Rapid progress in quantum computing is predicted by some to have crucial ramifications in domains using public-key cryptography, such as the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Bitcoin’s “asymmetric cryptography” is based on the principle of “one-way function,” implying that a public key can be easily derived from its corresponding private key but not vice versa. This is because classical algorithms require an astronomical amount of time to perform such computations and consequently are impractical. However, Peter Shor’s* *polynomial-time quantum algorithm run on a sufficiently-advanced quantum computer could perform such derivations and thus falsify digital signatures.