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JPMorgan Chase, Toshiba & Ciena build the first quantum key distribution network used to secure mission-critical blockchain application

By IQT News posted 18 Feb 2022

(TheStreet) JPMorgan Chase, Toshiba and Ciena have demonstrated the full viability of a first-of-its-kind Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) network for metropolitan areas, resistant to quantum computing attacks and capable of supporting 800 Gbps data rates for mission-critical applications under real-world environmental conditions.
The research team demonstrated the ability of the newly developed QKD network to instantly detect and defend against eavesdroppers. It also studied the impact of realistic environmental factors on the quality of the quantum channel and used a QKD-secured optical channel to deploy and secure Liink by J.P. Morgan, the world’s first bank-led, production-grade, peer-to-peer blockchain network. This is the first demonstration of QKD securing a mission-critical blockchain application in the industry.

Toshiba the Platinum sponsor at upcoming IQT The Hague February 21-23

Under the leadership of JPMorgan Chase’s Future Lab for Applied Research and Engineering (FLARE) and Global Network Infrastructure teams, researchers from all three organizations collaborated to achieve the following notable results:

  • A QKD channel was multiplexed on the same fiber as ultra-high bandwidth 800 Gbps optical channels for the first time and used to provide keys for encryption of the data stream.
  • Co-existence of the quantum channel with two 800 Gbps and eight 100 Gbps channels was demonstrated for a 70km fiber, with a key rate sufficient to support up to 258 AES-256 encrypted channels at a key refresh rate of 1 key/sec.
  • Operation of QKD and the ten high-bandwidth channels was demonstrated for distances up to 100km.
  • The proof of concept network infrastructure relied on Toshiba’s Multiplexed QKD System, manufactured by Toshiba Europe at their Cambridge UK base, and Ciena’s Waveserver 5 platform, equipped with 800 Gbps optical-layer encryption and open APIs running over Ciena’s 6500 photonic solution. The tests were conducted in JPMorgan Chase’s fiber optic production simulation lab.

“Security is paramount for JPMorgan Chase,” said Marco Pistoia, PhD, Distinguished Engineer and Head of the FLARE Research group, JPMorgan Chase.

At this time, QKD is the only solution that has been mathematically proven to defend against a potential quantum computing-based attack, with security guarantees based on the laws of quantum physics.

Steve Alexander, Chief Technology Officer, Ciena, added, “With more sensitive information being distributed across fiber-optic networks every day, robust encryption is of vital importance. As the quantum computing era approaches, research and development advances will continue to ensure the confidentiality of critical data as it travels over the network.”

“Based on the success of this project we now have a proven and tested method for defending against quantum attacks on blockchain,” said Yasushi Kawakura, Vice President and General Manager Digital Solutions Division, Toshiba America, Inc. “Toshiba is proud to contribute our QKD technology to this first-of-its-kind solution.”

Suresh Shetty, Distinguished Engineer and Head of Blockchain Engineering for Onyx by J.P. Morgan, shared, “We are excited to have demonstrated that QKD can effectively secure communications between the various nodes in the Liink network against future

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