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Australian computer scientists make quantum computing breakthrough

Computer scientists from Sydney, Australia, have announced a breakthrough in quantum computing by designing the world’s first integrated circuit computer created at an atomic scale.

The computer created by Australian tech startup Silicon Quantum Computing was designed by building an integrated circuit using atomic components in silicon, Australian news platform SMH reported on June 23. 

Notably, the latest breakthrough comes almost a decade after the startup declared that researchers had fabricated the world’s first single atom transistor.

Possibility to emulate nature

The latest innovation has possible use cases like the creation of efficient solar panels, drugs, and creating entirely new materials and fertilisers to boost agricultural output. In general, the computer can make elements just like nature. 

For instance, there is a possibility of creating efficient artificial photosynthesis and high temperatures to manufacture drugs and solar cells.

Additionally, the invention seeks to solve the perennial problem of classical computers that have struggled to simulate relatively small molecules due to a significant number of atoms. 

However, with the quantum integrated processor, customers can construct specific quantum models for different new materials, potentially some of which have never existed. 

Quantum computing sees large-scale investment 

Interestingly, governments globally and leading tech firms have heavily invested in quantum computing as a part of solving current world problems. 

Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC) founder Michelle Simmons stated that the invention could be commercialised in about five years.

“This has never been done before and nobody else in the world can do it. It is a hugely exciting result and what is even more exciting for us is having done that, we have seen that classical roadmap and that we know the commercial devices that are within the next five or six years,” said Simmons.

Threat to cryptocurrencies 

Notably, the potential of quantum is also likely to find use cases in the cryptocurrency space with experts noting that the devices might be available within a decade. 

As reported by Finbold, the scientists noted that quantum computers might have the capability to crack cryptographic encryption that protects mobile phones, bank accounts, email addresses, and Bitcoin wallets

Based on this possibility, several market experts are singling out the technology as a threat to Bitcoin. For instance, the Peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange platform LocalBitcoins suggested that quantum computers might penetrate cryptographic algorithms which secure Bitcoin. 

The team warned that the computers might target used Bitcoin addresses and access the private key. 

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