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未来十年,区块链与加密货币都要被这种技术淘汰

其他国际资讯

未来十年,区块链与加密货币都要被这种技术淘汰

金融科技领域有很多复杂的概念,比如AI(人工智能)、AGI(通用人工智能)、ASI(超级人工智能);机器学习和深度学习;区块链、共享账本和分布式账本技术;加密货币、虚拟货币和数字货币;开放银行和开放应用程序界面;等等…

以上我所列的这些,如果把它们陈述给银行的董事会,试问有几个人能清楚理解概念、了解相互区别并知道如何应用于银行业务?

我估计找不到。又回到我的老观点,银行的董事并不必须都是技术性人才,但最好至少有一个或几个是。

现在我们又开始讨论量子计算技术了。量子计算并不是0或1,而是同时可以既是0又是1。已经看不懂了吧?

简单来说,量子电脑的工作单位不是字节,而是量子比特,即利用可以处于叠加状态(两个及以上量子状态叠加以创造另一状态)粒子。所以粒子的数值可以是0或1,也可以既是0又是1。这样一来,电脑就可以处理和储存多很多的信息同时能量消耗小得多速度又大幅提高。比如,2016年谷歌和NASA的一组科学家创造了一台比传统电脑快1亿倍的量子电脑。此外,已经有研究者们使用极短的光脉冲通过半导体传导电子,这些极短的光脉冲可以用来制造比如今快10万倍的电脑。

与此同时,许多科技公司也开始了量子计算研发,目标是2030年前打造量子互联网。量子互联网将和今天的互联网有本质性区别;现在互联网利用无线电报传输数据,量子互联网将使用更快更便宜的量子信号。世界经济论坛表示,中国去年发射了世界首个量子通讯卫星,之后一直在测试太空与地面站点之间发送纠缠光子的极限。他们还成功使用量子记忆存储信息。中国计划在八月末部署完成量子通信网络来支持北京-上海网络。

量子计算对银行业同样重要,因为它可以在十年内取代区块链、分布式账本和数字身份识别技术。量子网络通过量子加密可以极其安全地传送数据。这一技术让银行和公司可以在量子网络中传输"无法被黑"的数据。量子加密使用一种名为量子密钥分配的机制,加密信息和他的密钥为分开储存。试图篡改该信息会导致其自动销毁,而发送者和接受方会收到销毁提醒。

显然,这里要解决的问题与区块链试图解决的一样:一个可以信任的无法被篡改的交易账本。Waters Magazine曾引用美国一投行CTO的一句话说:"量子比特将把区块链技术吹走。"此外,该杂志还引用Dun&Bradstreet咨询公司首席数据科学家Anthony Scriffignano的言论称"我们应该认真重新思考加密技术以及依赖于加密技术的东西比如区块链。在量子世界中,所有高度复杂性的事物都需要重新思考。"

硅谷银行副总裁Natalie Fratto曾在《财富》杂志的一文章中表示,区块链就像是走在迷雾中的导航工具,而量子计算则是直接开直升飞机穿过这片迷雾。你会使用哪个?

啊呀!我们才刚刚开始进行区块链概念验证,区块链就已经淘汰了…吗?

不过,QxBranch CEO Michael Brett也指出,"十年内应该都不会出现一台非常先进足以快速解开区块链类型加密谜题的量子计算机。但是,那时区块链技术应该已经发展成熟能够抵御量子技术或者吸纳量子算法。"

据了解,澳大利亚Commonwealth Bank和UBS正在和QXBranch一起实验量子科技(而后者拥有一个量子模拟器)。

量子技术会杀死区块链技术吗?等着看吧。

除此之外还有另一个问题,那就是量子货币会杀死加密货币吗?

Stephen Wieser在1960年代晚期创造了量子货币概念。半个世纪后,科技和对于量子机制的理解大幅跃进,真正打造量子货币的可能正处于研究中。

量子计算能够让我们铸造一个不可伪造不可再产的货币,因为你不能复制你不知道的东西,如果你想读取这一信息你也不会得到正确答案。这就是量子状态的独特特质。另外一种理解此状态的概念模式是将量子状态想象成永远处于流动中,只有你提出了正确的问题你才唯一有可能获得正确答案。基本上,这个量子铸币厂可以保有所有答案,然后成为系统背后的中心核验机制。

这一点显然对央行等中央化机构有利,这也许也是为什么量子货币可能比加密货币更快普及。

现在明确的是,即使量子计算还有10-15年才主流化,银行也应该关注它的发展。正因为如此,摩根大通和巴克莱成为了IBM Q 网络的创始成员。这样他们可以及早获得IBM量子计算发展成果并能够测试这些技术以分析它们将怎样影响交易战略、投资优化、资产选取和风险分析。

 

I know that we deal with quite complicated things in financial technologies. AI, AGI, ASI (Artificial Intelligence, Artificial General Intelligence, Artificial Super Intelligence); machine learning and deep learning; blockchain, shared ledgers and distributed ledger technologies; cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies and digital currencies; Open Banking and Open APIs; and so on and so forth.

In fact, the list I’ve just written, can you point me to members of your banks’ board who can articulate what these things are, how they differ and how they apply to your bank?

Thought not, but then that’s my old mantra that banks’ board members don’t all need to be technologists, but at least one must be and ideally a few.

Anywho, this is all about to get a whole lot more complex as quantum computing is being discussed. Quantum computing doesn’t work in binary 1’s and 0’s, but can be in either or both states at the same time. See? I’ve confused you already.

Basically, a quantum computer doesn’t work with bits but with qubits using particles that can be in superposition (two or more quantum states added together to create another state). This is why particles can take on the value 0, or 1, or both simultaneously. The reason that this is important is that it will allow computers to process and store far more information with far less energy and far more speed than current state computers. For example, in 2016, a team of Google and Nasa scientists found a quantum computer was 100 million times faster than a conventional computer. Elsewhere, in a step towards quantum computing, researchers have guided electrons through semiconductors using incredibly short pulses of light. These extremely short, configurable pulses of light could lead to computers that operate 100,000 times faster than they do today.

This is important as many technology firms are developing quantum computing to move towards a quantum internet by 2030. A quantum internet is different to today’s internet in a fundamental way, in that today’s internet uses radiowaves to transmit information; a quantum internet uses quantum signals that are far faster and cheaper to implement. According to the World Economic Forum, China launched the world’s first quantum communication satellite last year, and they’ve since been busy testing and extending the limitations of sending entangled photons from space to ground stations on Earth and then back again. They’ve also managed to store information using quantum memory. By the end of August, the nation plans to have a working quantum communication network to boost the Beijing-Shanghai internet.

This is important in banking because it could displace blockchain, ledger and digital identity developments within a decade. This is because the quantum internet would excel at sending information securely through what is known as quantum encryption. This technology enables banks and businesses to be able to send “unhackable” data over a quantum network. This is because quantum cryptography uses a mechanic called quantum key distribution (QKD), which means an encrypted message and its keys are sent separately. Tampering with such a message causes it to be automatically destroyed, with both the sender and the receiver notified of the situation.

This is obviously something that hits the same issue that blockchain is trying to fix: a tamperproof ledger of transactions that can be trusted. For example, Waters Magazine quotes a CTO of US investment bank, “Qubits would blow away blockchain technology”. They go on to quote Anthony Scriffignano, chief data scientist at consultancy Dun & Bradstreet: “We need to seriously rethink encryption and seriously rethink things that rely on encryption, like blockchain. Anything that is heavily dependent on complexity needs to be reconsidered in a quantum world.”

In another article on Fortune, Silicon Valley Bank Vice President Natalie Fratto believes that blockchain is like a navigational tool through a maze on the ground, whilst quantum is like navigating the same maze using a helicopter. Which would you use?

Blimey! Just as we get to grips with taking blockchain proofs of concept into production trials, it’s already dead …

… or is it?

Waters also quote Michael Brett, CEO of QxBranch, who believes that “it will take a very advanced quantum computer, something on a scale we won’t see for at least a decade, to come close to rapidly unlocking blockchain-type cryptographic problems. By then, blockchain technologies will have matured to be quantum resistant or incorporate quantum algorithms into their problems.”

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and UBS are experimenting with quantum technology with QxBranch, which has a quantum simulator.

So will quantum kill blockchain or not? We will see.

There’s another question here though: will quantum currencies kill crypto currencies?

Stephen Wiesner gave birth to the idea of quantum money in the late 1960s. Half a century later, technology and understanding of quantum mechanics has increased dramatically such that practical developments of quantum money are being researched.

This is because quantum computing allows us to create an unclonable, unreproducible minted currency due to the unique properties of quantum states, where you cannot copy what you don’t know and if you try to read it, you will not get the correct answer. Another way of conceptually thinking about it is that the quantum states are constantly in flux, and the only time the correct answer is given to you is if you present the right question. Essentially, the quantum money mint can hold all the answers, and thus be the central verification unit behind the system.

This last point is clearly favouring centralised institutions like central banks, and may be a good reason why quantum money takes off faster than cryptocurrencies. Having said that, there’s already a company out there resisting the change by combining blockchain and quantum computing to create a Quantum Resistant Ledger (QRL). Their mission statement:

The Quantum Resistant Ledger (QRL) will be a first of its kind, future-proof post-quantum value store and decentralized communication layer which tackles the threat Quantum Computing will pose to cryptocurrencies.

It is clear that, even if quantum computing is ten to fifteen years away from becoming a mainstream technology, it is something that banks need to be watching. This is why JPMorgan Chase and Barclays became founding charter members of IBM’s Q Network. This gives them access to IBM’s quantum computing developments early, and allows these banks to test and see how such technologies might impact trading strategies, portfolio optimisation, asset pricing and risk analysis.

Another space to watch in our never-ending spaces to watch.


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