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Quantum cryptography demonstration

John Riley

Quantum cryptography has entered a new phase on its path from the laboratory into business with a major series of demonstrations to the Bank of England and the Department of Trade and Industry.

Bankers, government officials and top quantum computing experts gathered in London to see demonstrations by Qinetiq, Toshiba Cambridge and MagiQ using quantum cryptography over fiber optic cable and in free air.

At the event, research minister Lord Sainsbury, speaking exclusively to Computer Weekly, announced government plans to run a wider series of demonstrations and road shows to get take-up of this revolutionary security technology.

“Quantum cryptography is now in cost range and therefore banks should be looking at it,” said Lord Sainsbury.

“We would need to keep this going until people are doing things for real,” he added.

Stuart Brocklehurst, a former vice-president of Visa International and currently adviser to its European president, said that quantum cryptography can be used now.

“There are niche applications such as linking datacentres which can be done now, and there is no reason not to,” he said. “The main challenge is linking and running big banking networks using this technology.”

“There is too much theoretical talk – we need to get stuck in for real and get starting implementation. Quantum cryptography is currently being done by physicists – but it needs to engage cryptographers and bankers. The people here [at this demonstration] are working hard to do this."


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