Can you solve this math problem? Then you can steal all the bitcoin in the world

Jul 03, 2019

You may have heard of the world-famous math problem P versus NP. If you can prove that it is correct, or not correct, you can earn a hefty sum of money.

First, you would get $1 million from The Clay Mathematics Institute in Cambridge in the United States. The equation is one of the so-called Millenium Prize problems, which the American institute pays big money for solutions to.

Start with stealing all the bitcoin in the world

The next thing you could do, at least if you prove that the equation is correct, is to steal all the bitcoin in the world. At least if one were to believe an expert in the field.

“If someone proves P=NP, the first thing they should do is steal $200 billion in bitcoin. The second thing they should do is solve all of the other Millennium Prize Problems”, said US computer scientist Scott Aaronson at a conference in New Mexico last week, Gizmodo reports.

Like sudoku

The reason for this is complicated. But in simple terms, P represents solutions that computers can perform within a certain time frame. NP, meanwhile, are problems that are difficult to solve but easy to correct (think sudoku!).

Currently, there are many NP problems that cannot be resolved within the time frame of P. The equation asks if all NP problems can be solved within P time.

Bitcoin’s mining systems and security keys are often based on NP problems. Should you be able to prove that all these can be solved within P time, you could also solve all NP problems, and thus become very, very rich, Gizmodo reports.