In a YouTube video, quantum physicist Anastasia Marchenkova shares her two cents on the race to break encryption technology with quantum computers.
«Shor [quantum] The algorithm can break RSA and elliptical cryptography, which is a problem because a lot of our data these days is encrypted with these two algorithms. Quantum computers are not faster at all. They’re just faster at some issues and it turns out that this RSA and elliptical curve cipher falls under that umbrella.
But there are other encryption algorithms that are unaffected by quantum computers and we need to find them out, then implement them and put them into action before a sufficiently large quantum computer emerges. [Breaking cryptography] requires a huge amount of qubits, about 10 million estimated qubits. But it was one of the first discoveries about the practical applications that quantum computers can actually make.
[Quantum computing] harnesses quantum properties to factor numbers much faster, and that’s the heart of security behind RSA encryption. The consequences are that our data will no longer be secure if we have a sufficiently large quantum computer. So we’re going to have to do something about it.
Quantum computing recently grabbed the headlines as it poses a serious threat to crypto algorithms that secure cryptocurrencies and the internet. Quantum computers have the ability to solve complex mathematical problems because qubits or quantum bits can maintain “superposition” by being in two states at any given time.
Meanwhile, Marchenkova doesn’t think crypto holders need to find a way to immediately move their Bitcoin to a secure quantum wallet. But she believes anyone with crypto should be concerned and keep an eye out for the latest developments, as blockchains will one day need to be upgraded to protect against the rise of quantum computing.
“Yes, you should be worried. But not anytime soon. You don’t need to move your Bitcoin today to another quantum secure wallet… But in general, how do we upgrade the blockchain?
We can fork it off and go ahead and we’ll be fine assuming we find a good secure quantum algorithm. But what are we going to do with all the old coins or coins with all the private keys lost? Are we just going to say, “Sorry, bye, this part of the string will no longer be valid unless you move or re-encrypt it.” Where are we going to find new technology? “