OT: quantum-encrypted videochat

In a demonstration of the world’s first intercontinental quantum link, scientists held a long-distance videoconference on September 29 between Austria and China. To secure the communication, a Chinese satellite distributed a quantum key, a secret string of numbers used to encrypt the video transmission so that no one could eavesdrop on the conversation. In the call, chemist Chunli Bai, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, spoke with quantum physicist Anton Zeilinger, president of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.

“It’s a huge achievement,” says quantum physicist Thomas Jennewein of the University of Waterloo in Canada, who was not involved with the project. “It’s a major step to show that this approach could be viable.”

Using a technique known as quantum key distribution, scientists share secret strings of numbers while ensuring that no eavesdroppers can intercept the code undetected. Those quantum keys are then used to encrypt information sent via traditional internet connections. Decoding the transmission requires the same key used for encryption, foiling would-be snoops.

I wonder if this might impact the adoption of blockchain…

Certainly nothing actionable, but I enjoy trying to keep up with the latest developments in a number of fields. For example, I also just read that there is now evidence that MAY indicate h. sapiens emerged as a distinct species between 260-350k years ago, in contrast to the currently accepted 200k years.



“I wonder if this might impact the adoption of blockchain…”

Not really. There is no key exchange in any cryptocurrency that I am aware of. To the extent that cryptographic keys are involved, it is public key cryptography. Your “address” is actually a shortened form of the public key, which is available for anyone on the internet to see. The private key is in your wallet and never transmitted.

This has no impact on GPUs, cryptocurrency, or AI.

It maybe has some applications for hardening of HTTPS web of trust (if you don’t have to install trusted root certificate authority keys, it cuts out a vector for a form of spoofing)? This is still subject to brute force attacks.