(Forbes) Researchers in China, a country hostile to bitcoin and decentralized cryptocurrencies, are claiming they’ve matched Google’s so-called “quantum supremacy,” again raising questions over bitcoin’s future in a post-quantum computer world.
While, it’s thought the Jiuzhang machine is unable to solve the factoring problem that is crucial to decoding encrypted information, according to a quantum researcher quoted by the South China Morning Post, many see China’s development as further evidence that quantum computer research is accelerating and could soon have real-world ramifications.
Exactly what quantum computers will mean for bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and the internet itself is a matter of fierce debate among computer scientists. “Quantum computers are posing a serious challenge to the security of the bitcoin blockchain,” wrote blockchain and cryptography researchers at the consultancy Deloitte. “Quantum computers might eventually become so fast that they will undermine the bitcoin transaction process. In this case the security of the bitcoin blockchain will be fundamentally broken.”
“Don’t dump your bitcoins yet,” Dragos Ilie, a quantum computing and encryption researcher at Imperial College London, said in the aftermath of Google’s quantum computer announcement last year.
“Quantum computing is a very special purpose machine,” technology philosopher George Gilder, who has written extensively on the intersection of technology, economic growth and prosperity, said last month. “You may be able to to build [a quantum computer] that can break one form of encryption but there are all sorts of ways to circumvent the threat that quantum computing poses to bitcoin and other such encryption-based technologies.”

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