Google’s threat was announced a few weeks ago after the success achieved with the first tests of its quantum computer processor, called Sycamore.
During the tests, Sycamore managed to perform a series of very complex, yet tailor-made, mathematical calculations in just seconds, achieving the long-seeked quantum supremacy. A current supercomputer would take years to achieve the same calculation results.
There was immediate speculation about Sycamore's ability to break Bitcoin's algorithm or that it could mine in a few seconds the approximately 3 million Bitcoins not mined yet.
The experts explain that should this technology put the security of the Bitcoin network at risk, it could be compensated by the application of the same computing power in keeping the network healthy. Moreover, Sycamore still lacks the computing power needed to mine Bitcoins.
A fully featured quantum computer would also put at risk the entire global encrypted data exchange system. From health data, bank accounts or military communication.
However, it will still take years of engineering advances for quantum computers to become commonplace.