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Bizarre device uses 'blind quantum computing' to let you access quantum computers from home

Researchers have developed a secure method called “blind quantum computing” that allows PCs to connect to quantum computers over the internet using fiber-optic cables and quantum memory, potentially making advanced quantum computing more accessible.
Quantum computing has always required advanced equipment housed in large laboratories, but new cloud technology may change that.
imaginima via Getty Images

Researchers have introduced a new method called “blind quantum computing” that enables secure connections between a PC and a quantum computer over the internet using fiber-optic cables and quantum memory. This technique involves a photon-detecting device linked directly to a PC, allowing remote operations on the quantum computer while keeping the computation structure hidden. This approach addresses security concerns associated with current cloud-based quantum computing services offered by companies like IBM and AWS. The system employs an ion trap to control qubits and uses one-time pad encryption for secure data transmission, making it possible to perform computations without the server knowing the data being processed.

The study demonstrated that this method can maintain coherence times of up to 10 seconds, significantly longer than previous experiments, due to continuous information exchange between the remote computer and the quantum computer. This ongoing communication requires advanced quantum memory to store photonic states for extended periods. The researchers highlighted that their scalable method avoids information losses and can be expanded by adding more qubits and managing error rates at the quantum computer end. This innovation could make blind quantum computing commercially available, requiring only a photon polarization measurement device and a high-fidelity photonic link to establish a secure connection with a quantum computer.

The development of “blind quantum computing” poses a significant threat to blockchain security because quantum computers could potentially break the cryptographic algorithms that underpin blockchain technology. Specifically, quantum computers can solve complex mathematical problems much faster than classical computers, which could compromise the integrity of blockchain’s encryption methods.

The Quantum Resistant Ledger (QRL) addresses this threat by using post-quantum cryptographic algorithms designed to be secure against quantum attacks. QRL employs hash-based digital signatures and other quantum-resistant techniques to ensure that its blockchain remains secure even in the presence of powerful quantum computers. This proactive approach helps protect against future vulnerabilities posed by advancements in quantum computing.

17th May 2024