Quantum processing and Bitcoin, according to Anastasia Marchenkova

In a video on her YouTube channel, Quantum physicist, Anastasia Marchenkova discussed the impact that quantum computers potentially have on Bitcoin.

While Bitcoin has a built-in design that protects it against entities using quantum algorithms to mine the coin at a rapid rate, Marchenkova is not worried that quantum computers pose a risk to the mining of Bitcoin.

“Let’s say one day we actually did discover a quantum algorithm that could solve this faster. Bitcoin is designed to adjust the difficulty if we mine blocks too fast. So even if we found this quantum algorithm, the difficulty would just get harder.”

However, she said, the processing power of these quantum computers could pose a serious risk to cryptographic algorithms which keep cryptocurrencies and the internet secure:

“There’s two common cryptosystems – RSA and elliptic curve encryption and these are affected by quantum computers. When you’re online, information that you send is encrypted, often with these two. Both of these are vulnerable to attacks by quantum computers which means a large enough quantum computer will be a problem for anyone online.

There actually is a quantum algorithm to break RSA and elliptic curve encryption. Bitcoin does use elliptic curve encryption (ECC) to generate the public key, which is created from the private key which authorizes transactions.

That means that someone with a large enough and coherent enough quantum computer, with coherence meaning the length of time the quantum information can be stored, can actually get your private key from your public key and that’s a very serious problem… That private key can then be used to authorize transactions that the owner doesn’t want to have happen. So as quantum computers become better and better, the security of RSA and elliptic curve is no longer effective.”

Although she considers quantum computing as a possible treath, Marchenkova does acknowledge that digital assets have the power to adopt new developments and defend itself.

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