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Why Is Quantum Computing Useful for Optimization Problems in Blockchain?

By Nivin Biswas Category Artificial Intelligence Reading time 6 mins Published on Apr 03, 2023

Is It Possible to Break Cryptographic Encryption Using Quantum Computing?

The vulnerability of blockchain systems in quantum computing is one of the problems that is frequently disregarded. Quantum computers are one example of how the machines we use continually evolve along with technology.

What does quantum computing mean?

Quantum computing meaning indicates the use of sophisticated machines (quantum computers). Such machines make use of quantum physics to address issues that would be hard to solve using qubits.

Qubits can simultaneously represent the values 1 and 0, which offers the potential for a huge boost (optimization) in computer power. Given this, it's crucial to consider the effects of quantum computers on blockchain systems and what precautions can be taken to avoid them. Thus quantum computer optimizes problems in the blockchain.

An illustration shows two quantum engineers discussing and working on a quantum computing application.

What is a Quantum Computer?

A quantum computer tends to integrate quantum bits, to perform multidimensional quantum computations. Their processing capacity considerably rises with every qubit that is introduced, as compared to traditional processors that execute diverse programs utilizing bits.

'Classical computers' power improves linearly as more bits are added, but they have much less computational capability than quantum computers.

Cryptocurrency encryption Breaking:-

One of the Most Useful Quantum Computing Applications

In order to understand the advantages of quantum computing applications in blockchain (better to say in cryptocurrency), you need concise ideas about quantum hacking.

What is Quantum Hacking?

Quantum hacking is a real threat to our current asymmetric cryptography system. Millions of people use this worldwide to access things like email and crypto wallets.

Quantum hacking tends to hack and attack any financial institution easily and every login with the phone, which uses asymmetric cryptography.'

Thiel is noted as the former director of Utimaco, one of Europe's leading cryptography firms. In order to keep ahead of this potentially devastating threat, Utimaco has been working on post-quantum encryption with Microsoft, Google, and others.

Can quantum computing really break cryptocurrency encryption?

The encryption that protects bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is at risk of being broken by quantum computers, which use quantum bits or qubits. All of these computers are still in their developing phases and have an incredible potential to extend their computing powers to that of conventional computers.

Despite the fact that quantum computing is still developing, experts already foresee that people who have access to them will be able to steal substantial quantities of cryptocurrency and smart contracts. The capacity of quantum systems to process information far more quickly than conventional computers makes this conceivable.

The storage attack and the transit assault are the two main attack types that have the potential to undermine long-standing digital security procedures.

The storage assault entails breaking into a cryptocurrency and digital currency storage system and taking the stored currencies. The transit assault entails snatching the coins that are being sent during a transaction.

Storage Attack:-

In a storage attack, an adversary targets susceptible addresses. Such targets are those in which the wallet's public key is stored on the blockchain application- to steal cash. There is no use of any private key.

According to research, 25% of bitcoins are in circulation, with the remaining 65% in the form of tokens on multiple networks, each associated with a public key address. This implies a quantum computer with adequate resources may steal them.

The processing power required to carry out these attacks is estimated to be roughly 10 million qubits. That is much more than the hundred or so qubits we now have. However, scientists believe that quantum computers will reach 10 million in 10 to 15 years.

To circumvent these attacks, fund owners should avoid using susceptible addresses or relocate their funds to addresses where the public key is not publicly available. This is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to protect your assets.

A human hand holds a cryptocurrency coin with numerous data analytic insights.

This is easier said than done, yet it is the most effective strategy to safeguard your assets.

Transits attacks:-

A transit attack occurs when a bad actor with large-scale quantum computers works to hijack an ongoing blockchain work on transferring funds to their address. Because it must be carried out before miners process the validated transaction, this form of attack is more difficult to carry out than others.

Under normal circumstances, this gives Ethereum a few tens of seconds and bitcoin a few minutes.

Because such an intensive attack could require billions of qubits, the risk of transit attacks is lower than that of storage attacks — but it is still worth considering.

And preventing transit assaults is not easy. It necessitates upgrading the blockchain's underlying cryptographic signing mechanism to one resistant to quantum attacks.

How do quantum computers break blockchain authentication?

The blockchain is a database shared among computers in a peer-to-peer network and serves as a public ledger. Hackers find it challenging to access the database's data. This results from mathematical issues that are challenging for a computer to solve.

Mathematician Peter Shor developed the Shor algorithm in 1994 that enables a quantum computer to quickly find the prime factors of a number and break the encryption.

Numerous aspects of quantum technology are being improved and applied. The development of quantum computing is crucial to making future technology much safer. Systems that rely on mathematical algorithms for security are vulnerable to quantum computing but cannot be secure without Quantum Key Distribution (QKD).

An illustration shows three people standing in a row. Each holds a chain, with the middle person also carrying a bitcoin cryptocurrency logo.

How can we save blockchain and cryptocurrency technology by quantum computing?

  • Even though quantum computing could endanger blockchain technology, much more research must be done before it can be regarded as a real threat.

  • When quantum computers are widely accessible, private blockchains & public blockchain technology will probably have evolved and become quantum resistant.

For instance, Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) technology, regarded as quantum resistant, is already used in cryptocurrencies like IOTA.

Blockchain developers have a definite advantage over other developers regarding fending off robust computing systems. They can achieve this by boosting the number of digits in the cryptographic keys used to secure the chain—a method that can be scaled more quickly than the attackers' ability to modify it.

How to become a quantum computing expert?

In order to become a quantum computing expert, you must hold software development knowledge nourished with AI/ML/deep learning skills.

Hence if you are already working as a software developer, you have ample room for your career upgradation. You just need to dedicatedly pursue an industry-level artificial intelligence and machine learning course.

Such a course offers proper placement assistance, so if you are passionate about a splendid and future-proof career upgradation, then this is the best choice for you. No need to worry about roaming for a job after the course. Also, this course gives you real-time industry projects and end-to-end training from MAANG experts.


1. What is meant by applied quantum computing?

Ans: "Applied quantum computing" refers to the application and implementation of quantum computing algorithmic and method techniques in order to address real-world challenges.

2. Why might businesses be interested in using quantum computers?

  • Faster Processing Speeds: It possesses the potential to solve certain problems exponentially faster than classical computers, allowing businesses to perform complex calculations or simulations in the least possible time.

  • Improved Optimization: It can be utilized to optimize complex systems and processes like logistics and supply chain management, potentially leading to significant cost savings and efficiency gains.

  • Advanced Machine Learning: Quantum computers can be utilized to enhance machine learning algorithms, enabling businesses to more accurately analyze and anticipate trends in their data.

  • Competitive Advantage: Being an early adopter of quantum computing could provide a business with an edge over its rivals in fields like finance, pharmaceuticals, and aerospace.

3. What are the disadvantages of quantum computing?

  • Limited Applicability: Some algorithms, like simple arithmetic, cannot be efficiently solved on a quantum computer, while others may only offer marginal improvements over classical processing methods.

  • The fragility of Qubits: External disturbances like temperature changes, electromagnetic radiation, and magnetic fields makes it difficult for qubits to maintain coherence - an essential requirement for the proper operation of a quantum computer.

  • Complexity: A quantum computer necessitates highly specialized components like cryogenic cooling systems or ultra-high vacuum chambers, which are costly to acquire and difficult to maintain, and also need a high level of technical proficiency.

  • Error Correction: Error correction is an integral part of quantum computing but requires additional qubits and computational resources, increasing both its complexity and cost.

  • Limited Access: Quantum computing is still in its early stages. The lack of availability makes it challenging for businesses and organizations to adopt this technology, especially for large-scale applications.