Rapidly developing quantum computers will be able to crack blockchain-systems in 10 years from now, states a group of researchers from the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Quantum Software and Information. Their report Quantum Attacks on Bitcoin and how to protect against them estimates that the elliptic curve cryptographic signatures used in Bitcoin might be broken as early as 2027 by a quantum computer.
Quantum computers very soon will be used to break the cryptographic signatures of Bitcoin, in order to steal users’ funds without being detected, as these digital public key signatures are used in Bitcoin to prove ownership of units of the currency, note scientists. Researchers think that the cryptocommunity should be prepared for attacks on their digital assets.
“Many existing Bitcoin accounts and all new transactions will be at risk within ten years, so we need to start thinking about solutions now,” Dr Tomamichel says.
The researchers suggest using proofs-of-work such as Momentum, Cuckoo Cycle and Equihash instead of Bitcoin’s algorithm, as they proved to be more secure against attacks of faster quantum computers. Such proofs-of-work algorithms cannot be accomplished significantly faster with a quantum computer than with a classical computer, they assert.
The group of scientists suggests that using lattice-based signatures such as DILITHIUM will also help to save Bitcoin funds from being stolen by the quantum attackers.