Does Quantum Computing Threaten the Blockchain Industry?

Akhilesh Agnihotri
Akhilesh is an engineer and research subordinate working with thecoinrepublic.com as a part of the research team and do research work on Cryptocurrency and Blockchain. His curiosity in research and writing brings him to thecoinrepublic.com, He believes writing is all about expressing the thoughts with words and spread information backed by well-researched work.
  • Theoretically a Quantum computer with qubits over 4,000 can crack cryptocurrency encryptions.
  • These machines can record 1 and 0 at the same time. Conventional computers can only read either 0 or 1 at a time. The quantum computers could reverse run this algorithm and acquire the private key.
  • A competition created by the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) to create a Quantum proof encryption code.

Quantum computing has the potential to crack the encryptions behind blockchain-based cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Theoretically a Quantum computer with qubits over 4,000 can crack cryptocurrency encryptions. The encryption technology used in Bitcoin can collapse in seconds with an advanced Quantum computer. The recent quantum computer has the highest qubit of 54 bits. This is a pressing issue because the birth of a blockchain-cracking computer may take only two years. 

If someone has a sufficiently robust computer then hypothetically the Bitcoin blockchain can be easily controlled. Free Bitcoins could easily transfer to accounts as well as trading could simply be prevented. These computers aren’t out of Sci-fi movies. They are currently being advanced by some of the brightest minds. 

What exactly are Quantum Computers? 

The word quantum means the tiniest possible unit of a system. It is a Latin derived word. Quantum computers use these properties to perform calculations and functions faster than supercomputers. These machines can record 1 and 0 at the same time. Conventional computers can only read either 0 or 1 at a time. 

Theoretically, Can quantum computers crack the Bitcoin code? 

Bitcoin uses a digital signature algorithm called ECDSA. This uses SHA-256 to hash blocks on the chain and randomly generate public keys. Thus, these hash blocks used as a public Bitcoin address. The quantum computers could reverse run this algorithm and acquire the private key. Two major quantum algorithms have already developed- the Grover and Shor algorithm. 

Is a Quantum-resistant blockchain possible? 

A competition created by the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) to create a Quantum proof encryption code. The blockchain would have to develop algorithms that cannot be cracked by these emerging computers. If not, I would have to work on a secure algorithm from scratch which would be quantum-resistant. 

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