Posted 1 year ago | by Ben Armstrong

Breakthrough in Quantum Computing Probably Won't Affect Cryptos

The recent news cycle that started with Google announcing that it had a breakthrough with its quantum computing programs has left a lot of questions around how it may affect the crypto markets.

Dr. Leemon Baird, one of the people behind Hedera Hashgraph, spoke at Web Summit 2019 and commented that quantum computing was, “like Y2K; yes, we had to make some changes to software at Y2K. Was it the end of the world? Actually, no.”

In short, Bair thinks that quantum supremacy may create some new challenges for token developers, but overall, the cryptography underpinning Bitcoin is safe.

The Quantum Question

In early 2019, Google researchers told the world they have achieved “quantum supremacy”, by creating a quantum computer able to perform a calculation in 200 seconds that would have taken 10,000 years with the most powerful supercomputer currently available.

That means the cryptocurrency industry, which is built on a bedrock of cryptography, may be vulnerable. Dr. Leemon Baird told the world, “The truth is quantum computers are really cool, and they're not going to have any impact on this industry.”

Baird continued:

“Even when we have big quantum computers someday, (they) aren't going to affect it (hash codes)....We are a decade away from anyone breaking signatures (if and when signatures become vulnerable) we can very easily switch to different digital signatures that are totally secure.”

Buterin Sees no Issues

Vitalik Buterin’s, Ethereum creator, recently stated: “The world is not going to break tomorrow (because of quantum supremacy).”

It is hard to argue with that, especially when tokens have so many practical uses right now.

Bair pointed out that the crypto industry is already preparing for the impact of quantum computing.
It would appear that Bitcoin et al. aren't going to be negatively impacted by quantum computing any time soon. On the other hand, Baird’s project, Hedera Hashgraph, is facing rough times.

Hedera Hashgraph's public beta launched in September, reportedly delivering speeds of a whopping 10,000 transactions per second. Oddly, then the price of the HBAR token crashed thereafter. The company is now working with blockchain economic consulting firm Prysm Group to fix the company’s token economics.

To sum all this up quantum computing noise up succinctly, Baird's comment, “Basically, quantum computers have no effect on our industry, but I'm really excited,” seems especially pithy. Hopefully, Hedera Hashgraph will see better times in the future.