Quantum Bitcoin Mining

Entropy (Basel). 2022 Feb 24;24(3):323. doi: 10.3390/e24030323.


This paper studies the effect of quantum computers on Bitcoin mining. The shift in computational paradigm towards quantum computation allows the entire search space of the golden nonce to be queried at once by exploiting quantum superpositions and entanglement. Using Grover's algorithm, a solution can be extracted in time O(2256/t), where t is the target value for the nonce. This is better using a square root over the classical search algorithm that requires O(2256/t) tries. If sufficiently large quantum computers are available for the public, mining activity in the classical sense becomes obsolete, as quantum computers always win. Without considering quantum noise, the size of the quantum computer needs to be ≈104 qubits.

Keywords: Bitcoin; blockchain; hash functions; quantum algorithms; quantum security.