While reviewing various types of consensus mechanisms and the suitability of quantum computing in business, say the organizations, the research has shown that the inherent constraints faced by classical distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) known as the "blockchain trilemma," or the notion of improving all three fundamental attributes of blockchain – speed, security, and size - at once could be broken by quantum technologies, thus increasing potential business usage. For current blockchains, a longer time is required to reach a consensus for highly secure DLTs, and increasing the speed of consensus leads to lower security.
The findings from the research follow an earlier Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the organizations in 2019 to develop a Proof of Concept (POC) to investigate the characteristics of quantum computing for DLTs. The report focused on studying quantum algorithms that could augment blockchain technology in the area of robust large-scale consensus.
The result findings from the research project include:
- Quantum and classical consensus take a similar number of rounds to agree on the same value, meaning that with a quantum internet, big data such as social media and IoT information could be used for consensus and not be limited to the few hundreds of financial transactions of current blockchains. This would likely benefit many areas of financing including trade finance and the under-banked.
- Quantum consensus has more variation than classical and can take longer or shorter times to achieve consensus, potentially speeding up consensus if the shorter times are engineered to be selected.
- Real quantum computers need careful configuration and noise mitigation, and this will take time to become commercially useful. Furthermore, there is much more work needed to connect quantum computers to quantum networks.
The research report has been vetted by the Blockchain Association Singapore (BAS) and the findings were shared at a BAS webinar titled "Enterprise Blockchain in the New Decade." Following the joint research, the organizations say they will continue to forge partnerships in the areas of innovation and building talents for the digital economy.
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