How Quantum Cryptography Will Break The Bank

July 14, 2014         By: Eric Wagner

Lurking in some underground lab, scientists are busy working on the next Holy Grail for computational processing speed.

Noble explorers traveling to a place beyond Moore’s laws in search of a new processing powerhouse called “quantum computing.”

This powerful next step in computing power possess a disastrous scenario; all of the world’s binary based cryptography will suddenly be susceptible to attack, meaning the payment industry will need to heavily invest in the next generation of encryption.

In today’s public key cryptography technology, the security exists because of the extreme difficulty of factoring large prime numbers, which is known as the discrete logarithm problem.  The capacities of binary computing do not allow our current configurations to break the code as the actual physical laws of nature prevent it.

The difference to us mere mental mortals is that the computers we know are called binary machines.  They have two operating functions (1 and 0) hence the name binary.  We have just about reached the limits of this technology, but much improvement is still on the horizon with the advent of optical or photon processors (see Wikipedia: Optical Computing).

Binary computer memory is made up of bits, where each bit represents either a one or a zero. A quantum computer maintains a sequence of qubits, and a single qubit can represent a one, a zero, or any quantum superposition of these two. With this higher dimension of computing, the current laws protecting cryptography can theoretically be broken.

One of the leading forces in quantum cryptography, Dr. Duncan Earl, founder and CTO of Qubitekk, was asked by on the need for this new cryptographic technology .

“I agree, traditional cryptography is fine for the moment,” Dr. Earl responded. “But one day public key ciphers will fail, and when that day happens, we’re going to need quantum cryptography to protect us…….”