A quantum money solution to the blockchain scalability problem

Andrea Coladangelo, Or Sattath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalQuantum
Volume4
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 Jul 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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