I was involved in a pretty interesting discussion about quantum computing and the risks posed to encryption algorithms recently and thought this might make for a fun market on here, since the opinions presented by the various parties in said discussion varied quite markedly. Even in doing some cursory research for materials to post here in this question description, the headlines of articles written on this exact topic (2048 bit RSA) being broken by quantum computers seem to be all over the place, whether the piece was written almost a decade ago or just this year.

So, the question is: **WILL A QUANTUM COMPUTER BE ABLE TO PROVABLY BREAK 2048 BIT RSA ENCRYPTION BY 2030?**

**In order to resolve, it must be proven possible to use quantum computing to successfully 'break' RSA 2048 bit...this could be done by taking a known existing 2048 bit public key that was already published and available, and using their algorithm to factorize the public key and determine the corresponding private key. This could be verified by utilizing the found private key to decrypt messages signed with the public key.**

**Details:**

*"By 2030" means until December 31st, 2029 11:59:59 UTC*2048 bit RSA encryption in this context shall mean "will a quantum computer be capable of factorizing a 2048 bit integer using Shor's algorithm or some as-of-yet-unknown approach

By "provably break" this means that it will have to be demonstrably shown to be capable of completing the task, not something merely speculated upon in an academic research paper.

I am far from an expert on these matters, more of an interested novice curiously learning about cryptography in general, so I am open to any suggestions on how to best determine what should qualify for meeting the conditions to mark this as a YES or NO. Plus, I am constantly in awe of how intelligent so many of the people on this site are and I feel that this subject might (hopefully) generate some interesting discussion in the comments.

**COPY/PASTING this from the comments below for clarification**

*On what is meant by "prove capable":*

I mean that they have to actually do it, and prove having done so (example below). I will update the wording to be less ambiguous, my bad.

For example:

I am a computer scientist and I claim to have a powerful quantum computer capable of breaking 2048 bit RSA using some as-of-yet unknown/new techniques developed, such as "**Schnorr's algorithm**" referenced in a **Chinese paper earlier this year** (*although I would note that personally I think the claims made in said paper *** are at best overstated, at worst bogus**), so I hold a press conference to demonstrate my abilities.

At the press conference I direct the media's attention to a copy of the New York Times from the previous Sunday, and ask them to open it to the classified section. There, on the corner of one of the pages in small font, is the jumbled bunch of letters and numbers representing a 2048 bit RSA public key.

I then tell them that most of them can go home, save for a handful of people from Guinness World Records (or whomever) and some other observers there to oversee the process and verify that I'm not faking it, **but that they can return in about 8 hours**, however, before they leave, I pick a random journalist from the crowd and ask them to come to the stage. I instruct them to head to the computer where they input a message, containing whatever text they want, which is then encrypted using the public key from the pages of the New York Times, and also written down on a piece of paper, which they place in an envelope and seal in a locked safe.

8 hours later (or however long it winds up taking), I reveal what the contents of the encrypted message were, using the recently discovered corresponding private key, it is confirmed to be the same as the message placed in the vault.

-Here are some links on the subject which might prove useful/interesting:

ArsTechnica: RSA's demise from quantum attacks is very much exaggerated, expert says. (January 25 2023)

MIT Technology Review: How a quantum computer could break 2048-bit RSA encryption in 8 hours. (May 30 2019) Included as I find it interesting to see how opinions on this have changed over the years.

Forbes (op-ed): Q-Day Is Coming Sooner Than We Think. (June 7 2021)

The Register: Chinese researchers' claimed quantum encryption crack looks unlikely. (January 7 2023)

Fujitsu quantum simulator assesses vulnerability of RSA cryptosystem to potential quantum computer cryptography threat. (January 23 2023)

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As with any market that I will create on here, I am refraining from participating in betting, however I am hoping to take part in any discussion.

## Related questions

@a2bb no, perhaps I should have been more clear in my description, and I will edit it to be more specific:

**In order to resolve, it must be proven possible to use quantum computing to successfully 'break' RSA 2048 bit...this could be done by taking a known existing 2048 bit public key that was already published and available, and using their algorithm to factorize the public key and determine the corresponding private key. This could be verified by utilizing the found private key to decrypt messages signed with the public key.**

@dieselbaby1337 Perhaps you mean that breaking needs to actually happen? "**proven possible**" is ambiguous - you could say that Shor's paper already proved that, maybe.

@Tasty_Y I mean that they have to actually do it, and prove having done so (example below). I will update the wording to be less ambiguous, my bad.

For example:

I am a computer scientist and I claim to have a powerful quantum computer capable of breaking 2048 bit RSA using some as-of-yet unknown/new techniques developed, such as "Schnorr's algorithm" referenced in a Chinese paper earlier this year (*although I would note that personally I think the claims made in said paper **are at best overstated, at worst bogus*), so I hold a press conference to demonstrate my abilities.

At the press conference I direct the media's attention to a copy of the New York Times from the previous Sunday, and ask them to open it to the classified section. There, on the corner of one of the pages in small font, is the jumbled bunch of letters and numbers representing a 2048 bit RSA public key.

I then tell them that most of them can go home, save for a handful of people from Guinness World Records (or whomever) and some other observers there to oversee the process and verify that I'm not faking it, but that they can return in about 8 hours, however, before they leave, I pick a random journalist from the crowd and ask them to come to the stage. I instruct them to head to the computer where they input a message, containing whatever text they want, which is then encrypted using the public key from the pages of the New York Times, and also written down on a piece of paper, which they place in an envelope and seal in a locked safe.

8 hours later (or however long it winds up taking), I reveal what the contents of the encrypted message were, using the recently discovered corresponding private key, it is confirmed to be the same as the message placed in the vault.