Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 1998/017

Making An Empty Promise With A Quantum Computer (Or, A Brief Review on the Impossibility of Quantum Bit Commitment)

H. F. Chau and H.-K. Lo

Abstract: Alice has made a decision in her mind. While she does not want to reveal it to Bob at this moment, she would like to convince Bob that she is committed to this particular decision and that she cannot change it at a later time. Is there a way for Alice to get Bob's trust? Until recently, researchers had believed that the above task can be performed with the help of quantum mechanics. And the security of the quantum scheme lies on the uncertainty principle. Nevertheless, such optimism was recently shattered by Mayers and by us, who found that Alice can always change her mind if she has a quantum computer. Here, we survey this dramatic development and its implications on the security of other quantum cryptographic schemes.

Category / Keywords: Quantum cryptography, commitment schemes, zero-knowledge, oblivious transfer, quantum bit commitment

Publication Info: Appeared in the THEORY OF CRYPTOGRAPHY LIBRARY and has been included in the ePrint Archive.

Date: Received May 28th, 1998

Contact author: hkl at hplb hpl hp com

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