Mainstreaming Quantum Computing: security risk to Cryptocurrency?


The race to achieve quantum supremacy is increasing rapidly to boost computing power. The quantum computer holds great promise for driving significant advances in the IT field, such as by solving problems around computing. 

In the past several years, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies have achieved some technological milestones. However, some technical flaws may allow future technologies such as quantum computers to exploit blockchains and cryptocurrencies.

According to experts, quantum computing will significantly increase security risks for digital currency like cryptocurrencies. So what will happen to cryptocurrencies when quantum computers become mainstream?

Quantum leap by Google

In 2019, Google’s Sycamore quantum computer became the first 54-qubit chip computer in the world. Researchers at Google revealed that Sycamore could process a mathematical condition in 200 seconds that would have taken a supercomputer ten millennia to calculate. 

Specialists believe this breakthrough may be a precursor to the eventual development of quantum computers and that quantum supremacy might appear sooner than thought.

Quantum Supremacy

Quantum supremacy is the ultimate goal of all the developments in quantum computing. As quantum computers develop beyond their research facility limits, they will start solving numerical conditions that were previously impossible. As a result of such advances, quantum computers are, assumed to replace classical computers in the future.

While quantum computer advances will certainly influence modern innovations such as blockchains and cryptocurrencies, progress in such areas is still at its early stage. 

The United States National Security Agency estimated in 2016 that quantum computers would not pose any danger to encrypted data for a long time. But some specialists still believe that the quantum computing risk will arise a lot early.

Security of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

According to many studies, quantum computing progress doubles every eighteen months. As a result, blockchain and cryptocurrency professionals must start preparing for the future of quantum supremacy.

Quantum computing will have a significant impact on how data is stored and managed. It will also impact the digital currency and other developments that rely on computerised cryptographic marks for information security.

For example, experts agree that as quantum computing becomes more widespread, clients in positions to secure cryptocurrency algorithms should adjust their public and private keys. Currently, the security of public keys on blockchain exchanges relies on elliptic-curve cryptography (ECC).

Elliptic-Curve Cryptography (EEC)

Elliptic-Curve Cryptography is a data encryption technology based on the numerical elliptic curve. It is used all around the world to ensure that only certain people can decode and understand papers. Despite this, experts concur that Elliptic-Curve Cryptography is not quantum-safe because of the complexity and difficulty of implementing ECC that increase chances of error.

Secure Hashing Algorithm 256

A hashing algorithm is a numerical capacity that compresses data into smaller, more manageable chunks. The hashing system is a single-direction information encryption approach, which means that each hash formed is irreversible and unique. 

Can a safe hashing algorithm, such as Secure Hashing Algorithm 256, be hacked if a quantum computer can break the ECC calculation using the public location abandoned by a client spending money from their wallet? While a public key is the advanced indication of a wallet’s location, according to Bitcoin enthusiast Andreas Antonopoulos, the wallet’s location is determined by a double hash developed by the Secure Hashing Algorithm 256, making it more difficult to hack. ECC and SHA-256 are two security protocols used by digital currencies like Bitcoin.

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