicionalista libertario // Ángel Manuel García Carmona is a software engineer, master in Big Data Analyst, columnist and libertarian traditionalist.

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