Market Research, Opinions

Can Quantum Computers Break Bitcoin By 2030?

By Stephen Carter


Reviewed by: Stephen Carter

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Quantum Computers Vs Bitcoin

The one question that seems to have laid the seeds of doubt in the minds of many investors regarding the future of Bitcoin has been whether the introduction of quantum computers will break Bitcoin.

Let us look at how to answer this question with regard to the details that we gather about quantum computers, Bitcoin’s working, and opinions from experts as well as laymen.

How does Bitcoin’s network work?

Bitcoin’s algorithm makes use of a cryptographic algorithm that’s called the SHA-256.

The letters in ‘SHA’ stands for Secure Hash Algorithm. The SHA-256 belongs to the family of SHA-2 algorithms

The SHA-256 encryption algorithm works within the Bitcoin network to protect the data ledger containing details of all the assets and their owners.

Every Bitcoin transaction takes place by sharing an encryption key between the transactors. If the key has been compromised a third party could essentially change the ownership of a Bitcoin.

This is the root cause for concern for many who talk about the impact that Quantum Computers could have on Bitcoin.

The concern raised surrounds the possibility of Quantum Computers cracking the encryption code and potentially putting Bitcoin assets under siege.

Quantum Computers with Bitcoin

How do Quantum Computers work?

In simple terms, Quantum Computers make use of qubits as their basic unit of information to run different kinds of processes and algorithms at the same time thus making extremely complex and time-consuming tasks much easier to solve.

The increase in qubits makes the quantum computer faster and more powerful in its working

Quantum computing is expected to bring along significant and radical changes in a wide set of industries including Finance, Healthcare, Cybersecurity, etc.

Let us now look at what the experts in the field of encryption, Quantum computing, and Bitcoin technology have to say about the concerns relating to quantum computing breaking Bitcoin.

Opinion from the Experts

The first commentary on this topic comes from the Sussex scientist Mark Webber whose explanation on the topic can be summarised to say that the concerns seem to be reasonable but far-fetched for its real-time manifestation.

In the commentary, he talked about how the Bitcoin encryption cryptographic key has been known to be vulnerable for a period of time.

This period of time, as quoted by him could vary from 10 minutes to an hour or even a full day.

The specification for a quantum computer that would be capable of achieving such a task in 10 minutes would however have to close in next to 1.9 billion qubits of information.

This is relieving news considering the fact that currently, the most potent quantum computer, which is developed by IBM boasts only about 127 qubits.

Now, let us look at the opinions of the community based on the same topic

Opinion from the community

Many of the crypto analysts took a more pattern-oriented approach for their analysis of this situation.

Many of the community members talked about the stretched-out development timeline of quantum computing over the years.

They compared it to their long wait since 1980 for the introduction of the first practical computer, the first practical nuclear fusion power, and many of the other users used similar analogies such as flying cars and robot assistants.

The key outtake and common factor that we can find from most of the answers from the community revolves around the gap between the predicted time of actualization and the real-time actualization that we see with many of the technologies of such sort.

Furthermore many were quick to point out how much of a game-changer the quantum computers would be not just for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies but also for the wider financial market and encryption technology as a whole.

The argument that was made points to the chance that the technology would not be a threat just to the Bitcoin network but to the other networks and systems that exist as of now including the stock markets, major computer ecosystems, and any field that uses public or private key encryption.

The Bottom Line

Looking at all the data that were presented in the section above it seems pretty clear that a sudden breakthrough leading to the cracking of the Bitcoin network through the introduction of quantum computing seems unlikely. 

Factors such as the side-by-side evolution of Bitcoin technology and other methods to prevent such attacks alongside quantum computing seem to be an aspect that people overlook in a conversation like this.

The other reason to invalidate the concern is the fact that the implementation of such a radical change will be threatening to a lot of industries and the whole of cryptography so much to believe that such a move would most likely never happen without measures taken to lessen its negative impacts.

Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a software technology expert. He writes about market research on various hot topics like cryptocurrencies, explaining how they started. He's good at making complicated tech ideas easy to understand for everyone.

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