The Impact of Quantum Computing and AI on the Blockchain Technology

David Deutsch

Disclaimer?

I am putting this as a sketch. I hope by the end of the year the info we get on quantum computing and blockchain development will make things far clearer than they are now. However, this piece tries to envision some of the future of these technologies and how they may interact, because they do. Any other positions with proper argumentation are most welcome.

Quantum computing and the blockchain

The main security of the blockchain technology relies on big numbers, on solving Mathematical equations that take a long time to compute.

In its essence, quantum computing sends data at a quantum level (most likely to parallel universes from the quantum multiverse) and receives answers back. This insanely accelerates the computing power of a single machine, but there are limitations to other mainstream uses. Quantum computing does Maths damn well. In theory, a powerful enough quantum computer may be able to break the Bitcoin protocol and therefore collapse the whole Bitcoin economy.

Quantum computing is a yet unproven technology that may have a profound impact in proving the quantum multiverse theory as well. If it works, and we will find out this year most likely, this may prove the existence of the multiverse, so the bar is very high.

However, the impact on blockchain technology seems less important than the impact of quantum computing in other areas: if quantum computing can break the blockchain, think about other protected systems that are far easier to break.

Also, a protection is most likely to occur in the crypto world before quantum computing becomes cheap enough so that bad actors use it. I rate quantum computing as a C- risk. We have other, far bigger and closer risks that are hanging in our crypto space.

Protocols like Cardano (ADA) have “quantum resistant signatures” in their roadmap. The progress is at 50% at the time of the writing of this article and the technology is dubbed Bliss. Not enough information is easily found about what this means though.

Machine learning and the blockchain

While quantum computing is a security risk, machine learning and more developed, less narrow forms of A.I. will eventually make the blockchain obsolete for its most uses.

If a machine has cognitive capabilities to be able to at least manage the most basic forms of human trust, like currencies, the blockchain become obsolete as though intelligent machines will do transactions automatically on our behalf, even though they may require some security at first. If this happens blockchain will become completely outdated and obsolete, as most other technologies.

A.I. is an A+ magnitude risk for the blockchain long-term.

However, we are very far away from developing anything that may lead to what is called an A.G.I., so, contrary to statement from guys like Elon Musk, we are at least decades away from such developed A.I. forms, but machine learning can make some blockchain startups obsolete in a shorter time, but it is still far away.

Conclusion?

The biggest threat to the blockchain is in fact the lack of adoption. There is also the risk of bad country and state regulations. We also have the scammer and the speculators: the global IT startups financial bubble is growing, because a lot of money is put into IT technologies way before they actually solve a problem or provide a real service.

Both quantum computing and A.I. may have a negative impact on blockchain protocols and solutions, but in my opinion both are undeveloped as well and it will take a lot of time till they become a real risk, and it seems the quantum computing security risk is actually manageable.

We have other things to worry about.