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The Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) price is up 1% over the past 24 hours to US$24,823 (AU$34,925).
With the latest nudge higher, the world’s number one crypto is up 6% over the past week. Though BTC remains down 48% year-to-date.
That’s the recent price action.
But is there a bigger threat ahead that could send the Bitcoin price plummeting?
What impact will quantum computing have on the Bitcoin price?
The next era of computing, quantum computing, isn’t quite here yet. But it draws inexorably nearer.
And, barring any Terminator-inspired fears of a dominating Skynet, the massive leap forward in supercomputing power should, eventually, bring equally massive benefits along with it.
As for the Bitcoin price, in its current form, the blockchain powering the crypto would be vulnerable to any hackers with access to a quantum computer.
To fix those vulnerabilities is “a big, big job”, says David Treat, co-lead of Accenture’s blockchain business.
And it’s not just Bitcoin. Every crypto would currently be vulnerable to quantum computing decryption.
According to Treat (courtesy of The Age):
The advancement of quantum does challenge our existing encryption … but every advancement is as applicable to offence as it is defence. For anything new that we’re building now, we’re already very much considering what the post-quantum cryptography requirements will be. The standards for that are just now emerging.
However, everything that currently exists right now will need to be retrofitted. And that is a big, big job.
And if crypto investors don’t want to see the Bitcoin price get walloped, Treat says the developers will need to get prepared for the coming reality of quantum computers before those with malicious intent do.
“We think there’s real urgency around being prepared. If good guys develop it first, they will announce it,” Treat said. “If a bad actor is the first one to get there, I’m not sure they’re going to announce that, instead we’ll just start to see the impacts of it. So getting ready is super important.”