Quantum Computers Could Jack Your Crypto Private Key in 10 Years, Researchers Say

Quantum computers are coming and encryption – including the kind used to underpin cryptocurrencies – is in trouble, researchers say.

That’s according to researchers at the National University of Singapore and colleagues who have estimated how soon the computers might be able to break bitcoin’s security. Based on the most aggressive estimates for the advancement of quantum computation, private keys might be cracked as early as 2027, their paper says.

Bitcoin encryption today is ensured by the difficulty of cracking its code using existing computers, but quantum computers will theoretically be able to work much faster because they are not constrained to working with bits (values that are either 0 or 1). Quantum computers use qubits, which take advantage of the very strange ways subatomic particles behave to contain more values (or even two values at once).

As first reported by the MIT Technology Review, the researchers investigated quantum computers’ application against both mining pools and using the machines to attacks private keys. Miners will be safe for longer than wallets, the researchers contend…

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