In this decade, a new digital currency was introduced to us, called Bitcoins. They changed how we used to see money and will probably change how we will see money in the future. New technology is something that is constantly changing our world in different ways. Quantum computers are also not very behind schedule on their technological advancements. We might come to a point where cryptocurrency would cease to exist because of Quantum computing.
The first question that comes to mind after reading Bitcoins and Quantum computers in the same sentence is that, how? How will this new technology change the digital currency? Will we no longer have the bitcoin circuit? We have the answers to these questions and many more that might come to your mind.
What are Quantum computers?
The computers that we know and use nowadays are just a part of what Quantum computers are capable of. They are currently being used in academic institutions and certain companies because of their cost and advanced technology. In the near future, this know-how will become more accessible to us which is why quantum computers pose a threat to the cryptocurrency world. They are very powerful computers which have the capability to break most of the encryption schemes being used in today’s technology.
How would Quantum computers affect cryptocurrency?
The meek reason quantum computing will affect cryptocurrency is that the technology that bitcoins use today will become vulnerable when quantum computers are made more accessible to us. The knowledge used by them today relies on encryption where a private key controls a network at the end, keeping all funds safe.
All the private keys used in this system are extremely difficult to even guess with the kind of expertise we have today. When quantum computers come into play, they can easily get access to these keys with their advanced algorithms. This is when user funds would not be protected like they are now.
One would think, why can’t we update the technology of the cryptocurrency as well? In future, the mainstream system used today would be updated but at the cost of larger block sizes. The fact that cryptocurrency is a technology of today and that it will become something of the past comes above all.
Would mining still be possible?
Most of the cryptocurrency system is related to mining. The cryptographic problems that miners take a lot of time to solve in return for block rewards would become much easier if the user has access to a quantum computer. In a normal scenario, bitcoins are not controlled by one user so, one single user can’t gain power over the network.
In the other setting where anyone user has a quantum computer, he/she would be able to quickly solve these problems and probably expose the network to an attack. Although Quantum computing becoming more accessible would probably result in more than one user having access to a quantum computer. For this reason, mining might not be as affected as the entire cryptocurrency.
Is there a Quantum computing resistant technology today?
It is not all bad when it comes to Quantum computers and bitcoins. The only thing that can help is that the cryptographic world would have to adapt with the new technology in order to stay put. It might not be a big deal for the ones who have been working with a Quantum resistance from the beginning itself. There are a few systems that can resist the new technology that would come in.
Changing technology now is a difficult task to manage. The complex quantum-resistant schemes are hard to break, but they are not very hard to develop if the thought of from the beginning. There is no requirement for a specific quantum computer as well for this to be implemented. The only reason, some altcoin developers are safe today because they had thought of something like this before they developed their schemes.
Is internet security at risk?
Bitcoins are a small part of the digital world we live in. There’s a lot that we access on the internet on a daily basis. A question also arises, would it be safe to use the internet anymore, with such powerful computers coming in? The answer is definitely no but quantum resistant technology is also being developed alongside the Quantum computing itself.
Companies like Google are putting in the effort to text these Quantum resistant technologies on their level to ensure that internet security is improved when things become vulnerable at the hands of the new technology. Truth be told, this is something that will keep happening. We will always have new things coming, and more schemes would be developed in order to combat the new technology.
As far as cryptocurrency is concerned, the benefits of the Quantum resistant technology being developed, are not confirmed. Hacking into the network of bitcoins is also not an easy task, so it is not as bad as it might seem. Quantum computing is still something that exists in the third world and takes a lot of effort to carry out today as well. Hence, just getting access to a Quantum computer will not change the bitcoin system entirely, but will surely affect it in many ways, alongside many other aspects on the internet.