Should bitcoin be afraid of Google’s quantum computer?

Should bitcoin be afraid of Google's quantum computer

Last month, Google scared the bitcoin world. They claimed to have built a quantum computer with which they can solve mathematical calculations at an unthinkable speed. And that could mean a bitcoin safety hazard.

Based on a deleted message from NASA

The Financial Times wrote that the first details about this supercomputer from Google were published on a NASA website. But the publication was quickly removed.

In theory, Google’s quantum computer would only need 200 seconds to make calculations, which would require a current powerful computer for 10,000 years. If you are so crazy about using that expensive quantum computer to crack bitcoin, you could still be successful in theory.

Bitcoin, cryptography and coding depend on complex mathematical problems and the basic principles form the basis of trust in the internet and digital communication.

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Not just bitcoin, the entire internet is at stake

Billy Bambrough from Forbes writes that a quantum computer like Google’s is strong enough to not only jeopardize the viability of bitcoin, but even turn the foundation of the entire internet upside down.

Bitcoin grows with it

But as always, some nuance is appropriate. Because it is not inconceivable that bitcoin will grow with the latest technological developments. There is a lot at stake if bitcoin would not do that.

“Cryptocurrency’s can be updated with quantum-proof technology,” says Charles Hayter, CEO of bitcoin and cryptocurrency data website CryptoCompare. “This is just a continuation of the age-old arms race between hackers and programmers.”

Quantum computer still in its infancy

It is also important to know that the development of quantum computers is gradual. The computer that would be described on the NASA website is not nearly strong enough to be a threat to bitcoin.

“Google’s supercomputer currently has 53 qubits,” says Dragos Ilie, researcher in quantum computing and encryption at Imperial College London.

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What are qubits?

Now it becomes a bit technical, so hold on: Qubits, or quantum bits, are the basic units for measuring how much and how quickly a theoretical quantum computer can calculate. For example, the polarization of a photon or the spin of an electron is measured. Normal computers process data in binary, as a series made up of the numbers 1 and 0.

“To have any effect on bitcoin, a quantum computer would need at least 1500 qubits, and the system must also be able to handle it,” said Ilie. He says that scaling quantum computers is still a huge challenge.

Bitcoin certainly not in danger

“As you add more qubits, the system becomes more and more unstable. Researchers can come up with different solutions for this, so there could be a way to tackle these problems someday. But at the moment we cannot crack bitcoin. “

Ilie concludes with good advice: “In short, you don’t have to dump your bitcoin.”


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