University Of Sussex Researchers Express Worries over BTC and Quantum Computing

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Bitcoin
University Of Sussex Researchers Express Worries over BTC and Quantum Computing

Despite the efforts of BTC developers to enlighten people on how BTC works and why it is safe from manipulation by quantum computers, some think otherwise. Yesterday, researcher Mark Webber and his colleagues expressed that BTC might fall at the hands of Quantum computers.

Researchers Warn that BTC is Unsafe from Quantum Computers

Yesterday, an article was published explaining that the researchers at the Univerity of Sussex have come to determine that BTC is not safe from quantum computers. Mark Webber, a graduate of Sussex and the loan Quantum Technology Group has confirmed examining the SHA-256 coding algorithm. The NSA introduced the algorithm in 2001 and is also applied in BTC mechanisms. Secure Hash Algorithm 2 (SHA-2) is a cluster of cryptography hash functions developed by the NSA. One of the constituents of this cluster is the SHA-256, which is applied in the BTC algorithms. BTC works relatively simply; miners verify all transactions before they feature on the ledger. The transactions bear unique cryptography keys, and if these keys are accessed, they expose all BTC holdings. Webber also argued that IBM’s supercomputer, the most powerful one, may crack the BTC algorithm. This supercomputer has 127 available Quantum bits (Qubits). He added that that computer might also be too small for the task. He explained that other researchers have concluded that only a supercomputer with over 317 million Qubits could do the job in an hour. He added that for the hack to be stepped up to ten minutes, the supercomputer involved must process at least 1.9 billion Qubits. Webber and his colleagues also urged developers to improve the encryption technique as the future may bring surprises.

Why Quantum Computers and BTC Queries Have Risen

Crypto enthusiasts are worrying about the potential of quantum computers; however, BTC developers are giving reassuring reports. They have said that no available computer in any production phase can break the BTC algorithm. However, there are some concerns regarding cryptocurrency and its vulnerability to supercomputers. One of the tools that can manipulate such vulnerabilities is Shor’s Algorithm. This algorithm breaks down the encryptions that use factoring to provide data security. One such encryption technique is the RSA encryption method. This method uses prime factoring to secure data and may not be very safe in the future. Even though the Shor Algorithm looks intuitive, it cannot break down BTC’s SHA-256. The most efficient computer to do the task is less efficient than its theoretical expectations. The Shor algorithm would also fail to break other cryptocurrencies since most use the Elliptic curves encryption method rather than RSA. However, huge quantum computers with enough qubits could break elliptic curves faster than  RSA encryption. Another vulnerability lies in the use of Grover’s Algorithm, where a supercomputer can use it to hasten the mining process. The increased mining pace may largely manipulate the prices of the coins, but no available computer can achieve that. Given that developers have these vulnerabilities in mind, they will develop post-quantum encryption methods by then. Therefore, it may still be too early to worry about the safety of cryptocurrencies in the quantum computing era.
Wayne Jones

Wayne is an all-rounded cryptocurrency writer who has written for several publications in the fintech industry. Having graduated from the University of Essex Colchester, he developed a passion for blockchain technology and has been curious about how the blockchain can modify the traditional financial industry.