Posted by: Dirk | October 5, 2013

Quantum money

I have recently read about quantum money (which has a small Wikipedia entry at the time of writing) and was intrigued by its promise to deliver a means of payments that is impossible to duplicate. Of course, the price to create such quantum money would be outrageous if the technology to create it would exist. Anyway, the big idea behind it is to create money with some photon which would be impossible to measure precisely. Therefore, the quantum bill could not by copied! The trick is then how to prove that the money is original. It seems that there are more problems with this than usually were thought to be. According to a 2009 paper by Lutomirski et al., the public key-scheme as originally presented by Wiesner is insecure. MIT Technology Review reports: “But there’s a problem. The bank knows the secret description and so can make as many copies as it likes of this money without anybody being any the wiser.”. The authors suggest a new solution but conclude that might be insecure as well.

The one thing not to forget about the monetary economy here is that money is debt, and that the creation of debt is – literally – where the money is. Money that is impossible to counterfeit would be nice to have, but the real problems begin when someone runs out of money and that someone is in debt to someone else.



  1. Well, considering “a quantum cannot be cloned”…

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