Some experts believe that blockchain technology and quantum computing could shape the future. Blockchain technology provides decentralized transactions, but quantum computers could be potentially harmful for it.
Lots of people are interested in Bitcoin and several investors are starting to pay attention to it. At the moment, Bitcoin arrived at new all time highs with a price per coin of $8200 dollars. During this year the price increased from $960 up to the price we have today. During the next year, Bitcoin is expected to break all the possible records and to keep expanding.
But at the same time, quantum computing experts are thinking that this technology could hack Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Quantum computers can easily put in danger the Bitcoin network security.
“Bitcoin have two important security features that prevent them from being stolen or copied. Both are based on cryptographic protocols that are hard to crack. In other words, they exploit mathematical functions, like factorization, that are easy in one direction but hard in the other, at least for an ordinary computer,” explains the MIT Technology Review.
In this way, it is difficult for today’s computers to crack blockchain technology. But Quantum computers could do it in the future.
Cryptography in Danger with Quantum Computers
Is Bitcoin secure from quantum attacks? According to Divesh Aggarwal, from the National University of Singapore, the threat to Bitcoin is real and imminent.
“If a group of miners controls more than 50 percent of the computational power on the network, it can always mine blocks faster than whoever has the other 49 percent. In that case, it effectively controls the ledger,” says Mr. Aggarwal. “That creates an opportunity for a malicious owner of a quantum computer put to work as a Bitcoin miner. If this computational power breaks the 50 percent threshold, it can do what it likes.”
But the problem is not arising now or in the next year. At the moment, Bitcoin mining is done by application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). This kind of hardware is expected to maintain a speed advantage over quantum computers over the next ten years.
“We find that the proof-of-work used by Bitcoin is relatively resistant to substantial speedup by quantum computers in the next 10 years, mainly because specialized ASIC miners are extremely fast compared to the estimated clock speed of near-term quantum computers,” says Aggarwal reported by MIT Technology Review.
But there is another threat much more dangerous. Bitcoin has a special cryptographic security that allows only the owner to spend it. This is based on the same mathematics used for the public keys encryption schemes. The receiver can verify that the owner possesses the private key. With conventional computers it is difficult to hack this system, but quantum computers are able to do it easily. These powerful computers are able to calculate the private key just using the public key.
Other systems that use encryption schemes are vulnerable to quantum computers. Many are starting to get worried about this situation but ten years could be enough to be prepared for it.
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