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Quantum advantage on proof of work

Bard, Dan, Kearney, Joseph, Pérez-Delgado, Carlos A (2022) Quantum advantage on proof of work. Array, 15 . Article Number 100225. ISSN 2590-0056. (doi:10.1016/j.array.2022.100225) (KAR id:95822)

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Proof-of-Work (PoW) is a fundamental underlying technology behind most major blockchain cryptocurrencies. It has been previously pointed out that quantum devices provide a computational advantage in performing PoW in the context of Bitcoin. Here we make the case that this quantum advantage extends not only to all existing PoW mechanisms, but to any possible PoW as well. This has strong consequences regarding both quantum-based attacks on the integrity of the entirety of the blockchain, as well as more legitimate uses of quantum computation for the purpose of mining Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. For the first case, we estimate when these quantum attacks will become feasible, for various cryptocurrencies, and discuss the impact of such attacks. For the latter, we derive a precise formula to calculate the economic incentive for switching to quantum-based cryptocurrency miners. Using this formula, we analyze several test scenarios, and conclude that investing in quantum hardware for cryptocurrency mining has the potential to pay off immensely.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.array.2022.100225
Uncontrolled keywords: Quantum computing, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Proof of Work
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Q Science > QC Physics > QC174.12 Quantum theory
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering > TK5101 Telecommunications > TK5105 Data transmission systems > TK5105.5 Computer networks
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
University-wide institutes > Institute of Cyber Security for Society
Funders: [211] U.K. Engineering and physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Depositing User: Carlos Perez Delgado
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2022 12:52 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2022 10:09 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Bard, Dan:
Kearney, Joseph:
Pérez-Delgado, Carlos A:
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