Blockchain Vs Quantum computing
THE HANS INDIA |
Mar 08,2018 , 05:14 AM IST
Picture a spreadsheet that is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers. Then imagine that this network is designed to regularly update this spreadsheet and you have a basic understanding of the blockchain. Information held on a blockchain exists as a shared — and continually reconciled — database. This is a way of using the network that has obvious benefits. The blockchain database isn’t stored in any single location, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and easily verifiable. No centralized version of this information exists for a hacker to corrupt, according to blockgeeks.com. But there is a problem with blockchains.
For a blockchain to work, lots of participants need to hold up-to-date copies. This means that the same database is held by thousands of nodes. This is fairly inefficient…blockchain runs counter to the logic behind cloud computing. Cloud computing trends toward a single database that multiple nodes can access. These nodes don’t have to hold their own private copy of this database. Further, nodes holding copies of the blockchain receive constant updates. These nodes are distributed around the world. Because of this, blockchains have high latency (latency is the amount of time it takes for data to move through the
network). As a result, blockchains face scaling issues, according to www.cbinsights.com. This is where quantum computing comes in. Quantum computing relies on quantum physics and has more potential power than any traditional form of computing. Quantum computing takes advantage of quantum bits or “qubits” that can exist in any superposition of values between 0 and 1 and can therefore process much more information than just 0 or 1, which is the limit of classical computing systems.
The capacity to compute using qubits renders quantum computers many orders of magnitude faster than classical computers…Further, although there are but a handful of quantum computing algorithms, one of the most famous ones, Shor’s algorithm, allows for the quick factoring of large primes. Therefore, a working quantum computer could, in theory, break today’s public key cryptography. Quantum computers capable of speedy number factoring are not here yet…And when it does, this advance will pose an existential threat to public key cryptography, and the blockchain technology that relies on it, including Bitcoin, will be vulnerable to hacking, writes