Less than 3 million Bitcoin (BTC) remains to be recovered, and the process is expected to take around 121 years. However, some claim that Google's quantum computer, Sycamore, can do so in "less than 2 seconds". But is it really possible?
A computer that controls them all
Despite having the most difficult network to mine, Bitcoin (BTC) may have faced its battle in the face of Google's quantum processor, Sycamore. According to a medium post, the device has enough computational power to mine all the remaining BTC in less than two seconds.
A reverse of the envelope calculation in a Medium blog shows how the production of 1
While this may be true, it is highly unlikely that Google will use a fragile device that still works under laboratory conditions. Yet the power of quantum computation is so rapid that it can outperform all current miners at an astronomically faster rate.
However, there are a few errors in the author's estimate. He calculated that 1 BTC is produced every 10 minutes – when in reality there is 12.5 BTC generated in each block. This will complicate the calculation somewhat.
And the calculation does not take into account the difficulty of adjusting the difficulty, which occurs every 2016 block. So if the quantum computer that was invented in 2016 blocks in a zipper, it may be too good for its own calculation. The next difficulty had to be so high that even a quantum computer would slow down to blocks in 10 minutes.
Of course, no one has tested whether such a level of difficulty would be possible. But simply putting a very powerful computer into the network would not be as seamless as one might expect. And then it would be a problem to actually propagate all these blocks. A quantum computer is likely to be too fast to actually include transactions in these blocks.
Google's Sycamore Could Freeze the Network
Recently, Vitalik Buterin also mentioned that Google's quantum computer is not really a threat to crypto coins. He stated that the device is just a proof of concept and will not threaten the current encryption technology.
My one impression of recent quantum supremacy so far is that it is to really calculate quantum computation what hydrogen bombs are for nuclear fusion. . Proof that a phenomenon and the ability to extract power from it exist, but still far from directed use to useful things.
– Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) October 24, 2019
But there is a possibility of quantum computation. Touching the Bitcoin network would almost certainly be a touch of death. Even if a quantum computer were only mined in 2016 blocks, this would in theory increase the level of difficulty so much that ordinary mining equipment would take an incredibly long time to create additional 2016 blocks and reduce difficulties.
In a recent question and answer, Andreas Antonopolous also addressed the concerns of Google's new quantum processor in the crypto mining industry; which says that the potentially harmful use of Sycamore applies not only to the Bitcoin system, but to every system in the world.
The problem isn't really Bitcoin. If we get quantum machines that can do thousands of qubits without correction and consistent results, we have a much bigger problem. The bigger problem we have is that all of the world's classified communications, confidential communications, financial systems, etc., all depend on cryptography today. We need to update all this to make it quantum resistant
His advice to everyone, "Don't worry, keep going."
What do you think of the threat of quantum computation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Photos via Shutterstock, Twitter @Vitalikbuterin