Samson Mow, the CSO at Blockstream, recently addressed one of the biggest threats to the Bitcoin blockchain – Google’s Quantum Supremacy at the Litecoin Summit in Las Vegas. He explains why one mustn’t panic, but also focused on the building resistances against the tech.
On Wednesday last week, Google published a paper in the issue of the science journal Nature claiming quantum supremacy. The new quantum computers threaten the secure encryption of Bitcoin transactions by its tremendous computing power. Co-incidentally, Bitcoin plummeted about 13% the following day.
There is plenty of noise on the internet, which finds a strong correlation between the drop. Google claims that its computers solved a random number generation problem in 200 seconds that would take an ordinary computer 10,000 years. Bitcoin’s hashing encryption works out a similar mathematical problem that limits double-spent and block time. Hence, it seems only logical that Google could disrupt the undisputed ledger.
Not a chance. These computers came out a month ago. As I understand, they’re not nearly strong enough to crack Bitcoin.
Similarly, Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, tweeted that it is just a phenomenon and “still far from directed use toward useful things.”
At the Litecoin Summit currently underway, Samson Mow goes on to explain the phenomenon and why it won’t be a threat to Bitcoin ever.
The power or the capability of the quantum computers is measured in qubits. Google says it has built a 53 qubits system. This is quite impressive but still not enough. Mow told at the crowd at the conference that,
“We’re at 53 qubits now but we would need about 3,000 and then another million to do something meaningful.” He also added, “In the time that we develop quantum computing ASICs will advance as well.”
Furthermore, if need be, even Bitcoin’s protocol can be made quantum-resistant by implementing changes in the protocol through a soft fork. Hence, technical experts would take these measures without inducing any changes in the market or Bitcoin’s utility.
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