JPMorgan Announces ‘Viable’ Quantum Secure Blockchain Network

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JPMorgan Chase, Toshiba and telecom equipment company Ciena say they have demonstrated the “full viability” of a first-of-its-kind Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) network for metropolitan areas.

The companies announced the test in a news release Thursday (Feb. 17), saying the network could resist quantum computing attacks and support 800 Gbps data rates for mission-critical applications in real-world conditions.

QKD is a method of secure communication using a cryptographic protocol that employs components of quantum mechanics. It lets two parties produce a secret, shared key that encrypts and decrypts messages. It can also detect if a third party tries to “eavesdrop” on the message, changing the keys to protect the information.

Researchers say this was the industry’s first demonstration of QKD securing a mission-critical blockchain application

“The research team demonstrated the ability of the newly developed QKD network to instantly detect and defend against eavesdroppers,” the companies said.

Read more: Goldman Closer To Quantum Breakthrough With QC Ware

“It also studied the impact of realistic environmental factors on the quality of the quantum channel and used a QKD-secured optical channel to deploy and secure Liink by J.P. Morgan, the world’s first bank-led, production-grade, peer-to-peer blockchain network.”

The companies said the test — led by JPMorgan Chase’s Future Lab for Applied Research and Engineering (FLARE) and Global Network Infrastructure teams — was able to achieve the first ever instance of a QKD channel incorporated onto the same fiber as ultra-high bandwidth 800 Gbps optical channels used to provide keys for encryption of the data stream.

“Security is paramount for JPMorgan Chase,” said Marco Pistoia, who heads the FLARE group. “This work comes at an important time as we continue to prepare for the introduction of production-quality quantum computers, which will change the security landscape of technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrency in the foreseeable future.

The network infrastructure used Toshiba’s Multiplexed QKD System, manufactured by Toshiba Europe at their Cambridge UK base, and Ciena’s Waveserver 5 platform and open APIs running over Ciena’s 6500 photonic solution, with tests held at JPMorgan Chase’s fiber optic production simulation lab.

The companies say QKD is the only solution that has been “mathematically proven to defend against a potential quantum computing-based attack, with security guarantees based on the laws of quantum physics.”