Authenticating content is of course not the only user of encryption online. As each year passes, encryption is used more and more widely. E-commerce makes up a huge 1,115 billion dollars globally this year and without encryption little of that would be possible. The use of encryption in messaging is the bane of authorities globally but is also seeing increasing use.
This is all possible thanks to maths and the way our computers calculate things. Quantum computing approaches solving these problems in a different way and will eventually mean that a whole new form of encryption is going to be necessary as current approaches would be able to be broken quickly. The bitcoin architecture relies on cryptography and would also need an overhaul.
Google and IBM are the current leaders in this space, but Microsoft recently announced a virtual quantum computing platform allowing anyone to create a virtual quantum computer at home with up to 40 qubits.
Think of qubits as a measure of how powerful a quantum computer is - but it isn’t directly comparable to other quantum computers that have been announced as Microsoft is taking a different approach, which it believes has an error rate 1,000-10,000 times better than the competition.
The pace of innovation is increasing and we are finally on the cusp of quantum computers that can outperform a classical computer for specific tasks. We are still not close to a general purpose quantum computer for the consumer but getting much closer to specific purpose quantum computers for academia, businesses and governments. With a hefty price tag to match.