Theodore Logan writes "More than a year ago, MagiQ announced the world's first commercial quantum cryptography system (pdf), with ID Quantique following closely in their footsteps. Currently, the technology is limited to offering point-to-point connections up to a maximum distance of around 50 km, but this is likely to be greatly improved on in coming years. The systems available today are prohibitely expensive for the average Joe (MagiQ's are priced at more than $50,000 per unit), but one could envision a future in which they are built into the infrastructure by non-end user actors. Does this spell the end of the field of cryptography? Will systems like this ever become commonplace, or will they be reserved for sensitive financial transactions and military applications? What impact will quantum cryptography have on society? Good articles available from International Herald Tribune, EE Times and CNET."
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