Four Swiss Organizations Receive Funding From the European Union for a Secure Quantum Communication Infrastructure

GENEVA, Sept. 24, 2019 The European Union announced earlier this month OPENQKD, a 3-year research project to test quantum communication infrastructures. For this €15 million project, the EU has selected 38 participants on the continent including four in Switzerland: University of Geneva, Services Industriels de Genève, ID Quantique and Mt Pelerin.

The focus of OPENQKD is to test an ultra-secure communication infrastructure with a built-in quantum element, known as Quantum Key Distribution (QKD). OPENQKD’s mission is to develop experimental QKD testbeds and test equipment interoperability. For this project, four Swiss organizations collaborate on the use cases below:

1. Quantum Vault:

The Quantum Vault is a crypto custody system designed by Mt Pelerin, the Swiss leader in blockchain applied to finance, in cooperation with ID Quantique, the leader in quantum communications. This custody infrastructure will provide ultra-secure storage of digital assets by financial institutions such as banks and cryptocurrency exchanges. By adding this layer of quantum-safe security on top of a bank-grade custody solution, the Quantum Vault ensures that the storage of private keys is “Information-Theoretically Secure”, meaning that such a system cannot be hacked even with unlimited computing power. Mt Pelerin aims at using this crypto custody solution for the blockchain bank that the fintech firm is developing.

2. Smart Grid:

SIG will create a smart grid network to connect its 800 power stations in Geneva. Each one will be connected to the SIG telecom optical fiber network and electricity network operations center. To secure data transmission and intrusion detection, SIG will test quantum technology provided by IDQ in operational environment. To this end, SIG will connect five power stations to the QKD testbed and assess available QKD technologies and services offered by the consortium.

3. Secured Datacenter Replication:

SIG intends to implement a quantum-safe solution between two main datacenters used as primary / backup. Communication will be secured through QKD, with two nodes being deployed to demonstrate high availability, high performance and failover solutions.

4. Long Term Storage Encryption:

The security of long-term critical data storage such as medical data is critical. The University of Geneva will evaluate the use of QKD for strong and long-term encryption by measuring the delay to re-encrypt data due to key or algorithm change. With this testbed, OPENQKD will develop an innovation ecosystem and grow the quantum communication technology and supply chain.

SOURCE Mt Pelerin

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