September 30, 2022

Practical quantum tokens without quantum memories

Practical quantum tokens without quantum memories

Unforgeable quantum money tokens were the first invention of quantum information science, but remain technologically challenging as they require quantum memories and/or long-distance quantum communication.

More recently, virtual “S-money” tokens were introduced. These are generated by quantum cryptography, do not require quantum memories or long-distance quantum communication, and yet in principle guarantee many of the security advantages of quantum money.

Researchers have proposed implementations of S-money schemes with off-the-shelf quantum key distribution technology, and analyse security in the presence of noise, losses, and experimental imperfection.

Their schemes satisfy near-instant validation without cross-checking.

They showed that, given standard assumptions in mistrustful quantum cryptographic implementations, unforgeability and user privacy could be guaranteed with attainable refinements of our off-the-shelf setup.

Quantum tokens, also called quantum money, were invented by Wiesner in 1970. 

npj Quantum Information, Published online: 11 March 2022; doi:10.1038/s41534-022-00524-4

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