Thursday, December 12, 2019

Andreas Antonopoulos Disarms the Scary Quantum ‘Supremacy’

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Adedamola Bada
I'm Damola, a computer engineer from Obafemi Awolowo University. A crypto enthusiast, marketer, and writer who is seeking to achieve career excellence through hard work and positive contribution to the organization that aspires for excellence. Contact me on [email protected]

Information making the rounds has it that a quantum computer has been built by Google that can process calculations at a speed that is unrivaled by any other computer on the planet. The existence of such a powerful machine has raised concerns about what it could mean for privacy driven products like cryptocurrency and the entire blockchain industry.

Popular figure in the crypto space Andreas Antonopoulos has, however, demystified the ‘quantum supremacy’ in a recently uploaded YouTube video. He stated in the video that such a machine would have zero effect over mining and cryptocurrency because it wasn’t designed by Google to break cryptography, but rather for specific types of problems.

This, coming from a renowned figure like Antonopoulos, is comforting because it can only be imagined or better still watched in a movie the effect such a supercomputer will have in the world. Damage to cryptography-reliant systems like financial systems, classified communications, and lots more will be severely impacted in the worst way imaginable.

Bitcoin Can Always Upgrade

If a time comes and quantum computing becomes a threat, Antonopoulos believes that Bitcoin will ride the tide and come out stronger. With Bitcoin’s ability to upgrade its digital signature algorithm, the cryptocurrency will definitely follow every progress in quantum computing in order to avoid getting caught off guard.

He went ahead to point out that hashes have a higher tolerance to attacks in the future when compared to digital signatures. Also, Bitcoin traders, he notes, have a vital role to play to see to it that any future risk posed by quantum computing is mitigated.

“No matter what the weakness might be, if you follow the best practice, which is to use a Bitcoin address once and only once, and to immediately spend all the funds in it the first time you sign, and never sign for that address again, what you get is a much higher level of protection.”

Quantum Supremacy, Could There Be More Players?

Antonopoulos opined that Google should not be too quick to claim the quantum supremacy title as there could be other organizations that have successfully built one but only waiting for a specific time to use it. Speaking on the existence of such organizations, he admitted that if quantum computing has already been done by them, then it is only a matter of time before they also crack the algorithm of Bitcoin’s digital signature.

However, if such a device exists, according to Antonopoulos, it wouldn’t be used to wage war on cryptocurrency, a highly insignificant target compared to things like the “classified communications of military adversaries or even the keys that control the nuclear weapon systems in order to disarm them and turn them off.”

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