Bitcoin Could Be Hacked With Extremely Powerful Quantum Computers, British Researchers Say

Alex Dovbnya

UK researchers claim hacking Bitcoin with quantum computers could be possible in the future

Mark Webber, a quantum physicist at the University of Sussex, argues that breaking Bitcoin’s encryption could be possible with futuristic supercomputers, The independent reports.

For now, the flagship cryptocurrency is completely secure. Existing devices are nowhere near the size needed to hack Bitcoin.

Quantum computers use qubits instead of bits, allowing them to process infinitely more data compared to regular computers.

In November, US tech giant IBM unveiled a 127-qubit quantum computer chip, breaking the 100-qubit barrier for the first time.

Webber and his colleagues estimate that a quantum computer would need at least 13 million qubits to break Bitcoin’s encryption in a day.

Notably, the researchers believe that 300 million qubits would be “feasible” for quantum computers in the future, posing a threat to the largest cryptocurrency.

Our estimated requirement of 30 [million] up to 300 million physical qubits suggests Bitcoin should be considered safe from a quantum attack for now, but devices of this size are generally considered feasible and future advancements could further lower the requirements.

Webber believes Bitcoin could potentially perform a hard fork to become quantum resistant and solve its supercomputing problem in the future, but he also warns of network scaling issues.

The PhD researcher is convinced that the existing encryption techniques are not secure enough:

People are already concerned because you can now store encrypted messages and decrypt them in the future.

Bitcoin uses the SHA256 hashing algorithm, which was developed by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Bitcoin, which turned 13 earlier in January, has been incredibly resilient all these years. The late security expert Dan Kaminsky famous acquaintance that he couldn’t hack in 2013.

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