August 17, 2022

Quantum breaking the encryption of Bitcoin?

Quantum breaking the encryption of Bitcoin?

Researchers in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands decided to explore two very different quantum problems: breaking the encryption of Bitcoin and simulating the molecule responsible for biological nitrogen fixation.

The team has especially described a tool they created to determine how big a quantum computer needs to be to solve problems like these and how long it will take.

Many of the most promising quantum advantage use cases will require an error-corrected quantum computer. Error correction enables running longer algorithms by compensating for inherent errors inside the quantum computer, but it comes at the cost of more physical qubits.

Simulation of relevant molecules is currently beyond the abilities of even the world’s fastest supercomputers but should be within the reach of next-gen quantum computers.

Bitcoin uses encryption based on elliptic curve digital signature algorithm which will one day be vulnerable to a quantum computing attack. The researchers estimated the size a quantum computer needs to be to break the encryption of the Bitcoin network to 30 [million] to 300 million physical qubits. (

The paper has been published in AVS Quantum Science.

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