Will This Quantum Computing Breakthrough Save Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency?

A new computing breakthrough may just save Bitcoin and cryptocurrency from powerful quantum machines that have the potential to breach public-key cryptography.

Researchers are following the development of a new measure known as lattice-based cryptography that promises to make crypto technology more “quantum-proof,” reports MIT Technology Review.

Lattice-based cryptography may neutralize the massive computational capabilities of quantum computers by hiding data inside complex geometric structures that contain a grid of infinite dots that are spread across thousands of dimensions. The security measure appears to be virtually impenetrable even with the use of powerful quantum computers unless one holds the key.

The emergence of quantum computing machines has grabbed headlines over the past few months as the technology poses a threat to cryptographic algorithms that keep cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin – as well as the internet at large – secure. The World Economic Forum explains how quantum computers can break current standards of encryption.

“The sheer calculating ability of a sufficiently powerful and error-corrected quantum computer means that public-key cryptography is ‘destined to fail’, and would put the technology used to protect many of today’s fundamental digital systems and activities at risk.”

MIT Technology Review says that while the current iterations are not yet ready for implementation, the solution is promising, especially as a post-quantum future is fast approaching. Ripple CTO David Schwartz says he believes developers have at least eight years until the technology, which leverages the properties of quantum physics to perform fast calculations, becomes sophisticated enough to crack cryptocurrency.

“I think we have at least eight years. I have very high confidence that it’s at least a decade before quantum computing presents a threat, but you never know when there could be a breakthrough. I’m a cautious and concerned observer, I would say.”

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