One might assume that the origins of quantum cryptography — the method of information encryption whose security is ensured by the very laws of quantum mechanics — could be traced back to some high-tech laboratory full of lasers and crystals and other such gizmos. But one would be wrong.
Quantum cryptography actually got its start in the warm, azure waters off the coast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, where Gilles Brassard was having a lovely, solitary swim. A complete stranger came paddling up to Brassard and launched into a diatribe about a new method for creating counterfeit-proof money. I won’t spoil all the details, but rather let Brassard himself explain the origins — and the incredible potential benefits — of quantum cryptography: