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Researchers estimate power of quantum computer to crack bitcoin

Researchers estimate power of quantum computer to crack bitcoin

Quantum computers should become about a million times more powerful to be able to crack the SHA-256 hashing algorithm that protects bitcoins. That's what New Scientist writes.

Graduate student Mark Webber of the University of Sussex, UK, and his colleagues investigated what kind of quantum computer in terms of the number of qubits it would take to decrypt a transaction's cryptographic key.

"A transaction is open and a key is associated with it. There is a finite window of time during which it is vulnerable. The window varies, but it's usually 10 minutes to an hour, maybe a day," Webber explained.

The research team estimated that it would take a quantum computer with 1.9 billion qubits to break bitcoin encryption in 10 minutes. With an hour of time the figure drops to 317 million units, even with 24 hours it is 13 million.

Considering that the most powerful quantum computer on the market is the 127-cc model from IBM, so far these devices do not pose a threat to cryptocurrency.

In the world of traditional computing, Moore's law states that the number of transistors in a microchip chip doubles every two years. But in quantum computing, Neven's law replaces it. According to empirical observations of the German scientist, the power of quantum computers grows by a double exponential function.

By comparison, such a trajectory in conventional computing would have given us modern desktops and laptops back in the 1970s.

According to Neven's law, over time quantum computers will reach powers that pose a potential threat to bitcoin encryption. However, Webber believes this will not happen in the next 10 years.

Recall that in 2021, IBM entered into an agreement with the British government worth £210 million to create a center for quantum computing and artificial intelligence.

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