Cryptocurrency mining is an extremely energy-intensive activity, the use of quantum computers can reduce its energy needs by as much as 90 percent in the future.

In order to create new coins of cryptocurrencies and to certify transactions, computer systems make intensive calculations, which consume extremely high energy. Some networks, such as Ethereum, have switched to less energy-intensive techniques, but bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, still consumes 0.5 percent of the world’s electricity.

According to Gavin Brennen, a researcher at Macquarie University in Sydney, adapting quantum computers to mining cryptocurrencies could be difficult, as the computational speed of such machines could make the proof-of-concept process of, for example, bitcoin too easy to solve.

According to Brennen, the search is for a way to use quantum devices and be faster and more energy efficient, but at the same time they want it to not distort the consensus dynamics too much. “Such distortion can affect the value of cryptocurrencies,” notes Brennen.

Brennen and his team have proposed using a quantum computer called a boson sampler to create a new cryptocurrency network. Boson sampling is a restricted model of non-universal quantum computation introduced by Scott Aaronson and Alex Arkhipov after the original work of Lidror Troyansky and Naftali Tishby, that explored possible usage of boson scattering to evaluate expectation values of permanents of matrices.

Source: New Scientist