Quantum “Burglary” Could Annihilate Crypto
(BeInCrypto) Researchers believe that quantum computers can completely dismantle computer security as we know it. With such powerful data processing power, no code will take more than a moment to analyze. This means, quantum computers can read terabytes of data in just second and thus break cryptographic code.
Holding a superior calculating machine could give a person or a group an advantage in, or even control of, a network, putting the crypto mining industry under threat. CEO of the British cryptography company Post Quantum, Anderson Cheng, for his part, noted in a Decrypt interview that the crypto community should try to develop tools to stand up against quantum burglary. Otherwise, in his opinion, the destructive power of these machines could annihilate bitcoin.
Mining requires high-power equipment. Crypto asset miners use the computing power of their own computers to solve mathematical problems. Some run conventional computers, while others purchase special equipment for crypto mining called application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs).
Whoever solves the mathematical problem first gets the block reward, and the more powerful the computer, the higher the chances it has to solve the problem and get the reward paid in bitcoin (BTC). Sometimes miners join forces and solve problems together. The only downside — profit has to be split amongst the members of the pool.
But miners are scattered across the globe, and that is how the decentralization of crypto is achieved.
bank transactions and messages are encrypted with the help of the RSA algorithm. To break RSA would take a normal computer hundreds if not thousands of years. A quantum computer can break RSA cryptography in minutes.
The collective volume of calculating power that miners use on the Bitcoin network is called the hashrate. Thanks to the rivalry that the competition brings, the playing field is basically level. Everyone is working with basically the same equipment, at least proportionally.
But quantum computers are on a completely different level of calculating power. They can disrupt the balance. A quantum computer in the right hands could take 51 per cent of bitcoin’s hashrate, known as the 51 per cent attack. That would basically give the quantum computer owner total control over the cryptocurrency market.
A power grab like that would destroy the ability of the network to function properly and would block transaction confirmations.
Grabbing the majority of bitcoin’s hashrate, or the hashrate of other cryptocurrencies, which uses cryptography, could mean a crypto project’s ruin.
NOTE: The introduction to this article explains quantum computing as well as the recent quantum supremacy breakthrough in China.