After years of attempts to hack various blockchains, the only real threat that remains is quantum computer attacks.
Could a quantum computer hack Cardano, Ethereum, or even Bitcoin? How much power does a quantum computer need to achieve this feat? Is it even possible for a blockchain to resist a quantum computer attack?
Let’s find out more below.
Is Cardano Quantum Resistant?
At this particular point in time, Cardano is not yet quantum resistant. However, that will change very soon. As Charles Hoskinson, one of the founders of the Cardano Network, announced, Cardano has already begun preparing for the era of quantum computing.
The Cardano Foundation plans to prepare for quantum attacks and build resistance by research.
Alongside think-tank Z/YEN, they’re researching the possible threat of quantum attacks to the Cardano network and their potential impacts and solutions. Cardano has so far proposed to support additional signature schemes to the current blockchain as one possible solution.
So What is Quantum Resistance?
A quantum-resistant cryptographic algorithm is an algorithm that can withstand attacks from quantum computers.
How Do Quantum Computers Work?
Quantum computers work a bit differently from traditional computers. They use qubits instead of using bits (or 1’s and 0’s) sent as either optical or electrical pulses. A qubit here simply means electrons and photons.
How Would A Quantum Computer Compromise a Blockchain?
Most modern public blockchains like Bitcoin use asymmetric cryptography that gives you a public key and a private key to access your wallet.
Unlike traditional computers that find asymmetric cryptography impossible to beat, a quantum computer could, in theory, crack your wallet in just a few hours.
They can harness thousands of qubits and, using quantum error-correction methods, perform the calculations needed to break Cardano—or any other blockchain for that matter.
With millions of wallets and billions of dollars already sunk into various crypto assets and projects, you can see the potential problem, even as a regular user.
Although quantum computers are yet to become commonplace, they will pose a severe threat to cryptographic security soon.
So, to mitigate this risk several blockchains, including Cardano, are upgrading their cryptographic security measures to fend off quantum attacks in the foreseeable future.
Also read: Is Cardano EVM-Compatible?
Is ADA Quantum Resistant?
Just like its parent blockchain Cardano, the ADA crypto coin isn’t quantum resistant—yet. As soon as the Cardano network upgrades to quantum resistance, so will ADA.
What is Quantum Resistant Cryptography?
Quantum Resistant Cryptography refers to cryptographic algorithms and protocols that can withstand large-scale attacks from large-scale quantum computers in the future.
It’s also known as post-quantum, quantum-safe, or quantum-secure cryptography.
Is Bitcoin Quantum Resistant?
As it stands, Bitcoin isn’t quantum-resistant as it wasn’t designed with quantum computers in mind. Nevertheless, attempts are being made to upgrade the network.
Bitcoin uses an Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm or ECDSA, which protects your wallet by computing large prime numbers fast.
However, quantum computers are up to 100 million times faster than the traditional computers used in Bitcoin’s initial design. Unfortunately, that also means that ECDSA cryptography is what quantum computers eat for breakfast—so to speak.
A quantum computer with over 2500 qubits can break ECDSA cryptography. First, it solves the problem of finding complex orders. After that, it reduces the ECDSA cryptography into an order-finding problem and solves it, breaking Bitcoin’s public/private key pairing and, effectively, hacking your wallet.
That way, it’s possible in theory to hack Bitcoin. However, until that’s tested in the future, it remains to be seen.
Is Ethereum Quantum Proof?
Currently, Ethereum isn’t quantum-proof either. However, Ethereum 2.0, slotted to be released between 2022 and 2023, will be quantum-resistant.
The Ethereum 2.0 serenity upgrade will allow you to choose your own transaction validation system, including quantum-safe signature systems.
Is Cardano Backed by Gold?
Cardano isn’t backed by gold. However, in partnership with Tingo Holdings (Nigeria) and Ubuntu Tribe, MELD plans to release a gold-backed stablecoin on the Cardano network.
MELD will store gold in a vault, tokenize it, convert it into a fractionalized currency then sell it as a stablecoin.
Is Argon2 Quantum Resistant?
Argon2 Cryptographic Algorithms are quantum-safe and only slightly affected by quantum attacks. Argon2 can resist GPU and ASIC attacks and when configured correctly, better than other cryptographic algorithms like BCrypt and Scrypt.
For this reason, you can use Argon2 cryptography to secure your documents, files, app passwords, and, most importantly, your crypto wallet.
Can a Quantum Computer Crack Bitcoin?
In theory, yes, but it has to have over 2500 qubits. It would also have to use an algorithm that breaks cryptography, like Shor’s Factoring Algorithm.
Shor’s algorithm works incredibly fast on quantum computers and decrypts public key cryptography with a high probability of success.
In the case of Bitcoin, a quantum computer could use Shor’s algorithm repeatedly while using error correction to break ECDSA encryption. However, no quantum computer has reached the number of qubits needed to achieve this feat.
Although quantum resistance is a real threat to current cryptography standards and blockchains, it’s a future threat.
At this moment, there’s no single quantum computer with enough qubits to attempt to break the cryptography used in Cardano, Ethereum, or Bitcoin. As technology catches up, that may be sooner rather than later.
However, by the time a quantum computer with enough power is invented, all blockchain networks will be quantum-resistant.