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Quantum Bitcoin: An Anonymous and Distributed Currency Secured by the No-Cloning Theorem of Quantum Mechanics
Linköping University, Department of Electrical Engineering, Information Coding. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8032-1466
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The digital currency Bitcoin has had remarkable growth since it was first proposed in 2008. Its distributed nature allows currency transactions without a central authority by using cryptographic methods and a data structure called the blockchain. In this paper we use the no-cloning theorem of quantum mechanics to introduce Quantum Bitcoin, a Bitcoin-like currency that runs on a quantum computer. We show that our construction of quantum shards and two blockchains allows untrusted peers to mint quantum money without risking the integrity of the currency. The Quantum Bitcoin protocol has several advantages over classical Bitcoin, including immediate local verification of transactions. This is a major improvement since we no longer need the computationally intensive and time-consuming method Bitcoin uses to record all transactions in the blockchain. Instead, Quantum Bitcoin only records newly minted currency which drastically reduces the footprint and increases efficiency. We present formal security proofs for counterfeiting resistance and show that a quantum bitcoin can be re-used a large number of times before wearing out - just like ordinary coins and banknotes. Quantum Bitcoin is the first distributed quantum money system and we show that the lack of a paper trail implies full anonymity for the users. In addition, there are no transaction fees and the system can scale to any transaction volume.

Keyword [en]
Quantum Bitcoin, Bitcoin, Quantum Computing
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-129217OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-129217DiVA: diva2:936324
Available from: 2016-06-13 Created: 2016-06-13 Last updated: 2017-10-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Breaking the Unbreakable: Exploiting Loopholes in Bell’s Theorem to Hack Quantum Cryptography
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Breaking the Unbreakable: Exploiting Loopholes in Bell’s Theorem to Hack Quantum Cryptography
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis we study device-independent quantum key distribution based on energy-time entanglement. This is a method for cryptography that promises not only perfect secrecy, but also to be a practical method for quantum key distribution thanks to the reduced complexity when compared to other quantum key distribution protocols. However, there still exist a number of loopholes that must be understood and eliminated in order to rule out eavesdroppers. We study several relevant loopholes and show how they can be used to break the security of energy-time entangled systems. Attack strategies are reviewed as well as their countermeasures, and we show how full security can be re-established.

Quantum key distribution is in part based on the profound no-cloning theorem, which prevents physical states to be copied at a microscopic level. This important property of quantum mechanics can be seen as Nature's own copy-protection, and can also be used to create a currency based on quantummechanics, i.e., quantum money. Here, the traditional copy-protection mechanisms of traditional coins and banknotes can be abandoned in favor of the laws of quantum physics. Previously, quantum money assumes a traditional hierarchy where a central, trusted bank controls the economy. We show how quantum money together with a blockchain allows for Quantum Bitcoin, a novel hybrid currency that promises fast transactions, extensive scalability, and full anonymity.

Abstract [sv]

En viktig konsekvens av kvantmekaniken är att okända kvanttillstånd inte kan klonas. Denna insikt har gett upphov till kvantkryptering, en metod för två parter att med perfekt säkerhet kommunicera hemligheter. Ett komplett bevis för denna säkerhet har dock låtit vänta på sig eftersom en attackerare i hemlighet kan manipulera utrustningen så att den läcker information. Som ett svar på detta utvecklades apparatsoberoende kvantkryptering som i teorin är immun mot sådana attacker.

Apparatsoberoende kvantkryptering har en mycket högre grad av säkerhet än vanlig kvantkryptering, men det finns fortfarande ett par luckor som en attackerare kan utnyttja. Dessa kryphål har tidigare inte tagits på allvar, men denna avhandling visar hur även små svagheter i säkerhetsmodellen läcker information till en attackerare. Vi demonstrerar en praktisk attack där attackeraren aldrig upptäcks trots att denne helt kontrollerar systemet. Vi visar också hur kryphålen kan förhindras med starkare säkerhetsbevis.

En annan tillämpning av kvantmekanikens förbud mot kloning är pengar som använder detta naturens egna kopieringsskydd. Dessa kvantpengar har helt andra egenskaper än vanliga mynt, sedlar eller digitala banköverföringar. Vi visar hur man kan kombinera kvantpengar med en blockkedja, och man får då man en slags "kvant-Bitcoin". Detta nya betalningsmedel har fördelar över alla andra betalsystem, men nackdelen är att det krävs en kvantdator.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2017. 239 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1875
National Category
Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics Communication Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-140912 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-140912 (DOI)9789176854600 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-11-17, Ada Lovelace, B House, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-10-23 Created: 2017-10-20 Last updated: 2017-10-23Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

quantum-bitcoin-preprint(248 kB)67 downloads
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Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

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Link to article in the pre-print archive arXiv.org

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Jogenfors, Jonathan
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