Google’s latest quantum computing developments theoretically put Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies at risk, given the growing prospect of being able to use the technology to crack blockchains that rely heavily on cryptography.
While the crypto community reacted to last week’s leaked report claiming Google has achieved a major milestone in quantum computing, analysts say Google is far away from breaking Bitcoin.
According to Dragos Ilie, a quantum computing and encryption researcher at Imperial College London, Google would need more quantum bits (qubits) to crack Bitcoin, reports Forbes.
“Google’s supercomputer currently has 53 qubits.
In order to have any effect on bitcoin or most other financial systems, it would take at least about 1500 qubits and the system must allow for the entanglement of all of them.”
Spelling out the difficulties of scaling quantum computers, Ilie adds, “Don’t dump your bitcoins yet.”
“As you add more qubits the system becomes more and more unstable … [though] researchers can try different approaches for solving these issues so maybe there are ways to mitigate these problems but right now we are quite far from breaking bitcoin.”
Charles Hayter, chief executive of bitcoin and cryptocurrency data website, CryptoCompare, points out that cryptocurrencies are programmable, open to development, upgrades and even change to fight back.
“Cryptocurrencies can be updated with quantum resistant tech. This is just a continuation of the age old arms race between crackers and enciphers.”