Technology

Could quantum computing bring down Bitcoin and end the age of crypto?

Quantum computers will eventually break much of today’s encryption, and that includes the signing algorithm of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Approximately one-quarter of the Bitcoin ($168bn) in circulation in 2022 is vulnerable to quantum attack, according to a study by Deloitte. Cybersecurity specialist Itan Barmes led the vulnerability study of the Bitcoin blockchain. He found the level of exposure that a large enough quantum computer would have on the Bitcoin blockchain presents a systemic risk. “If [4 million] coins are eventually stolen in this way, then trust in the system will be lost and the value of Bitcoin will probably go to zero,” he says. Today’s cryptocurrency market is valued at approximately $3trn and Bitcoin reached an all-time high of more than $65,000 per coin in 2021, making crypto the best-performing asset class of the past ten years, according to Gemini’s Global State of Crypto report for 2022. However, Bitcoin’s bumpy journey into mainstream investor portfolios coincides with major advances in quantum computing.

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