Quantum Computing: Is it the end of the blockchain?
Ajitesh Abhishek Jan 12, 2019
In simple words, a blockchain is a ledger that records transactions of a certain type. It uses mathematical functions such as integer factorization, which is easy to solve in one direction but hard in the other direction for security.
Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon in which the quantum states of two or more objects have to be described with reference to each other, even though the individual objects may be spatially separated.
What’s the future of blockchain in the world of Quantum computing?
One of the potential solutions is Quantum Blockchain, which uses quantum cryptography. This has been proposed by Del Rajan and Matt Visser of Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. The idea is simple — if computers can compute fast, make the puzzle more complex.
more on quantum computing in this IMS blog
Why Blockchain is Hard
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What is a blockchain?
The main thing distinguishing a blockchain from a normal database is that there are specific rules about how to put data into the database. That is, it cannot conflict with some other data that’s already in the database (consistent), it’s append-only (immutable), and the data itself is locked to an owner (ownable), it’s replicable and available. Finally, everyone agrees on what the state of the things in the database are (canonical) without a central party (decentralized).
It is this last point that really is the holy grail of blockchain. Decentralization is very attractive because it implies there is no single point of failure.
The Cost of Blockchains
- Development is stricter and slower
- Incentive structures are difficult to design
- Maintenance is very costly
- Users are sovereign
- All upgrades are voluntary
- Scaling is really hard
Centralization is a lot easier
Like it or not, the word “blockchain” has taken on a life of its own. Very few people actually understand what it is, but want to appear hip so use these words as a way to sound more intelligent. Just like “cloud” means someone else’s computer and “AI” means a tweaked algorithm, “blockchain” in this context means a slow, expensive database.“blockchain” is really just a way to get rid of the heavy apparatus of government regulation. This is overselling what blockchain can do. Blockchain doesn’t magically take away human conflict.
So what is blockchain good for?
Most industries require new features or upgrades and the freedom to change and expand as necessary. Given that blockchains are hard to upgrade, hard to change and hard to scale, most industries don’t have much use for a blockchain. a lot of companies looking to use the blockchain are not really wanting a blockchain at all, but rather IT upgrades to their particular industry. This is all well and good, but using the word “blockchain” to get there is dishonest and overselling its capability.
more on blockchain in this IMS blgo