The design and the evolution of quantum computers has been one of the "hot" topics during the last 20 years.
My question is about the possible consequences of the rise of quantum computers (through concrete realizations of quantum computers) on the level of the Bitcoin blockchain architecture.
Given the fact, that the Bitcoin blockchain is strongly based on digital signatures generated through public-key cryptography schemes based on the hardness of prime factorization and that furthermore, the anonymity (and thus "identity") of the users is based on private keys, it is reasonable to think that quantum computers -which are expected to solve in polynomial time problems related to the prime factorization and thus to "break" those public cryptoschemes (like RSA) which base their security on the (classically) exponential hardness of prime factorization- will dramatically affect the technologies underlying Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) as well.
A first thought I had, was that the rise of the computational power (relative to the problems described above) could easily be compensated -inside the present blockchain structure- by simply using "longer" private keys (with their "length" suitably chosen so that whatever the total hashing power available, going back from the public to the private will remain practically infeasible -as it is today). At the same time, the difficulty of the mathematical problem to be solved for the mining to occur, will also be rescaled so that the 10-min interval for producing a new block will remain unaltered. Is it that simple (in principle) or am I oversimplyfying? Are there some other important details one should take into account?
P.S. 1: See also: https://manage.kmail-lists.com/subscriptions/web-view?c=yMWFtj&r=5F9DLpu&m=wYXDhP&k=1dc8ecb6243f9dced47626ac0221f800 for a relevant discussion.
P.S. 2: this question is partially related to What effects would a scalable Quantum Computer have on Bitcoin?