A Concise Idea of Quantum Computing

Quantum Computing is still in its initial stages of implementation, but theoretical concepts  related to the technology are bringing new ideas and innovations of its applicability. Its practical realization, so far, has reached to development of 16-qubits Quantum Computing system by IBM, known as IBM Q Experience. The central idea around Quantum Computing is about a massive boost in computational power. Such powerful computation is required to solve phenomenally large mathematical problems, involved in fields like Astrophysics. Among other primary utility of Quantum Computing is its importance on Cryptography. This facet forms the major connection between the technology and Blockchain Development.

Cryptography as the Basis of Blockchain Development

Cryptography is a fundamental part of the science behind blockchain. Encryption and Decryption, Hash Functions, Public Keys, Private Keys, and Signatures are the basics of Cryptocurrency, which is now the primary product of Blockchain Technology. Encryption of information being the basis of this technology, Cryptography is the key to Blockchain development. It is the primary mechanism of security and features such as immutability. Apart from bring the framework behind cryptos, Blockchain is emerging as a technology behind Decentralized Ledgers that has the potential to replace the current internet infrastructure. Decentralized Applications has attributes like transparency, Immutability, that is difficult to achieve in conventional internet ecosystem.

Meanwhile, Quantum Computing is deemed as the perfect tool to solve large cryptographic algorithms. Encoding a complex cryptographic problems is among the primary utilities of this technology. Thus, it is natural to belief Quantum Computing as a major threat to blockchain development. Using quantum computers with massive computational power it is possible to decrypt any possible encryption by conventional computers. Majority of market researchers even believe quantum computing as an existential threat to blockchain technology.

Is Quantum Computing a real threat?

However, the question is? How far is this assumption correct? While considering the skepticisms, it is also necessary to take into account the practicalities of quantum computing. The technology is still in conceptual stages with most of the research only in theoretical paradigms. Compared to Blockchain technology, quantum computing still a nascent entrant, with no substantial relevance in enterprise application.

Against this backdrop, there is a strong possibility of a combined utility of both technologies. Quantum Blockchain is the concept behind this idea. It is based on quantum cryptographic encryptions, which is almost impossible to intrude using the largest possible computing power of conventional digital computers as well as probable quantum computers. This theoretical concept is the strongest solution to threats posed by quantum computers in blockchain landscape. The idea behind Quantum Blockchain is to use the same technology to protect blockchain which is assumed as a threat to it.

Technicalities of Blockchain Development

Blockchain Development involves Hashing. Each transaction is encrypted using a hash function before bundling them into blocks. Hashing is the primary mechanism to secure a blockchain. A strong cryptographic algorithm is used to produce the hash function. The hash function has a pointer linked to the hash data of the previous block. This creates the chain of blocks or ledgers, building a whole network.  Any attempt to change the hash function of a block creates a new block, which impacts the hash functions of the following blocks. Thus, blockchain attains immutability utilizing the mechanism. Hashing is the primary objective of cryptography in blockchain technology.

What is Quantum Blockchain?

Quantum Blockchain is a theoretical concept. So far, there are two approaches to how quantum computing concept can assist to develop blockchain which are resistant enough to handle any attempt of attack with quantum computers. A quantum blockchain is the blockchain using either or both of these techniques to secure itself. The first mechanism utilizes the concept of Time Entanglement and the second focuses on development of a quantum-attack-resistant cryptographic algorithm. Quantum Key Distribution or Quantum Cryptography is found as the most effective and practical technique to safeguard blockchain from attacks of quantum computing.

Blockchain Implementation of Quantum Time Entanglement

Time and Space Entanglement are two basic concepts related to quantum computing. In quantum computing, a qubit is in an entangled state, rather than a general digital bit. On contrary to digital bits, with two states, 0 and 1, computations in qubits are based on complex numbers and their vectors. A qubit is represented by a Bloch Sphere, which is a geometrical representation of the pure state space. It is a representation of a pair of mutually orthogonal state vectors.

Researchers found that time entanglement of qubits is pivotal for blockchain. Information qubits can be encoded into GHZ(Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger) state of quantum entanglement. In this system, the information qubits are entangled, transforming the entire blockchain as a quantum phenomenon. In this blockchain, records or a transaction is represented as an entangled state of qubits. This qubits are linked in a chronological order forming the blockchain. In quantum blockchain, the qubits related to an information will not exist in any accessed time, because, it will be already entangled in time. The information will be readable and hence accessible only through the authorized channel. Any attempt to temper the information qubits or states, the blockchain will invalidate it automatically. Also, only the most recent block is the single point which can be attacked, as the past blocks channel or the network is temporarily entangled in time. Experts working on this approach are proposing that Time Entanglement is more effective in developing blockchain than Space Entanglement. They sees quantum blockchain rather as a Quantum Networked Time Machine.

Quantum Cryptography

NIST, National Institute of Standards and Technology, is given the task under American Innovation and Competitiveness Act of 2017 to research and develop cryptographic techniques in order to counter the threats of quantum computation. Quantum Key Distribution or Quantum Cryptography is an innovation in this direction. This technology will resist quantum computers from breaking into blockchain. Another pathbreaker is Quantum Currency, which uses quantum states or qubits to represent information. But these techniques are still in infancy stage with only theoretical backdrops. Concepts like Quantum Information, Quantum State Storage are being actively pursued, but their practical realization will take time.

Blockchain Technology itself is a new technology. It is still understood by most only as a term related to cryptocurrencies. Blockchain and allied techniques like Distributed Ledgers are yet to reach their adequate potentials and adoption. Likewise, Quantum Computing too is on a nascent stage of development, with little application in general fields. Against this backdrop, concepts like Quantum Blockchain appears to be ahead of time. But Blockchain technology is being used in sensitive sectors like FinTech, Defense and Public Administration. Blockchain Development Companies are scaling up their techniques to create strong and innovative solutions since potential prevention of any threat is a necessity for this technology. Quantum Blockchain is futuristic, but it is imminent as a evolutionary trait of the technology.

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