Quantum Computing – Risk for Cryptography And Bitcoin?

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Quantum computing may be the next big thing. The concept of quantum computing comes from the fact that unlike the bit in the classical silicon computer, which is basically a binary choice of either one or zero, a qubit (the core of quantum computers) will alternate between one, zero or a position of in-between these two. This new state is called “superposition”. According to Konstantinos Karagiannis, the Chief Technology Officer at Security Consulting at BT Americas, the qubit will be able to analyze all information and possibilities simultaneously, something that the regular computer cannot do. The major advantage of quantum computing will not be speed, but entering another dimension of analysis and access to data.

So, how can quantum computing crack bitcoin? One of the features of quantum computers will be cracking the Public Key cryptography or PK. This type of cryptography heavily relies on the factoring of large numbers, as currently performed by classical computers. This is a lengthy, time-consuming process, but with the advent of quantum computing, the PK cryptography should be a normal task. Thus, since Bitcoin’s structure (its blockchain) is based on Elliptic Curve Cryptography or ECC, which is in fact, a PK cryptography system that finds numbers on an elliptic curve. According to Karagiannis, a new modified version, known as Shor’s algorithm may find all ECC needed keys used by Bitcoin. What quantum computing can do is track the entire blockchain and thus get the private key for each person that transacts with Bitcoin.

Apart from that, with Artificial Intelligence and the constant innovations, we may soon find a world where there is a need to read everyone’s encrypted information in milliseconds, with in-depth analyses and more sophistication. At the Open Source Summit in Los Angeles, Karagiannis, quantum computing may be on its way to crack what we now know as modern cryptography.

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