If you had a powerful enough computer, you could, theoretically, take control of the Bitcoin blockchain. You could credit your account with free Bitcoin or prevent others from making transactions. Since the private key to each wallet can be derived from a public key, you could access the Bitcoin wallet of whomever you wished. The keys to the $163 billion castle would be yours—of course, in that scenario, Bitcoin’s price would surely plummet as soon as its claims of invulnerability were found to be baseless.
Whereas even the most powerful supercomputer would take thousands of years to crack Bitcoin, there are machines that could, theoretically, do so in a matter of seconds. These ultra-fast devices are called quantum computers.
And they’re real—currently in development by some of the finest minds on the planet.
Some experts told Decrypt that it’s already too late for Bitcoin; quantum computers, developed in secrecy by governments, could corrupt the blockchain in just a few years' time.
But others, including some developers of quantum computers, say that the anxiety is farfetched and distant; by the time quantum computers become reliable and powerful enough to attack Bitcoin, blockchain developers will have already patched this vulnerability.
Want to know more? This comprehensive guide contains everything you need to know about quantum computers and Bitcoin.What are quantum computers?
Quantum physics involves the investigation of structures smaller than atoms. When looking at sub-atomic structures, the laws of physics go out the window and crazy things begin to happen. Quantum computers exploit those properties to perform calculations far fast...