If the claim is disclosed, it would have a great impact on medicine, engineering, and artificial intelligence. Its real-world application may still be decades away.
Google claimed “quantum supremacy” through an article published in the respected magazine Nature. In other words, the company says that it’s quantum chip Sycamore could perform a calculation that would be virtually impossible to surpass for a conventional supercomputer in a reasonable amount of time.
If the announcement is confirmed, it will have potentially profound implications in the long term due to the exponential leap in computing power, which would allow great advances in areas ranging from medicine to engineering and artificial intelligence.
However, it might also put a powerful new tool in the hands of hackers and criminals, so some fear that Bitcoin and the rest of cryptocurrencies may be easy targets. In that sense, Billy Bambrough wrote that a machine as powerful as Google’s quantum computer might solve these classic equations fast enough to decipher not only Bitcoin but also the encryption on which the Internet is based.
Meanwhile, the price of Bitcoin plummeted last week to its lowest lows in the last five months. It is not clear if this is linked to the dissemination of information on Google’s quantum computer, which was first leaked last month, or to the United States Congress hearing of Mark Zuckerberg regarding the cryptocurrency project Facebook Libra.
In any case, the concerns that quantum computers will soon destroy Bitcoin, the Internet and everything worth loving in the world may not be justified, at least in the short term.
It should be noted that the title “quantum supremacy” brings some warnings to be considered. First, IBM quickly rejected Google’s claim that a classical supercomputer would take 10,000 years to make the same calculations that Sycamore did in just a few minutes. The American multinational technology and consulting company said that it might be done with conventional supercomputers in less than three days.
Anyway, it is still a great computational advantage, but it might be very far from Google’s hallucinating statement on supremacy.
Second, the calculations made by Sycamore were customized to claim the alleged quantum supremacy. Some believe that it is a type of problem that quantum computers might solve, but without much practical application.
Its real-world application is still probably decades away, something that was even indicated in a Nature article that accompanied the publication of the article about Google.
Scott Aaronson, a theoretical computer scientist from the University of Texas that helped in the peer review process for the Nature article about Google, says that the experiment used to demonstrate quantum supremacy might be useful for cryptography and cryptocurrencies.
Even so, most cryptocurrency enthusiasts are more concerned than interested in the advent of quantum computing. In recent years, money has been invested in initiatives such as those conducted by the National Research Council of Canada and the United Kingdom government, which might eventually help develop the technologies of a secure quantum blockchain.
On the other hand, developers are working to create new blockchains that are resistant to quantum technology, as well as adaptations and updates for existing ones.
By Willmen Blanco