Crypto Currency Companies on Alert to Quantum Computing Risk
Some people say quantum computing has not been invented yet, that it’s still a theory. Other equally qualified people will tell you it has been invented and is going to be evolving quickly. No one understands quantum computing entirely, but nearly everyone agrees its capabilities could be dangerous in the wrong hands.
The use and misuse of cryptocurrency were on the mind of Biraajmaan Tamuly, a writer for ambcrypto.com when he penned an article about quantum computers and how they will relate to cryptocurrency. In a recent episode of whatbitcoindid.podcast, Andrew Poelstra, the Lead Researcher at Blockstream, was asked about whether Quantum Computing was a genuine threat to the existence of some Bitcoin on the current block chain. Poelstra said the time is now to create a system that will protect against an entirely different kind of computing and a more powerful cyber threat than we have seen before.
“It’s important now that we started working on standardization and exploring ideas and exploring what Bitcoin is going to look like in a post quantum world but in the current scenarios there were no candidates for post quantum schemes that would be reasonable to deploy them in a Bitcoin.”
The introduction of quantum computing in the cryptocurrency scenario was a topic which perhaps has not been debated enough. But the current uptick in the interest of cryptocurrency has analysts asking how to defend against a quantum computer that’s most powerful than the one that’s defending a blockchain.
Crypto-currencies run on blockchain technology. A blockchain is a ledger of blocks of information, such as transactions or agreements, stored across a network of computers.
As good as blockchain is, quantum computers may one day be able to invade a blockchain, wreaking havoc. Poelstra indicated that the threat was evident, but it was still a long way off from being practical in the current technological field. He mentioned that he expected quantum computing to come into play against the security of Bitcoin in “maybe less than 15 years” and said that he would be really surprised if “it was less than 25 years.”
Facebook Takes Second Crack at Currency
Facebook wants to create a digital currency that provides affordable and secure ways of making payments, regardless of whether users have a bank account.
The social networking site, which owns WhatsApp and Instagram, is hoping to disrupt existing networks by breaking down financial barriers, competing with banks and reducing consumer costs. It is planning to set up a digital payments system in about a dozen countries by the first quarter of 2020.
The social media giant wants to start testing its crypto-currency, which it refers to internally as GlobalCoin, by the end of this year. Facebook is expected to outline plans in more detail this summer and has already spoken to Bank of England governor Mark Carney.
Nicknamed Project Libra, Facebook’s plans for a digital currency network were first reported last December.
According to an article by the bbc.com, it’s not the first time Facebook has dabbled in digital currencies. A decade ago, it created Facebook Credits, a virtual currency to purchase items in apps on the social networking site.
However, Facebook ended the project after less than two years after it failed to gain traction.
Facebook is also reportedly in talks with a number of online merchants to accept the currency as payment in return for lower transaction fees. With Congress looking into Facebook and all other social media and its inability to protect consumers’ basic information from huge data hacks, the company seems undaunted in taking on an even bigger piece of the cyber pie.
read more at bbc.com