Dec 05, 2020

Quantum Computing And Cryptocurrency

Allegedly, China has deployed the world's most powerful quantum computer, thus claiming the "quantum advantage" from Google. What does this mean for cryptocurrency?

Crypto is protected by cryptographic algorithms, whose strength relies on the fact current computing technologies are far too weak to crack them, i.e. derive a private key from the public key. Quantum computing power is measured in qubits, it is estimated a 4000 qubit quantum computer would be enough to crack bitcoin. The Chinese one, even if it exists and works, is not there yet. It is also devised just for one specific application, making it universal would not be an easy task.

However, it would be naive to assume quantum computers will not catch up to cryptocurrency encryption. More likely is a new cryptography arms race with cryptocurrencies either switching to stronger but less efficient encryption technologies or new, even more secure currencies taking over.