Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Yeah, I Got Your Bitcoin Right Here: "‘Quantum Checks’ to Replace Cryptocurrencies in the Future?"

One of Mr. Keohane's Further Reading links is to a Bloomberg article that asks in its headline "Why Can’t Americans Ditch Checks?".

Why? I'll tell you why. If the rest of the world wants to go with Venmo or cryptocrap that's just fine.

We're roughly nine months from real—honest-to-goodness—quantum supremecy, the moment when quantum computers show they actually are superior to classical 'puters.

And with three of the top five quantum co's. in the U.S. it's a pretty good bet that it will be American thieves emptying those supposedly hack-proof wallets around the world and the American companies will be using the Indian guy's idea (below) to move beyond old-fashioned crypto.

And Deluxe Corp. (and maybe De La Rue too) will be going all Schrödinger on the fanboys and the kids will be saying "Ehereum? That's sooo 2017."

Or not.
Predicting is hard.

From Bitsonline, July 12:

With the help of researchers using IBM’s cloud-based quantum computer concept, cryptocurrencies may soon be replaced by a new and improved way of making payments — quantum checks.

Quantum Computing: Reimagining Old Money

The researchers have been hard at work testing out the concept of securing money transfers by leveraging quantum mechanics, with the emphasis of making traditional checks, of all things, the most secure way of sending money.

Quantum money is not a new idea, having been first proposed in the early 1970s. However, the idea hasn’t been possible to test until recently.

The significance comes from the fact that researchers have proven that quantum computers could, in theory, create and cash quantum checks that are nearly impossible to forge.
The study is only a proof-of-concept. But Prasanta Panigrahi, the scientist who led the study at Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research in Kolkata, thinks quantum tech is close enough to maturing for quantum money to become workable in the near future.

As it currently stands, the idea is still not scalable to a wide population, nor it is a particularly convenient way of transferring money.

Additionally, the qubits in the IBM system only last for microseconds at a time. Scott Aaronson of the University of Texas says that ideally “one would like checks that can last longer than that before being cashed or deposited.”

Going From Cryptocurrency to Quantum Checks

Quantum computing has often been invoked when talking about the long-term security of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

In short, this is because of quirky characteristics of the quantum world that, when leveraged by a computer, could basically decrypt many of the cryptographic systems of today — including Bitcoin.

Additionally, the ability to make current encryption obsolete means a fully-realized quantum computer could have significant ramifications not just for Bitcoin security, but for electronic security and privacy in general as well....MORE