April 30, 2018
by Sharon Moran
I’ve had experiences in my life that have included what I would call a retrocausal aspect. It’s possible that what I experience and interpret from a retrocausal framework could be experiences that are merely conveying a degree of synchronicity. But even the mention of synchronicity is something many people don’t find to be noteworthy or valid. The way that individuals perceive circumstances is highly individualistic, and anyone who has experienced retrocausal events in their lives knows exactly what I’m talking about.
Based on my preoccupation with quantum mechanics, retrocausality, and a separate interest in blockchain technology, I began to contemplate what the intersection of these could look like: a quantum blockchain. And guess what? It didn’t take long after considering these possibilities to discover others were already ten steps ahead of me. As crazy as it sounds, a quantum blockchain has already been done. Well, sort of.
Quantum computing poses a threat to blockchain security, and two researchers at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand claim the solution exists within the technology itself. Del Rajan and Matt Viser published their findings in a paper earlier this month titled Quantum Blockchain using entanglement in time.
TechCrunch has explained it in layman’s terms, better than I could ever distill it down for my readers. With a heavy background in philosophy of science, I tend to forget terminology that might need to be explained further for a first time reader. Their article does a good job of focusing on the basics.
Some companies are already trying to minimize the threat of quantum computers here. IBM claims to have one solution that I previously wrote about: lattice cryptography.
Essentially, the biggest threat to current blockchain technology is the future availability of quantum computers. A quantum blockchain, though, would be resistant to this threat because attempting to alter the blockchain would alter past recorded entries, invalidating its history.
This mind-bending quantum time-stamping is evident in this quote from the paper’s abstract, “It is shown that entanglement in time, as opposed to an entanglement in space, provides the crucial quantum advantage. All the subcomponents of this system have already been shown to be experimentally realized. Perhaps more shockingly, our encoding procedure can be interpreted as non-classically influencing the past; hence this decentralized quantum blockchain can be viewed as a quantum networked time machine.”