Is quantum computing a threat to Bitcoin? How can Bitcoin become more secure against a quantum computing attack? Will this upgrade require moving coins to new addresses? Will it be implemented as a soft or hard fork? What happens to coins controlled by lost keys?

CORRECTION: Apologies for the confusion – regarding the question of whether Satoshi’s (suspected) coins would be vulnerable to a quantum computing attack on ECDSA, the correct answer is in the first clip at 3:05. While what I initially say at 6:10 is true, that Satoshi did not spend their coins, those coinbase transactions still used pay-to-public-key (P2PK) instead of pay-to-public-key-hash (P2PKH), which means the public keys are already exposed.

More about hashing and public key cryptography in Bitcoin:

These questions are from the May monthly Patreon session and part of the Denver talk, which took place on May 26th and August 6th 2018 respectively. If you want early-access to talks and a chance to participate in the monthly live Q&As with Andreas, become a patron:

Advanced Bitcoin Scripting, Part 1: Transactions and Multisig –
Advanced Bitcoin Scripting, Part 2: SegWit, Consensus, and Trustware –
Migrating to post-quantum cryptography
What is a private key? –
Public keys vs. addresses –
Protocol development security –
Lightning’s security model –
Misconceptions about the Lightning Network –
Eltoo, and the early days of Lightning –
Lightning Network scaling –
Lightning Network interoperability –
Lightning Network game theory –
Atomic swaps –
Full node and home network security –
Running nodes and payment channels –
What is Segregated Witness (SegWit)? –
SegWit and fork research –

Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a technologist and serial entrepreneur who has become one of the most well-known and respected figures in bitcoin.

Follow on Twitter: @aantonop

He is the author of two books: “Mastering Bitcoin,” published by O’Reilly Media and considered the best technical guide to bitcoin; “The Internet of Money,” a book about why bitcoin matters.





Translations of MASTERING BITCOIN:

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Music: “Unbounded” by Orfan (
Outro Graphics: Phneep (
Outro Art: Rock Barcellos (



  1. In the near future, quantum computers will be able to crack all binary based cryptology algorithims easly beacuse of its design. Nature and universe is working based on quantum mechanics, and nature is very complex situation which is existing computers will never be simulate it one on one. Quantum copmuters will be able to simulate the nature and the universe closely. I mean that all cryptology systems have to be change based on quantum mechanics. I dont know how the quantum cryptology look like for now but we will see it.

  2. The thing about Quantum computing is that only Gigantic institutions like IBM and people with the need to make extremely complex calculcations will be the first to use them. The US Government has a Blazzay attitude towards Cryptocurrency- They Don't like what it enables but so far they've got a mostly hands off approach and I think given the reality of how people in the US tend to vote it's unlikely we'll see a government in the US that is extraordinarily hostile to Bitcoin. Given that it's unlikely that the US Government will invest in a Quantum computer with the purpose of Breaking Bitcoin's Cryptography… That leaves only the kinds of the institutions that can afford a mainframe left to worry about. The Banks, IBM, Disney, etc. I find it highly unlikely that any of these institutions would use A Quantum computer to destroy Bitcoin. It's only when we get down to the level of Individual and personal Quantum Computers that I'd start to worry but we're NOWHERE near the day when You'll be able to buy a Quantum computer with the ease of buying a Laptop.

  3. 2:453:31 "You can change the algorithms of all the active wallets, but some wallets have lost keys or the people who had those keys died and they can't change the signing algorithm which means those wallets will be captured by quantum computers. So we will know what quantum computers exist when satoshi's coins move… That's one of the reasons why they will move. Eventually they will move and they will move because eventually someone will be able to break the keys. But for the rest of the eco system we can migrate quite easily to another algorithm. It's not really as big of a threat that people think it is."

  4. Satoshi's bitcoins are on addresses that coincide with their public key, because it was an early version of the protocol and addresses were not compressed. So they will be targeted by quantum computers at some point

  5. @3:06 Casual comment about knowing when quantum computing exists when Satoshi's coins move. Everyone laughed.
    @3:17 Followed it with the most terrifying casual comment I have actually heard in my life, I think… Especially if it happens in say the year 2030 or 2050 or 2100. After Bitcoin has swallowed the wealth of the planet…. Satoshi's Bitcoin eventually WILL MOVE. Let that sink in. HOLY FUCK! Whether its Satoshi or not…. HOLY FUCK! I never trusted Bitcoin. BILDERBERG!


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