With the advent of mature quantum technologies, many of the critical cryptographic protocols which secure the Internet, financial transactions and even military secrets may become susceptible to new attack vectors. For instance, while it may take a computer millions of years to decipher a public key’s corresponding private key, a sufficiently powerful quantum computer might achieve this in a reasonable amount of time. With this reality looming over us, many in the blockchain space worry that someone with access to a quantum computer might one day have the ability to steal their hard-earned crypto.
We’re joined by Ajay Prakash and Gavin Brennen, founders of the Qubit Protocol, a decentralized blockchain-enabled governance protocol that is meant to select and fund the best startups in the quantum world. As a co-author of the recent paper “Quantum attacks on Bitcoin, and how to protect against them,” Gavin walks us through the primary threats that quantum computing poses on Bitcoin. Among the major vulnerabilities are hashing functions and Elliptic Curve algorithms used for digital signatures, both fundamental components of Bitcoin, as well as many other blockchain protocols.
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