MIT Review Says Quantum Computing Not a Threat to Bitcoin

By Robert Drage April 02, 2022 In Bitcoin, Blockchain, Crypto News

Quantum phenomena are strange things to wrap your head around, with the applications thereof even more so. Some believe that quantum computers will become advanced enough to break current cryptography, endangering trillions of dollars and the blockchains that secure it.

Quantum computing is said to be the next iteration of advanced computation that will completely blow conventional computers out of the water. Due to the nature of the technology, problems can be solved orders of magnitude faster than on a regular computer.

A Looming Quantum Threat?

Theoretically, a quantum computer can ‘easily’ solve the problem of finding the prime factors of large numbers exponentially faster than any classical scheme. This would make these computers exceptionally good at prime factorisation, which is at the heart of breaking the commonly used RSA-based cryptography.

However, building a quantum computer that could crack RSA codes would require many millions, if not billions, of qubits. This means that cracking cryptography is currently way beyond the scope of current computing power.


Quantum Computers Still a Long Way Off

In an article written for Technology Review, Sankar Das Sarma – a condensed matter theory physicist and quantum information expert – states that some of the hype and speculation around this revolutionary technology has “disturbed ” him.

When fully realised, quantum computers stand to change the world in ways we can barely even imagine, but at this stage we are “no closer to having a quantum computer that can solve a problem that anybody cares about. It is akin to trying to make today’s best smartphones using vacuum tubes from the early 1900s,” Das Sarma writes.

Currently, the most advanced quantum computers have dozens of decohering qubits, nothing remotely close to the possible billions required to crack RSA cryptography:

I am all for hope and am a big believer in quantum computing as a potentially disruptive technology, but to claim that it would start producing millions of dollars of profit for real companies selling services or products in the near future is very perplexing to me.

Sankar Das Sarma

Even though the problem lies in the distant future, some projects have already started preparing for the threat quantum computers might pose. In 2020, for example, Australia’s CSIRO and Monash University started working on a “quantum-proof” blockchain protocol.

Robert Drage

Robert Drage

Robert is a freelance researcher, with a background in information science currently interested in blockchain technology and technical developments in the field.

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