February 5, 2023

After how many years does a quantum computer crack the blockchain?

After how many years does a quantum computer crack the blockchain?

When the CEO of Post Quantum, a London-based cryptographic company, Andersen Cheng said that a quantum computer can crack a blockchain in three years, he was not joking.

Cheng Post Quantum company worked onsecret counterterrorism projects for NATO, the UK Government Communications Center and the UK National Computer Security Center. Today, Post Quantum is the leading provider of counter-terrorism technology for the UK government.

In a comment for Decrypt, Cheng said that,using quantum computers, hackers can get the victim’s private keys and this ruins the entire system, because the blockchains do not have intermediaries who could determine that the attacker committed the transaction. He said:

“The whole world of digital currencies is based on trust in the security of signing private keys. If this trust disappears, then the price of your bitcoin will immediately be reset to zero. ”

Cheng’s term is far more intimidating than forecastsother specialists. Stuart Allen, CEO of IonQ, a quantum computing company, expects quantum computing could be a problem for the blockchain in ten years; Danny Ryan, a leading researcher on ethereum, gives an estimate of 20 to 30 years.

But Ryan and Allen are from the USA. This country, according to Chen, lags behind the rest of the world in quantum computing. When the U.S. allocated $ 1 billion for quantum computing research (late 2018), China spent $ 10 billion a year earlier. Referring to its sources in British intelligence - Britain, according to Cheng, is one of the leaders in quantum computing, - he said:

"I heard from a few people in my circle of friends [that quantum computing will become a threat] in less than five years."

Cheng explained that those who talk about quantumdecades later, make their assumptions based on what is known about commercially available quantum computers (such as Google’s Sycamore).

However, the real danger is secretgovernment projects that can be specifically designed to solve a specific problem (for example, encryption) without any commercial purpose.

“It could be a football-sized computera stadium hidden somewhere underground. Until he breaks the encryption, who will know? .. These guys will be silent. Why should they tell the world that they have developed a thing that can crack the connection between the US and the UK, or information about trading on the exchange, or bitcoin transactions ”, - he said.

By the time the whole world finds out about this, it may be too late.

Former US Navy Liaison Officer Rob Campbell says quantum threat is a top priority for national security agencies around the world.

“There is nothing more important. It's like a space race. ”, - he said.

Like Cheng, he now works in commercialindustry (at Med Cybersecurity), but his past experience suggests that “quantum excellence” was achieved long before Google announced.

Campbell points to NSA requirement to providequantum-robust solutions by 2015, and the billions of dollars that governments around the world are investing in quantum computing labs (for example, a $ 10 billion Chinese quantum lab).

The best blockchain protection against quantum computers- This is the development of encryption methods that will be resistant to powerful quantum computers. Now the US National Institute of Standards and Technology is holding a competition to develop such a method, but it may take years before a solution is found.