Kent, A., Lowndes, D., Pitalúa-García, D. et al. Practical quantum tokens without quantum memories and experimental tests. npj Quantum Inf 8, 28 (2022). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41534-022-00524-4
Unforgeable quantum money tokens were the first invention of quantum information science, but remain technologically challenging as they require quantum memories and/or long-distance quantum communication. More recently, virtual “S-money” tokens were introduced. These are generated by quantum cryptography, do not require quantum memories or long-distance quantum communication, and yet in principle guarantee many of the security advantages of quantum money. Here, we describe implementations of S-money schemes with off-the-shelf quantum key distribution technology, and analyse security in the presence of noise, losses, and experimental imperfection. Our schemes satisfy near-instant validation without cross-checking. We show that, given standard assumptions in mistrustful quantum cryptographic implementations, unforgeability and user privacy could be guaranteed with attainable refinements of our off-the-shelf setup. We discuss the possibilities for unconditionally secure (assumption-free) implementations.