Condensed matter physicist and quantum information expert Sankar Das Sarma stated in the MIT Technology Review that quantum computers are still very far from hacking RSA-based cryptocurrencies.
RSA-Cryptography uses algorithms, codes and keys to securely encrypt personal data without the intervention of third parties or intruders such as hackers. An example of a methodology in cryptocurrency is the creation of a new wallet that generates a public address and a private key.
Quantum security is seen as a major issue in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector, and it is widely believed that powerful quantum computers will one day become advanced enough to break modern cryptography. This could lead to the theft of billions of dollars worth of digital assets or to a halt in blockchain technology. There are many projects dedicated to the development of quantum proof cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
Sarma is currently director of the Center for Condensed Matter Theory at the University of Maryland and wrote his thoughts in an article for Technology Review earlier this week.
The physicist said he was “disturbed by the hype around quantum computing that I’ve been seeing lately” and considers the current state of the technology to be “an amazing scientific achievement” that, however, does not bring us any closer to having a quantum computer that can solve the problem. who cares.”
“It’s like trying to make the best smartphones today using vacuum tubes from the early 1900s.”
The physicist emphasized that simple factorization, in which “a quantum computer can solve the difficult problem of finding prime factors of large numbers exponentially faster than all classical schemes,” and a hacked cryptocurrency is currently far beyond the capabilities of modern computing power.
Sarma pointed to “qubits”, which are quantum objects such as an electron or a photon, which provide advanced capabilities for a quantum computer:
“The most advanced quantum computers today have dozens of decoherent (or “noisy”) physical qubits. Building a quantum computer capable of cracking RSA codes from such components would require many millions, if not billions, of qubits.”
“Only tens of thousands of them will be used for computation – the so-called logic qubits; the rest will be required for error correction, decoherence compensation,” he added.
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Although Sarma was hesitant to sound the cryptographic alarm, he did note that a true quantum computer “would have applications unimaginable today” just as no one could have predicted that the first transistor, made in 1947, would lead to laptops and smartphones. .this era.
“I really hope and believe in quantum computing as a potentially disruptive technology, but the claim that in the near future it will start generating millions of dollars in profits for real companies selling services or products is very puzzling to me.” he said,
Even though the danger is not far off, many firms are already making efforts to strengthen quantum security. Last month, it was reported that US banking giant JP Morgan released a study on a quantum key distribution (QKD) blockchain network that is resistant to quantum computing attacks.
Xx labs has also launched a blockchain which is claimed to be a “quantum-resistant and privacy-focused blockchain ecosystem.”