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Quantum Morning Coffee - 2019/08/20

Featuring China, USA, US Air Force, the Navy, the Army...

August 20th 2019 | 1179 readers

Your press review from Quantaneo

Alain Peyrefitte wrote it in 1973 in his book "Quand la Chine s'éveillera", and after having become the world's factory, China decided to play the card of emerging technologies including quantum computing. Classical computing was invented in the United States, and it is actually manufactured in China. Quantum computing may well be invented in China, particularly in the military and telecommunications fields, and this is of great concern to American strategists.
The Washington Post profiles Pan Jian-Wei, a Chinese scientist trained in Europe, who would participate in the many government-funded quantum programs. He would lead a team of 130 researchers specialized in this field of quantum technologies. Large amounts of money would thus be offered to Chinese working in European or American laboratories to return to their country of origin and develop the technologies of the future. Last year, China reportedly filed twice as many patents on quantum technologies as the Americans, even though the Americans remain in the lead in quantum computing.
Among the solutions under development is a terrestrial and spatial communication network based on quantum encryption algorithms.
On the American military side, the Navy, Air Force and the Army are working collaboratively, as well as with some allies, on several quantum technologies, including a PNT (Positioning, navigating, and timing) system that could emerge in 2022, and eventually replace GPS systems.
There is often talk of the damage that quantum computing could do to encryption and security systems. But it is not always easy to put precise figures behind this alarmist information. The 2048-bit RSA keys, considered inviolable by a classical computer, could be broken in eight hours by a 20 million qubits computer. Such a power is still purely theoretical today, but what will happen in ten years' time?
Are the Bitcoin and the blockchains in danger ? Currently no, it would take about 50 times longer than the universe still has to live... to calculate the private key, based on the sixteen characters of a public key. We're quiet, so. No... because with a quantum computer, it would take ten minutes! In fact, no one knows anything about it, and everyone puts forward their own figures. The only certainty is that the companies must be concerned about this, but without panicking.

Philippe Nieuwbourg is an independent trainer and analyst, a specialist in data analysis for... Know more about this author

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