Quantum Computers Pose Threat To Bitcoin

With so many developments and advances in the tech industry over the years, a lot of them can seem interconnected. In the case of quantum computers and the cryptocurrency market, this is apparently the case, but not all in the ways that are good. In fact, computers that could be thousands of times more powerful than current ones could pose a significant danger to bitcoin and the Blockchain network.

This development is courtesy of a paper published by researchers from the National University of Singapore. According to the study, a sufficiently powerful quantum computer could make minced meat of the cryptographic protocols employed by bitcoin and all financial institutions built in the Blockchain network.

“The key cryptographic protocols used to secure the internet and financial transactions of today are all susceptible to attack by the development of a sufficiently large quantum computer. One particular area at risk are cryptocurrencies, a market currently worth over 150 billion USD. We investigate the risk of Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, to attacks by quantum computers. We find that the proof-of-work used by Bitcoin is relatively resistant to substantial speedup by quantum computers in the next 10 years, mainly because specialized ASIC miners are extremely fast compared to the estimated clock speed of near-term quantum computers,” the paper reads.

Read more at EconoTimes.com

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Banking Applications in Quantum Computing

See the full article from The Australian.

Australia’s Commonwealth Bank announced that it has developed a quantum computer simulator. This will help develop applications across a variety of industries rather than wait for the hardware to become available.

Applications for a large, complex bank like CBA start with so-called Monte Carlo simulations, where the impact of risk is assessed on the full range of scenarios under consideration. Under classical computing, it takes about a day to work out the risk position of the bank.

Quantum computing would deliver the same outcome in a matter of minutes, enabling more dynamic decision-making as a result of real-time data feeds.

Trading positions could be known in real time, with investment strategies chosen after consideration of millions of different scenarios. Beyond such base-level applications, the potential is mostly unknown because problem-solving in business is constrained by the limits of classical computing.

Australian Banks Hiring Quantum Talent

Universities and banks are collaborating in anticipation of the quantum computer becoming reality. An estimated 20,000 jobs are opening up after investments of about $10B in investments the US, China, and Japan.

From The Australian: In July, Microsoft and the University of Sydney announced a multi-year partnership to move quantum machines from research into real-world engineering. In April, the Commonwealth Bank revealed it had developed a quantum computer “simulator” to give Australians “a head start on the massive step change in computing power promised by quantum processing”.

Professor Andrea Morella from the University of New South Wales (Sydney) said they launched Silicon Quantum Computing — described as Australia’s first quantum computing company — to scale up its silicon-based research. The move fol­lowed an $83 million research deal involving the university, the state and federal governments, Commonwealth Bank and Telstra. “There are more jobs than people, not just in Australia but worldwide,” he said.

Companies usually have to make do with conventional electrical or microwave engineers, training them on the job in quantum science. “Or (companies will) find a quantum physicist and try and teach them microwave engineering and electronic design. There are only a handful of people with the full range of skills, and those people are very valued on the market,” he said.