Just like that, the promise of quantum computers overtaking traditional computers is one step closer to reality.
According to a recent report by the Financial Times, tech giant Google claims to have achieved “quantum supremacy,” meaning it has built a quantum computer able to solve formerly impossible mathematical calculations.
If proven true, this marks a major milestone in the development of quantum computers and possibly, the demise of blockchain technology as we know it today.
Since the advent of bitcoin, the threat of quantum computing has motivated researchers, technologists and, now, governments, to build software able to resist attack by even the most powerful quantum computers.
Quantum computers, while still largely theoretical, are thought to vastly speed up the process of solving complex computations. So much so that current calculations impossible for a current computer to solve in one human lifespan would take mere seconds for a quantum computer to crack.
As explained by data research firm CB Insights, quantum computers rely on “naturally occurring quantum-mechanical phenomena” known as superposition and entanglement.
“These states of matter, when harnessed for computing purposes, can speed up our ability to perform immense computations,” said the report.Canada steps in
And this summer, the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada partnered with the University of Waterloo to launch a two-year research initiative for quantum-safe blockchain technology.
The research, led by University of Waterloo professors Srinivasan Keshav and Michele Mosca, is receiving a total of $180,000 over this two-year period to expand the team with other “highly qualified personnel,” said Nic Defalco, communications advisor to the NRC.
Among state governments, Canada is the leader in quantum computing research, according to Andersen Cheng, CEO of quantum R&D firm Post-Quantum.