Are Quantum Clouds Hovering Over The Horizons Of The Crypto Sector?

Discover the revolutionary power of quantum networks
Zuber Lawler

In terms of hype, ‘Quantum Computing’ stands right behind ‘Artificial Intelligence’.

Even so, it’s unlikely, no matter how much money Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft pour into quantum R&D, that they’ll create anything of use anytime soon.

Bussing anew over the horizons of overhype is the buss word ‘Cryptocurrency’. In recent study, scientists showed that quantum computers could break cryptocurrency encryption. Researchers are becoming increasingly concerned about current encryption technologies being able to withstand a growing sector of quantum computing.

Scientific journal AVS Quantum Science reported that researchers from the quantum computing company Universal Quantum in collaboration with academic institutions determined that a quantum computer with 13 million physical qubits can break Bitcoin encryption within a day, and one with 300 million qubits would break it within an hour. Additionally, quantum computers have been reduced in physical size by scientists.

Conversely, not everyone sides with the argument of quantum computing eliminating crypto fortunes just yet.

Crypto experts have already started working on developing quantum-proof coding. Remarkably, quantum computing and block chain technologies are also emerging at the same time. Cryptography post-quantum is already being considered by some programmers. The idea is to strengthen encryption that quantum computers can’t break, and experts predict success in this endeavor.

Cryptocurrencies operate on computer networks as a form of currency that is not dependent on any central authority, such as a bank or government. A computerized database with strong cryptography stores ownership records for coins.

Today, most cryptocurrencies provide public keys that serve as “crypto addresses” to which third parties can send their digital assets.

The private key that is derived from that public key is required in order to send a transaction from that address. The private key of someone with a compatible public key is easily identified, but it is currently impossible for someone with their public key alone to decipher the private key.

Denis Mandich, CTO of Qrypt, a quantum entropy start-up, told Lifewire that Bitcoin wallets are protected by the same public/private key pairs susceptible to all computers. “Classical computers can guess weak keys while quantum computers are able to calculate them. Once the private key is revealed, all the cryptocurrencies associated with the public key can be transferred anywhere and added to the blockchain.”

Blockchain and Bitcoin projects, for example, are actively developing quantum-resistant software. The Ethereum Foundation researcher Justin Drake discussed quantum resistance in Ethereum 3.0 at the StarkWare conference in 2019. However, that could be a while off. In terms of total value, Ethereum ranks as the second most valuable cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. The Ethereum project is now exploring post-quantum possibilities.

A recent announcement from the Hyperledger Foundation reported that its Ursa project has begun working on post-quantum cryptography, according to its executive director Daniela Barbosa. Hyperledger projects may use Ursa as a cryptographic software package.

When it comes down to it, cryptocurrency’s autonomous advancement suggests it will ultimately be efficient to surpass quantum computing’s challenges, says David Sacco, a professor at the University of New Haven.

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