Will Quantum Computing Spell the End of Bitcoin?
As previously mentioned in the Financial Times, Google claims to have built the world's 1st Quantum computer. This grants Google the greatest computational power ever seen, and makes super-computers look old-fashioned & obsolete.
Google's researchers have posted a paper on a NASA website before getting removed or deleted. In the paper that was published, the capabilities of Google's quantum computer's power were revealed. The quantum processor has been rumored to perform a calculation in three minutes and 20 seconds, that would take today's most powerful super-computer "Summit" roughly 10,000 years.
"This dramatic speed-up relative to all known classical algorithms provides an experimental realisation of quantum supremacy on a computational task and heralds the advent of a much-anticipated computing paradigm," claimed Google's researchers
As with Moore's law which claims that "the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years", one can expect quantum computers to advance at an accelerating pace.
Bitcoin & Google's Quantum Computer
According to Google's post, the quantum computer used had a 53-qubit processing power. This essentially means that it could hypothetically crack 53-bit encryption in a matter of seconds.
Hypothetically this could mean that Bitcoin's 256-bit encryption might be obsolete in a few years.
For the time being, Google's computer can only perform a single highly technical calculation at a time. In addition to that, quantum computers are still years away from being able to solve practical problems.
It does seem that in the years to come, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will need a security upgrade or fork. If not, quantum computers could hypothetically be used to crack private keys to wallets. Old legacy wallets, such as Satoshi's cache of Bitcoin could be at risk.
Written by Jonathan Ganor
Writer & cryptocurrency aficionado