Posted 2 years ago | by Ben Armstrong
Vitalik Buterin says Google’s Quantum Supremacy a Non-Issue for Tokens
The recent announcement from Google that Quantum Supremacy has been achieved caused a huge stir in the crypto community. The problem is: if Google is able to use quantum computing to hack the cryptography that backs up the value of tokens, well...they would be worthless.
Unsurprisingly, this has left a lot of questions about the future viability of Blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum floating around the global media sphere.
The truth of the matter is far more nuanced that the headlines might suggest, and the implications of Google's recent breakthrough in quantum computing reach well beyond the budding world of cryptos. Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin doesn't think that there is any looming threat to the viability of cryptos, and he recently commented on why he feels this way.
Vitalik Buterin: No Worries
It is important to understand what Google actually announced. While the mega-tech company may have the ability to crack the encryption that backs up the value of decentralized assets, they haven't gotten close to doing so...yet.
Buterin likened to the era of the Manhattan Project, and first atomic bombs. At this point, according to Buterin, Google has published the proof-of-concept, and nothing more.
In a Tweet from Buterin he wrote that:
"It (the recent announcement) proves that the ability to make a big boom exists. What it does not prove is the ability to harness that big boom to create things that are useful."
So...we have some crazy stuff on a chalkboard that looks a lot like it will make the biggest bang we have ever seen, but we are a long way from the first tests at Trinity. At least according to one of the most prominent crypto developers on earth.
Um...Tokens Aren't Alone
For those of you just tuning in, cryptography is widely used in both banking and the military. The same quantum supremacy that could challenge the security of crypto currency would shatter the encryption that makes the current global data storage system a realty, which seems like a pretty big issue.
As far as Ethereum goes, Buterin said that,
"It's not true that quantum computers break all cryptography. They break some cryptographic algorithms...But for every cryptographic algorithm that quantum computers can break, we know that we have a replacement...that quantum computers cannot break....We have an upgrade path and we know what the upgrade path is."
Another thing to consider is the relative difficulty of creating quantum supremacy. In the decades that followed the test at Trinity, Russia, China, the UK, and France all developed their own atomic weapons.
If the same thing happens in the world of quantum computers, crypto developers won't be the only ones looking for an 'upgrade path'.