Quantum Computers Are Not a Threat To Bitcoin (Yet), Expert Explains

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Andreas Antonopoulos, a Bitcoin advocate, and expert Bitcoin technologist said in the recent interview that a quantum computer would not pose any threat to the Bitcoin (BTC) network, provided that technical updates and developments don’t stagnate.

A Question on Bitcoin’s Security

Bitcoin is the first successful decentralized digital currency for transferring value, and it currently has a market capitalization of $929 billion USD during press time. Presently, it’s believed that BTC transactions or networks cannot be compromised by an adversary, thanks to blockchain, which is the technology behind every cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin. 

In the future, however, some claimed that Bitcoin security could be cracked using a more complex and powerful system, like quantum computers. Such a computer is capable of breaking the mathematical difficulty and key cryptographic protocols used in securing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Antonopoulos spoke on this, saying that a quantum computer would possibly break into the BTC network only if quantum-resistant updates weren’t made to the Bitcoin network. 

Are Quantum Computers a Threat to Bitcoin Security?

I don’t think so. Not in the short term simply because we don’t have a quantum computer capable of breaking Bitcoin’s key size. In the medium to long term, possibly, but only if Bitcoin development stagnated, and there weren’t upgrades to quantum-resistant signature algorithms.

Antonopoulos answered.

Quantum computers can only impact Bitcoin’s key signature algorithms, not the hashing. This is because BTC ASIC mining machines are extremely fast compared to the estimated clock speed of near-term quantum computers, meaning that hashing is more robust compared to quantum computers. So, upgrades are needed for the BTC key signature algorithm, “if/when quantum computers get fast enough,” Antonopoulos added. 

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