Posted on December 2, 2021 at 7:45 PM
A Chinese top cryptographer stated in an Asian Times webinar that more than $3 million worth of cryptocurrency is at risk of being hacked.
This is concerning the much-talked-about quantum invasion where crypto holders fear the dangers of quantum computing. This has also given rise to the government’s increased scrutiny of the crypto sector as they may soon start cracking down on top players in the crypto industry.
The report stated that government could launch hash attacks or decrypt cryptocurrencies to take over their networks and have strong control over them.
“Most governments like Bitcoin as much as we like walking with rocks in our shoes,” Sun added. No government dislikes Bitcoin as much as China, which banned onshore trading of cryptocurrencies in 2019 and forbade Chinese from trading on offshore crypto exchanges last September.
“If we have a quantum computer, our Zoom would be finished, and everything else,” says Professor Jintao Ding of Tsinghua University. He added that the modern information system, including Bitcoin, relies on public-key cryptography. As a result, since the fundamental information security system relies on it, the whole information could be potentially controlled.
Quantum Computers Can Break Today’s Encryption Keys
Public key cryptography that relies on the RSA standard has been existing since the late 1970s. The public key uses two very large prime numbers, which are known to the recipient. These numbers are required to decrypt the message. However, to decrypt a private key requires factoring extremely large numbers into primes, which takes supercomputers a very long time to do.
But new computers are increasingly getting faster, which means they can now perform the largest tasks within a small time. With quantum computers, it will be easier to factor extremely large numbers into primes, which may be a problem for the genuine existence of cryptocurrencies.
Jintao opined that today’s encryption can be broken by quantum computers. As a result, he is advocating for collaboration to have a smooth transition process. The transition process may be very difficult but it’s a necessity that should be done, no matter how difficult it is, Jintao reiterated.
Mathematicians are aware that the RSA code could be broken quickly using quantum computers. Peter Shor published an algorithm several years ago that factors extremely large numbers into primes.
Such a quantum computer will inevitably be developed, and there are already rumors that such type of powerful computer may already exist.
Some experts believe that a quantum computer will put an end to blockchain and its creation Bitcoin.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have often been praised for their anonymity. People can exchange Bitcoin without revealing their details or personal information. It is not controlled by anyone, which makes it more appealing than fiat currencies that are controlled by the government. However, anonymity could be a major problem here because it makes it difficult to report to claim funds that were stolen. People’s names and ID numbers are not linked to their Bitcoin wallets, making it easier for people to steal crypto funds from users without fear of legal proceedings.
The Government Could Have More Control
With the introduction of the Quantum computer, the whole game could change. It will become easier for the operator to hack the address and the victim will have no legal backing to claim their tokens.
The proof of ownership is the private key the Bitcoin holder has. If someone else hacks the key, it becomes extremely difficult for the original owner to get their token back.
However, this is not the only vulnerability seen with Bitcoin. In some transactions, there can be up to 10 minutes delay before a transaction is confirmed. However, a new transaction can be done using a quantum computer to replace the previous transaction that’s still processing.
This means the user’s Bitcoin is gone and there is no way to repossess the Bitcoin if the other party refuses to initiate the transaction.
The professor believes that enhancing security in the cryptocurrency world may not do too much to even when security is enhanced.
And the level of resources required to build quantum computers means only top corporations or government agencies are financially buoyant to build them. This means the government may have a massive influence on Bitcoin. They can use the technology to monitor ownership of Bitcoin. Additionally, the Quantum computer holders will not draw attention by stealing from individual Bitcoin accounts.