Vitalik Buterin: Google’s Quantum Computer Not Really Useful in Crypto Space
Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who attempted his own quantum in the past, sees Google’s attempt as only a proof of concept.
Google’s quantum computer, a device that could theoretically unravel the encryption of any digital coin, is not a real threat. For now, the crypto space remains calm about Quantum Supremacy, the idea that quantum computing could defeat current cryptography.
Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, commented on the still nascent attempt to create a new form of computational device. He sees Google’s efforts as incomplete.
Buterin himself aimed to raise funds for a quantum computer a few years ago, before ending up as the founder of Ethereum.
In theory, quantum computing could lead to the opportunity to unravel all private keys and control all coins. In that case, the value of BTC would indeed be zero, and the network would lose all credibility. Quantum computing is, potentially, powerful enough to out-compute even the peak efforts of miners.
Traditional computation would take an astronomically long time to discover a private key, but quantum computing would be much faster. Google’s computer just finished a task that would have taken silicon processors 10,000 years to fulfill.
Quantum computation is a project taken up by several large-scale tech companies, including IBM, Intel, and Microsoft. But the creation of such a device requires strict laboratory conditions. The tests are also highly controlled, using electronics chilled to almost absolute zero to use quantum phenomena for computation.
So it’s highly unlikely that any of those companies would attempt to perform computations to empty out a BTC wallet. Quantum computation could, in theory, be used to mine BTC even more efficiently, and this was in fact Buterin’s original intention in his quantum project. Currently, miners compete to guess the block header with multiple efficiency boosters, including probability-testing nonce numbers, and using ever more powerful ASIC.
Currently, blockchains face much more prosaic attacks, through traditional computers. Stolen coins are also not rare, despite the cryptographic protection. Human error has exposed private keys multiple times.