Using a Quantum Blockchain to protect blockchains from hacker attacks
A new study by Matt Visser and Del Rajan, theoretical physics scientists at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, found that its recently proposed “quantum blockchain” promises to protect blockchain systems from quantum computer hacking. The two researchers believe that this new type of quantum blockchain has a time-machine-like feature that influences past records when it is self-explanatory. The quantum blockchain system will be able to withstand hacking attacks from quantum computers.
A blockchain is a type of database that is responsible for keeping records about the past—for example, financial or other transaction information—making sure that every node in the network can reach a consensus and does not require the central authority to maintain its accuracy. The most famous application of blockchain is undoubtedly bitcoin, but currently, all types of startups, corporate alliances, and research projects are also actively exploring other potential applications of the technology.
Physicist Del Rajan pointed out that it is expected that by 2027, 10% of the total global GDP will be able to be stored in blockchain technology.
However, the blockchain itself is facing another kind of imminent threat – a quantum computer. Traditional computers use transistors to turn on and off as 1 and 0, respectively. Quantum computers use qubits as the basic unit. Because quantum physics has a series of surreal properties, qubits can be in superposition – both 1 and 0.
The superposition state means that the same qubit can be calculated twice at a time, and after the two qubits are docked by the so-called entanglement quantum effect, 2^2 or 4 calculations can be performed simultaneously; the three qubits are 2^3 or 8 times calculate, and so on.
In theory, the 300 qubit quantum computers will be able to perform instantaneous calculations that exceed the sum of the number of atoms in the universe, which means that a powerful set of quantum computers will be able to successfully crack all kinds of achievements in the traditional cryptography field, including Blockchain.
Today, New Zealand researchers have proposed a quantum blockchain designed to defend against quantum computer hacker attacks. All components in this system have been experimentally verified.
Rajan said, “The old blockchain has been able to combine with quantum computing, but the blockchain itself has not been quantified. We are currently launching the first fully quantized blockchain solution.”
Quantum blockchains also theoretically rely on entangled states. When two or more photons and other particles are intertwined, they will influence each other no matter how far away they are – Einstein calls it the “Spooky Action at a Distance”.
Quantum computers and other quantum technologies often rely on spatial entanglement, and this new quantum blockchain relies on temporal entanglement. In other words, there is always an association between two or more particles, no matter how far apart in time.
Regular blockchain stores record in chronologically arranged blocks. If a hacker attempts to tamper with a particular block, all new blocks generated after that block will be invalidated.
In quantum blockchain, each record in a block is encoded into a series of intertwined photons. The blocks are connected by time entanglement in chronological order.
Since the blocks that make up the quantum blockchain are transmitted within the quantum computer network, the photonic blocks will be created by the quantum computer, and photons will then be absorbed by other nodes. However, since these photon entangled states are connected in a time-dependent manner, each photon exists both at the same time and does not exist.
Rajan explained that records of past transactions are encoded as a quantum state that changes over time.”
In this case, hackers will not be able to tamper with any previous photon-encoded records because these photons are at the current time. They no longer exist because they have been absorbed by other nodes. Hackers can only tamper with the latest encoded photon, but this will invalidate the latest block while notifying other nodes that the network is hacked. Rajan said This design is more secure than a standard blockchain with the potential for theoretical tampering.
The researchers pointed out that under the support of time entanglement design, measuring the last photon in a block will affect the first photon of the block. Essentially speaking, the current record in the quantum blockchain is not only related to the previous record but also related to all previous records, and the current record no longer exists. Matt Visser, a theoretical physicist and senior author at Victoria University in Wellington, pointed out: “This work is equivalent to creating a quantum timepiece.”