Recent reports have suggested that Google appears to have reached an impressive milestone that is known as “quantum supremacy.” This basically means that the company has managed to use a quantum computer to perform calculations that are practically impossible for classical computers to solve. Referred to as Sycamore, Google’s quantum computer was able to perform the fete with only 54 qubits – one of which reportedly failed to work. This is quite impressive especially considering the fact that for quantum computers to really come into their own, they will need up to thousands more qubits.
While this is certainly great news for tech enthusiasts who are interested in quantum computing, it has sent the crypto and blockchain communities into a frenzy. For a very long time, members of the crypto community and cryptography experts have debated endlessly about the potential impact of quantum computing on digital currencies.
In fact, since the first digital currency came to be, researchers, technologists, and governments have developed deep interests in building software that is aimed at mitigating the threat of quantum computing. While still largely theoretical, quantum computers such as Google’s Sycamore, are considered to be able to vastly speed up the process of solving complex computations. This poses a huge threat to existing cryptographic technologies such as cryptocurrencies and the blockchain.
David Chaum Calls for Quantum Resistant Technology
After news of Google’s massive breakthrough hit the airwaves, David Chaum who is considered to be the “godfather of crypto”, weighed in on the issue by calling on the blockchain industry to focus on quantum-resistant technology. According to the cryptographer, the threat may already be quite real since there is no sure way of telling how long various nations have been working on the development of quantum computers. In retrospective, a number of governments have in the past been in possession of advanced cryptographic capabilities for extended periods of time without anyone knowing.
“The news that Google has achieved quantum supremacy strengthens my belief that quantum computing is coming and as a consequence, I believe we should all use approaches that are quantum-resistant,” he said.
Chaum further took the opportunity to share some details about his own digital currency which itself is supported by Praxxis, a quantum-resistant blockchain. The Praxxis protocol utilizes quantum-resistant signatures based on large random numbers while simultaneously overcoming the challenges faced by legacy blockchains. These include such things as scalability, privacy as well as security. Praxxis was developed by a team of cryptographers and developers under Chaum’s leadership and it features a new approach to consensus.