Although it may not seem like it, quantum physics can help in several ways in the future with the development and further refinement of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Therefore, it is good to know the basics of quantum physics. So let’s take a look at them.
What is quantum physics
Quantum physics is a set of physical theories that, together with the theory of relativity, completely redefined the foundations of classical physics in the last century. It concerns the smallest, so-called elementary particles. Interestingly, although both theories have been mathematically and experimentally proven, they cannot be combined into a single entity – a theory of everything. Quantum physics assumes that certain measurable quantities change in multiples of quantities – in quanta. For this reason, a state is described by a state vector and not by quantities as in classical physics. Another basic principle is that we can describe everything as waves.
Within quantum theory we distinguish between quantum mechanics and quantum field theory.
Schrödinger’s cat, or quantum mechanics
A concept that many of you have probably heard of. The example of Schrödinger’s cat is used to illustrate the problem of applying quantum mechanics to objects we know from classical life. This is why quantum mechanics is used to describe micro-objects that we cannot see. And it is quantum mechanics that we will be interested in next.
Quantum mechanics in the PC
The quantum computer is still a theoretical model at the moment, although we already have information about quantum chips that should be functional. But there are still many problems to be solved before quantum computers can be used every day like the ones we use now.
Classical computers work because of bits that store information as zeros and ones (true and false). In quantum computers, the information is described by qubits. Bits can only represent one of two values, while qubits can be a combination of both values (true, false, or a combination of both), and to get the correct result, its state is described using probability amplitudes.
This means that the computer does not just read ones and zeros, but probabilities, from which it then forms information. However, a very positive feature is the enormous speed-up in computation. Thanks to quantum mechanics, such computers can evaluate information very quickly. The reason? They can evaluate all the possibilities at once and not sequentially as classical computing systems do.
Quantum entanglement is a very mysterious connection. Most quantum computer or internet experiments use photons to transfer information – because it is an elementary particle, so it is suitable for reading and writing information.
When you quantum decompose a beam of blue (blue light is chosen because of its higher frequency) light – for example, in a special crystal, you get red (lower frequency) entangled particles. These entangled photons of light can store encoded information that can be used further. But the best feature is the so-called “one mind” that these particles share. In theoretical terms, you can have one part of the pair with you and the other in another galaxy, and when you change the information in one, the other part immediately knows about the change.
And how do cryptocurrencies fit into this?
Very simply. We can divide quantum mechanics into several segments for cryptocurrencies:
Mining could become a lot easier, or conversely a lot harder. It’s hard to guess what exactly would happen and how current cryptocurrencies would handle it. But one thing is clear – quantum mining would take its place in the sun and miners would struggle to adapt to it.
Quantum encryption is a whole other level. Information that is encrypted now could be decrypted very quickly by a quantum computer in the wrong hands. On the other hand, we could have hyper-securely encrypted information where we wouldn’t have to worry about any eavesdropping. This is true both in ordinary conversation on the Internet and in sending money or cryptocurrencies.
New cryptocurrencies and exchanges
Quantum mechanics and possibly a working quantum computer would work wonders for new cryptocurrencies. These new cryptocurrencies and exchanges would be very secure and it would be virtually impossible to steal someone’s money.
Sending it anywhere – instantly
Last but not least, if you were to send someone an amount of cryptocurrency, the recipient would know about the amount credited immediately, in theory even if they were on another planet.
In summary, many positives arise from the combination of cryptocurrencies and quantum mechanics. However, we still have a very long way to go in discovering and stabilizing quantum computers, the quantum internet, and other things that are a long way from using qubits on a daily basis.