The announcement of Sycamore, Google’s quantum computer, raised the question that the processing power of the machine could end the bitcoin. How much is real about that?
First, let’s explain what this is about. The quantum computer (QC) is a super machine, capable of performing millions of processing per second. It would be considered the evolution of the uper computers in the processing capacity of complex processes.
Thus, one of the main differences of these machines lies in efficiency in random environments. One of them, for example, would be encryption.
Quantum computer and bitcoin mining
That said, given the advantage of large-scale processing, quantum computers came to appear among the bitcoin universe as a threat. Some international websites even reported the end of the bitcoin with the new machine.
However, the bitcoin expert and partner at MiningMath Associates, Narcélio Filho, explains that the news is unfounded. Two problems are pointed out by those who believe that QCs are a major threat: mining and security of the bitcoin network.
In the first case, the machine would be able to mine all currencies in a few seconds. However, the bitcoin network would undergo a difficulty adjustment. That is, it would gradually increase the difficulty of finding new currencies. In this sense, the risk would be to have a few thousand bitcoins mined in a few seconds. However, if we consider millions, as some pointed out, this would be very difficult.
In addition, Narcélio Filho explains that the risk of having a QC mining all bitcoins alone could be easily solved with a softfork. This is a change in the bitcoin code that could be made to disable mining with quantum computers like Google’s.
In this case, there could be a momentary centralization of the network, which could be annulled with a competing QC or softfork that withdraw the advantage of quantum computing.
After all, is there a risk to the Bitcoin?
Even presenting an enormous potential, quantum computing is a technology that is still in the testing phase, according to Google’s own scientists. We’re just at the beginning of the space race”, they said. In addition, if there is an increase in the processing capacity, errors in calculations would also grow. These possible errors are still being studied to assess the scalability of quantum computing.
For example, the current machine was disclosed as having 54 qubits, but in the presentation of the end of October only 53 has worked. To be really a threat to the bitcoin network, these machines would need to have at least 1,500 qubits.
Therefore, with this information, it is possible to say that the quantum computer presents no risk to the bitcoin, at least in the short and medium term. However, it is worth keeping an eye on the news of this sector and monitoring possible alerts for corrections in the code of the digital currency.