We put forward the idea that classical blockchains and smart contracts are potentially useful primitives not only for classical cryptography, but for quantum cryptography as well. Abstractly, a smart contract is a functionality that allows parties to deposit funds, and release them upon fulfillment of algorithmically checkable conditions, and can thus be employed as a formal tool to enforce monetary incentives. In this work, we give the first example of the use of smart contracts in a quantum setting. We describe a simple hybrid classical-quantum payment system whose main ingredients are a classical blockchain capable of handling stateful smart contracts, and quantum lightning, a strengthening of public-key quantum money introduced by Zhandry [Zha19]. Our hybrid payment system employs quantum states as banknotes and a classical blockchain to settle disputes and to keep track of the valid serial numbers. It has several desirable properties: it is decentralized, requiring no trust in any single entity; payments are as quick as quantum communication, regardless of the total number of users; when a quantum banknote is damaged or lost, the rightful owner can recover the lost value.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)