By exploiting its higher processing capacity to defeat the encryption that safeguards private keys and transactions on the Bitcoin network, a quantum computer could theoretically hack Bitcoin. However, the current state of quantum technology is not yet advanced enough to pose a significant threat to Bitcoin’s security.
Quantum computers might make public-key cryptography less secure because of their capacity to answer some mathematical problems far more quickly than classical computers. For example, Shor’s algorithm — a quantum algorithm — can factor large integers exponentially faster than classical algorithms. Factoring large integers is the basis of many public key encryption schemes, including the one used in Bitcoin.
The public-key cryptography employed in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies might hypothetically be cracked if a quantum computer had the
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