It’s the future. Not now, but ten years from now. All of these amazing quantum computing advances spurred on by our beloved Australian scientists have made super-fast super-tiny quantum computing the norm.
Aaaaaand it’s left your squillions in Bitcoin vulnerable to attack. Clearly someone needs to do something about this, now.
Luckily, they are.
Researchers from University of Technology, Sydney teamed up with a crew from Singapore to work out exactly how digital currencies could become vulnerable to attack.
“Many existing Bitcoin accounts and all new transactions will be at risk within 10 years, so we need to start thinking about solutions now,” says Dr Marco Tomamichel from the Centre for Quantum Software and Information at the University of Technology Sydney.
Dr Tomamichel is part of the new Quantum Resistant Coin group of researchers working to use their expertise quantum technologies and cryptography in developing security measures for of digital currencies, in partnership with blockchain company Hyperchain.
The group is also working with Associate Professor Gavin Brennen at Macquarie University, Professor Miklos Santha at the Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore, and Associate Professor Troy Lee from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
The QRC team have zeroed in on the point at which quantum computers could potentially jeopardise the security of current cryptocurrencies, and have worked out counter-measures to such attacks.
They also look at the risk of quantum-dominated mining in “Proof of Work” protocols (which are the basis for verifying transactions in Bitcoin, for example).
“It is a very exciting time to be working in quantum information now that simple quantum machines, like the Google and IBM devices, are a reality,” says Dr Tomamichel.
“Understandably, there is a lot of nervousness in cryptocurrency communities about whether their digital assets can resist future attacks by very fast quantum computers.”
QRC has been appointed as a technical advisor to Hyperchain, Hcash (which provides technical services to), Hshare and Hyperchain to make sure their cryptocurrency can resist quantum attacks.
“Our service is providing advice and algorithmic protocols to digital currencies and blockchains like Hcash which want to certify their product will be quantum safe,” Dr Tomamichel says.
“HCash has put a strong emphasis on quantum security from the outset so this collaboration will benefit both teams, and customer confidence.”
Fingers crossed it works, hey?