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Ultra-secure form of virtual money proposed

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Carlos Edelstein
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A new type of money that allows users to make decisions based on information arriving at different locations and times, and that could also protect against attacks from quantum computers, has been proposed by a researcher at the University of Cambridge.

The theoretical framework, dubbed 'S-money', could ensure completely unforgeable and secure authentication, and allow faster and more flexible responses than any existing financial technology, harnessing the combined power of quantum theory and relativity.

Researchers aim to begin testing its practicality on a smaller, Earth-bound scale later this year.

Details are published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

"It's a slightly different way of thinking about money: instead of something that we hold in our hands or in our bank accounts, money could be thought of as something that you need to get to a certain point in space and time, in response to data that's coming from lots of other points in space and time," said Professor Adrian Kent, from Cambridge's Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, who authored the paper.

The framework developed by Professor Kent can be thought of as secure virtual tokens generated by communications between various points on a financial network, which respond flexibly to real-time data across the world and 'materialise' so that they can be used at the optimal place and time.

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Carlos Edelstein
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