The debate over quantum computing is popping up due to Google and NASA researchers creating the first computer that has achieved quantum supremacy, meaning it can perform a specific but non-useful task faster than the world’s top supercomputer. Specifically, the quantum computer performed a task in 200 seconds that would take the world’s top supercomputer 10,000 years to perform.
This has re-ignited fears that one day quantum computers will be strong enough to break through top encryption algorithms, which could theoretically cause all
Dr. Baird compares this situation to Y2K, saying “like Y2K; yes, we had to make some changes to
Indeed, as Dr. Baird points out, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) is holding a contest to find the best new encryption algorithm, and Dr. Baird thinks that
However, it is debatable as to whether quantum computing is no threat at all. Even Dr. Baird admits quantum computing will one day be strong enough to crack the cryptography of
It remains to be seen if any classical computing algorithm will be strong enough to withstand quantum computers, since there may come a point where quantum computers are becoming exponentially more powerful. Ultimately, quantum cryptography may be the only long term answer, and that would require everyone to have quantum computers.
The question then becomes, how long will it take for the public to have quantum computers and therefore access to quantum cryptography, after the first quantum computers are made which can crack top classical encryption algorithms?