Threat of Quantum Computing to Bitcoin Should be Taken Seriously, But there’s Enough Time to Upgrade Current Security Systems, Experts Claim
+ LocalBitcoins, a leading peer to peer (P2P) Bitcoin exchange, notes that with the advent of quantum computing, there have been concerns that this new technology could be a threat to existing online protocols. Some experts claim that powerful quantum computers might become a legitimate threat to the security of Bitcoin (BTC) and the current encryption algorithms that it uses.
At present, these algorithms are “almost impossible to break,” but quantum computers may “spell trouble to these algorithms in various ways,” according to LocalBitcoins.
+ They explained that the first one of these potential attacks aims to target “re-used” addresses. When a transaction is performed, your public key becomes visible on the blockchain or a distributed ledger technology (DLT) network. The LocalBitcoins team adds that knowing your public key, an attacker who’s using quantum computers may then use your public key to “derive” your private key. After they’ve determined what your private key might be, they can begin signing transactions on your behalf – which means they can also spend your Bitcoins or any other cryptocurrency.
LocalBitcoins clarifies that addresses that have not been used to send transactions are “quantum-safe because quantum computers can’t ‘read’ their public key.”
+ LocalBitcoins further noted that another possible attack is the “double-spend” attack. This “measures how fast a quantum computer can derive your private key from the already visible public key.” They pointed out that “if an attacker can do this before your transaction is confirmed multiple times in a block, you are essentially both trying to spend the same bitcoin, and the attacker wins.”
+ Industry experts predict that quantum computing machines may begin to break binary based encryption algorithms within the next decade unless there’s an unexpected mathematical or physical breakthrough before that.
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