- There have been warnings about how quantum computing could break Bitcoin, and now an expert has described it as a pressing issue.
- It has been speculated, however, that most Bitcoins are “safe” from quantum computing attacks as they no longer use the p2pk address format.
As regulators have cracked down on Bitcoin in parts of the world, hackers have infiltrated trading and storage platforms, and altcoins continue to shrink its market share, Bitcoin could have an even bigger problem. Quantum computing threatens Bitcoin more than ever, an expert says, and the industry urgently needs to address it.
Quantum computing has been in development for about three decades now, with governments and some of the world’s biggest companies such as Google and Microsoft investing billions of dollars in it. And it’s coming of age. This new computer age is replacing traditional computer bits with “qubits” capable of processing information at a much higher speed. As a perspective, researchers say that within a decade, quantum computers will be fully functional and capable of breaking everything from your cell phone’s encryption to email addresses and, more worryingly, Bitcoin addresses.
David Williams, the founder of quantum crypto company Arqit, calls on the cryptocurrency industry to urgently address this problem or risk the biggest problem yet. David’s company is expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in the coming month through a SPAC acquisition.
He told Forbes:
Quantum computers, which are expected to be up and running by around 2026, will easily undermine any blockchain security system because of their power. We need a little more urgency.
Related: Ripple CTO: Quantum Computers Will Be A Threat To Bitcoin And XRP
Is Quantum Computing As Bad As It Is Said?
This Pandora’s Box cannot be ignored, especially with advancements in the field. Google, for example, recently announced that its scientists had created “micro-scale time crystals for years to power ultra-powerful computers,” as the Washington Post reports. This, according to UC Berkley’s Narman Yao, is “a stop on the road to building a quantum computer.”
Charles Hoskinson, the co-creator of Ethereum and creator of Cardano issued a warning earlier this year. He claimed that if developers can switch to post-quantum algorithms, it will slow down blockchains considerably (and Bitcoin isn’t exactly fast even in its current state).
Blockchains are indeed fundamentally flawed if they ignore the coming quantum era. The adults in the room know what’s coming.
Other experts have also issued a warning. Duncan Jones, head of quantum cybersecurity at Cambridge Quantum Computing, said:
If this is not resolved before quantum computers pose a threat, the impact would be massive. Attackers could create fraudulent transactions and steal currency, as well as potentially disrupt blockchain operations.
And if you think it’s just fear, Thorsten Groetker assures you it’s not. Groetker, a leading global expert in this field, is the former CTO of Utimaco, one of the largest companies in the field that has worked extensively with Google and Microsoft in this area.
“If I were scare-mongering… I would tell you that among the first types of digital signatures that will be broken by quantum computers are elliptical curves, as we use them today, for bitcoin wallets. But it would happen if we do nothing, ”he told CNBC.