Google’s Quantum Computer Developments Raises Doubt On Bitcoin’s Security Over The Long Haul


Stories of Google having built a quantum computer in early September led to a number of debates on how long it will take before Bitcoin (BTC’s) encryption is finally cracked. In an uploaded photo on the official NASA website (which was taken down shortly), Google seems to have built a 53 qubit quantum computer and Bitcoiners are worried at the possibility of the highly secure crypto being cracked.

The google quantum computer is said to be able to complete complex calculations in 200 seconds in what would have taken the current most powerful supercomputers over 10,000 years to complete. Such power and speed has caused extreme fear amongst some quarters in the Bitcoin community.

A tweet showing Bitcoin community's fear of the enhanced quantum computing developments. (Source: Twitter)

The world’s first blockchain, Bitcoin, is secured by complex mathematical algorithms and encryptions that make it almost impossible to crack. Dragos Ilie, a quantum computing and encryption researcher at Imperial College London, spoke to Forbes on reasons why Google’s quantum computer is still a mile away from cracking Bitcoin’s encryption.

Quantum computers are totally different from current computers in that they store information in qubits instead of 1’s and 0’s bits. This allows the computer to calculate previously impossible calculations such as the spin of the electron.

Bitcoin still safe

Cryptography expert and well-known crypto tweep, Peter Todd, however, does not see the security of Bitcoin being broken anytime soon. In a tweet on the enhanced security and encryption of Bitcoin he wrote,

“It means nothing because Google's quantum breakthrough is for a primitive type of quantum computing that is nowhere near breaking cryptography. We still don't even know if it's possible to scale quantum computers; quite possible that adding qbits will have an exponential cost.”

To break BTC’s encryption, the quantum computers need to store 1100 qubits which means Google is still far off from breaking Bitcoin’s security. Ille said,

“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.”

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