China leads the way in the development of quantum cryptography
Laboratory of the University of Chicago, where the so-called quantum repeaters are studied
Many modern technology companies, including such large companies as IBM, Google, Alibaba, are developing quantum computers. In varying degrees, almost all market players have advanced. Experts believe that quantum technology is the future, so corporations are ready to invest millions of dollars in the development of new systems.
A quantum computer is said to make modern methods of information protection virtually useless. The most complex encryption protocols can be cracked by a quantum computer in seconds. The leader in the quantum race is China - it seems that the leadership of the Middle Kingdom well understands the prospects of quantum technologies.
Quantum computing systems are needed not only science and industry. They will begin to work for the benefit of the national security of countries that will be the first to develop full-fledged quantum computers. And it seems that China will still be the first - the country is very actively working to achieve this goal.
This is recognized by American experts who are doing the same thing - they are developing quantum technologies. According to them, if the United States or any other country, except China, enters the sphere of quantum technologies in 10 years, it will be too late, since China will fully dominate here.
The country has already invested tens of millions of dollars in the creation of networks, the data in which are transmitted using quantum encryption. Last year, the Chinese satellite Micius helped conductcommunication session between Beijing and Vienna (distance about 7.5 thousand km). All data was quantum encrypted. Similarly, a communication session was held between Beijing and Shanghai. The infrastructure for videoconferencing has been developed for four years. The project was invested not only by research organizations, but also by the government. In particular, the administration of the two provinces of China allocated about $ 80 million for this project.
Over time, China plans to expand the line of communication, spreading the network to other cities and regions. The country's goal is to get a nationwide quantum communication infrastructure by 2030.
So far, information security and particle physics experts have been discussing the advantages and disadvantages of quantum encryption. Some believe that the effectiveness of this technology is not too great. Nevertheless, no one questions the success of China in the development of the quantum network - the Celestial Kingdom is really ahead of the rest.
At the same time, quantum encryption has one big plus - it will not be possible to connect to a new type of network at any point. For the most part, it is wireless, and only a few hundred kilometers of signal travels through fiber. In the case of conventional broadband highways, an attacker, in theory, can connect to intercept traffic to virtually any point on the network.
The United States also understands and accepts the importance of quantum cryptography. But here only research is being conducted on this issue; no truly large-scale tests, like in China, are being conducted. True, it focuses on a special form of encryption, which can be integrated into a standard network infrastructure without the need to create a specialized quantum one.
One of the companies that are working to resolve this issue in the US is Qubitekk. Another startup, Quantum Xchange, has advanced so much to the point that it hopes to soon become a supplier of quantum services to banks and other organizations. Also actively working in this area is also a laboratory at the University of Stony Brook.
American Quantum Cryptography (Quantum Xchange) does not need a special infrastructure.
Now American experts are busy creating a quantum communication channel between Manhattan and Newark. This channel will be used to connect networks of several banks. True, this will not happen tomorrow - according to the developers, for the full implementation of the technology, it will take at least another couple of years.
In order for quantum cryptography to work, additional equipment is needed - specialized sensors capable of detecting individual photons of light, as well as communication satellites. Qubitekk has difficulties with this - initially the sensors were ordered from an American company, which transferred the order to Chinese manufacturers with a delayed supply.
In Europe, work on quantum encryption is also under way, but not as actively as in China or the United States. Most likely, the priority will remain with Beijing, at least for the next few years.