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Bitcoin Crypto–Bounties for Quantum Capable Adversaries

August/2020, Marble 2020


With the advances in quantum computing taking place over the last few years, researchers have started considering the implications on cryptocurrencies. As most digital signature schemes would be impacted, it is somewhat reassuring that transition schemes to quantum resistant signatures are already being considered for Bitcoin. In this work, we stress the danger of public key reuse, as it prevents users from recovering their funds in the presence of a quantum enabled adversary despite any transition scheme the developers decide to implement. We emphasise this threat by quantifying the damage a functional quantum computer could inflict on Bitcoin (and Bitcoin Cash) by breaking exposed public keys.