Developers seek to shield Bitcoin from attacks with quantum computers

This week there will be 2 forks in Ethereum to advance the merger

A group of Bitcoin Core developers have been discussing on their mailing list different ways to protect Bitcoin from being attacked by quantum computers.

Quantum computing, according to IBM, is a branch of technology that uses principles and laws of quantum mechanics to solve problems that can be too complex for traditional computing.

It is estimated that eventually the fastest quantum computers will be able to generate the signatures of a Bitcoin address without needing to know its private key. This implies a vulnerability quite delicate potential, since an individual or organization with similar computing power could move bitcoins between third-party accounts without much problem.


Developers seek to shield Bitcoin from attacks with quantum computers

Proposals to resist quantum computer attacks on Bitcoin

In view of the threat quantum computing poses to the future of Bitcoin and rumors that such powerful equipment is just around the corner, developer Erik Aronesty opened a thread on the Bitcoin developer mailing list. to share possible solutions.

Aronesty proposed the possibility for users to receive payments in a wallet or public key that uses an algorithm resistant to quantum attacks; while the BTC would be stored in a conventional Bitcoin wallet. The objective of this measure is that, in the face of quantum attacks, coins cannot be extracted without first discovering the vulnerability using the two algorithms used in the wallets.

The drawback implicit in Aronesty’s proposal is the need to perform a soft fork on Bitcoin in order to execute this change. The biggest disadvantage that this would bring would be that fewer transactions fit in each block.. This is because the token of transactions made with algorithms resistant to quantum attacks takes up much more space than the token of a traditional Bitcoin transaction.

Developer Lloyd Fournier, meanwhile, put forward a different proposal to counter attacks by quantum computers on Bitcoin. This is the development of a standardized scheme that allows outgoing transactions made with Taproot to be sent both to a public key or wallet resistant to quantum attacks, as well as to a conventional Schnorr public key.

It should be noted that, according to Fournier’s proposal, public keys that are safe from attacks by quantum computers cannot make payments. Although, in the event that the possibility of being attacked is high, Bitcoin users could perform a soft fork that enables payments to be made with quantum-resistant addresses.

Both Aronesty and Fournier recommended that these and other strategies in favor of strengthening Bitcoin against quantum threats be added to the site. This in order to share progress, as well as new proposals and new latent threats in the ecosystem.

Experts in cryptography and Bitcoin technology such as Adam Back and Andreas Antonopoulos have previously claimed that quantum computing poses no real threat to the mother of cryptocurrencies, as CriptoNoticias reported at the time.

Developers Mark Friedenbach and Luke-Jr claim that activating Taproot on the Bitcoin network makes it more vulnerable to quantum attacks, which is why they opposed this protocol. Ironically, as mentioned earlier in this article, Taproot transactions could be useful in dealing with onslaughts from quantum computers.

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