Joe Rogan briefly touched on cryptocurrency and the potential of Google's so-called "quantum supremacy" in a recent podcast with comedian Roseanne Barr. She prompted the brief discussion of crypto when she predicted the future economy will be cashless: "There's not going to be any more…
Joe Rogan briefly touched on cryptocurrency and the potential of Google’s so-called “quantum supremacy” in a recent podcast with comedian Roseanne Barr. She prompted the brief discussion of crypto when she predicted the future economy will be cashless:
“There’s not going to be any more money. I just don’t think there’s going to be any more money.”
That got Joe Rogan’s wheels turning, and he asked Barr if she had heard of quantum computing. Then he summarized the potential threat it poses to cryptos like bitcoin:
“This Google quantum computing thing– they think it’s a huge threat to cryptocurrency. I’m too stupid to understand whether or not they’re right. But what they’re trying to say is there would be no way to encode or encrypt this information that would keep it from this insane computing power they’re developing.”
Roseanne Barr didn’t miss a beat.
“Yeah there is. There’s a way to get around all of it…
She replied with total confidence that there are countermeasures to quantum computing. By way of explanation, she said “autistic people” can come up with solutions:
“I’m on the autism spectrum. And a lot of us autistic people, we just started talking to each other on the Internet quite a while ago. About like hey, let’s try to envision solutions to every day problems that actually people face, and that threaten them, and see what we can come up with. And there’s whole websites about it.”
Wouldn’t it be awesome if Roseanne Barr was Satoshi Nakamoto?
Watch the segment from the Joe Rogan Experience:
A Google paper regarding its quantum computing abilities was briefly published to a NASA website earlier this week. It was then taken down, ostensibly for further peer review before final publication.
The claim that worried some in the cryptocurrency industry was that Google’s quantum system can perform a computational task in 200 seconds that would take 10,000 years for a state-of-the-art super computer.
But not so fast– Roseanne Barr is right about cryptography. Using minimal computational resources, strong public key cryptography can create ciphers that even quantum computing cannot crack.
3Blue1Brown, a math YouTube channel created by Grant Sanderson, has an excellent explanation video entitled, “How secure is 256 bit security?”
In order to randomly guess a 256-bit hash, a key component that secures transactions for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, a computer would need to make 2^256 guesses on average.
Another way to say 2^256 would be 4 billion times itself 8 times, like so: (4 billion)(4 billion)(4 billion)(4 billion)(4 billion)(4 billion)(4 billion)(4 billion)
The amount of computing power it would take to crack this critical component of cryptocurrency just one time is staggering. 3Blue1Brown explains you could individually give each of half the people on Earth more computing power than all of Google’s conventional servers combined.
Then you could make 4 billion copies of this Earth peopled by individuals who each have more computing power than Google’s current entire server network combined.
And then you could have all 4 billion of these hypothetical, over-powered planet Earths all guessing with all they’ve got.
And it would still take 507 billion years (37x the age of the known universe since the Big Bang) just to get a 1 in 4 billion chance of correctly guessing the 256-bit hash.
It is the clever deployment of this property of mathematics that makes public-key cryptography so powerful. It’s easy to create a 256-bit hash. It’s functionally impossible to randomly guess it.
This article was edited by Samburaj Das.
Last modified: January 10, 2020 2:53 PM UTC