The dream of a completely secure, unhackable, absolutely private digital payment system could soon be realized thanks to new research out of the University of Vienna.
In a paper published on July 4 titled "Demonstration of quantum-digital payments," a team of researchers at the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology showed off what may be the first "unconditionally secure" digital transaction system based on quantum mechanics.
To accomplish this, the researchers encrypted a payment transaction using a pair of quantum entangled photons. Through this entanglement, wherein any change in the state featured by one photon is reflected exactly in the other photon, even when separated by distance, the researchers were able to ensure that any attempts to modify the transaction are thwarted by the nature of quantum mechanics itself.
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