Quantum researchers at the University of Sussex have recently calculated the time needed for a quantum computer to crack Bitcoin’s (CRYPTO: BTC) code.
What happened: Mark Webber and his team of quantum scientists have been investigating Bitcoin’s SHA-256 coding algorithm that was first used in the early 2000s by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).
According to the scientists, the world's most powerful quantum computer, IBM’s supercomputer with 127 qubits, is currently far from cracking the SHA-256 algorithm. Their calculations show that a 317 million qubit computer would need at least one hour to break Bitcoin’s encryption, but to execute a 10-minute hack, a 1.9 billion qubit quantum computer would be required.
“The transactions get announced and there’s a key associated with that transaction,” Webber said. “There’s a finite window of time that that key is vulnerable and that varies, but it’s usually around 10 minutes to an hour, maybe a day.”
See Also: What is Bitcoin (BTC)?
According to Webber and his colleagues, Bitcoin will be safe until an ultra quantum computer appears, which they say is unlikely for at least a decade. But in the long run, “we need to change our encryption techniques, because in the future, they’re not secure,” Webber said.
Photo: Courtesy of Richard Patterson on Flickr
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