How Quantum Computing Will Transform Financial Services


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Christian Frahm is the CEO of United Fintech.

getty If 2023 was the year of AI, which I also addressed in my last column here on, it is evident that 2024 is going to be the year of quantum computing. It is a field that has already seen an influx of participants from big tech firms such as IBM and Google (as also reported in a full segment by 60 Minutes) for the past couple of years and which constitutes one of the perhaps most important and profound technological breakthroughs of the 2020s that is bound to set an ever-growing agenda in the coming years.

How Quantum Computing Will Transform Financial Services
How Quantum Computing Will Transform Financial Services

And if we for the next five minutes or so just focus on financial services, I’ll tell you exactly why. In the evolution of finance, we can talk about four essential phases:

Finance 1.0 relied on manual processes and personal interactions for hundreds of years and essentially didn’t develop from the invention of banking up until the 1950s.

Finance 2.0 took the first steps of digitization in the last half of the 20th century by first introducing credit cards, then digital transactions, e-banking, etc.—all of which greatly enhanced convenience for both retail customers and institutions alike hand in hand with the emerging globalization.

Finance 3.0 then embraced automation and data analytics in the first two decades of the 21st century, revolutionizing in a far shorter time operational processes, decision-making, risk assessment and global transactions while new empires started seeding beyond the typical financial capitals (i.e., Wall Street, Singapore, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Silicon Valley, etc.).

And now, as we step into Finance 4.0 in the third decade of the 21st century, the landscape will undergo another profound transformation in an even shorter time with the integration of cutting-edge technologies such as blockchain, AI and, notably, the emerging force of quantum computing, which in itself ideally mandates a Finance 4.5 designation (however, to keep things simple, we’ll stick with Finance 4.0 for now).

The “quantum leap,” as offered by quantum computing with its unparalleled computational power and ability to handle complex algorithms, promises to revolutionize financial services, enabling exponentially faster processing, more accurate predictions and enhanced security.

The challenge for financial services will thus be to embrace and manage quantum computing before quantum manages us. In the wrong hands, the technology could spark a “cybersecurity armageddon,” so adequately preparing for the “quantum era” is a must. To quote my friend, quantum pioneer and thought leader Niels Nielsen, founding partner of 2XN and board member of Quantinuum, 2024 will not just be “a critical year for quantum technologies … [but also] … an important year for quantum-proof security,” he recently emphasized in an interview with the Quantum Insider. In other words: The financial services sector will need to befriend quantum before it befriends its foes.

Yet while the potential is immense, the practical integration of quantum computing into financial services will unfold over several phases, according to Nielsen. In the short term (one to four years), we’ll see foundational research and hybrid quantum-classical applications emerge and quantum security become implemented. The mid-term (four to eight years) will likely bring more sophisticated integration, affecting real-time trading and risk management.

And for the long-term (eight-plus years) perspective, we expect full quantum integration, reshaping financial infrastructure and regulatory frameworks. So rest assured, it won’t happen overnight, but the relatively short time frame is a clear call to action that financial services better be prepared. And while generative AI has already transformed our landscape, dramatically enhancing how we interact with digital content, it still operates within the confines of classical computing power.

The real computational revolution awaits with quantum computing, which will shift the computational paradigm as fundamentally as AGI will transform AI possibilities. It’s when AI and quantum computing thoroughly integrate that we’ll witness a profound escalation in processing power and efficiency, marking a true paradigm shift in our technological capabilities.

Quantum Computing News

May 29, 2024 — Researchers demonstrated a quantum algorithmic speedup with the quantum approximate optimization algorithm, laying the groundwork for advancements in telecommunications, financial modeling, materials .

May 24, 2024 — Many of today’s quantum devices rely on collections of qubits, also called spins. These quantum bits have only two energy levels, the ‘0’ and the ‘1’. However, spins in real .

May 22, 2024 — Researchers have engineered string-like resonators capable of vibrating longer at ambient temperature than any previously known solid-state object — approaching what is currently only achievable .

May 21, 2024 — Scientists describe a new method to make very thin crystals of the element bismuth — a process that may aid the manufacturing of cheap flexible electronics an everyday …

May 15, 2024 — It’s one thing to dream up a quantum internet that could see  hacker-proof information around the world via photons superimposed in different quantum states. It’s quite another to .

May 14, 2024 — A new device that can process information using a small amount of light could enable energy-efficient and secure …

May 14, 2024 — Using interference between two lasers, a research group has created an ‘optical conveyor belt’ that can move polaritons — a type of light-matter hybrid particle — in semiconductor-based .

May 6, 2024 — Researchers have achieved the first controllable interaction between two hole spin qubits in a conventional silicon transistor.

The breakthrough opens up the possibility of integrating millions of … May 3, 2024 — Researchers have unveiled a quantum sensing scheme that achieves the pinnacle of quantum sensitivity in measuring the transverse displacement between two interfering .

May 2, 2024 — Physicists developed a technique to arrange atoms in much closer proximity than previously possible, down to 50 nanometers. The group plans to use the method to manipulate atoms into configurations .

May 2, 2024 — A new study reports on a deep new probe into the interface between the theories of gravity and quantum mechanics, using ultra-high energy neutrino particles detected by a particle detector set deep .

May 2, 2024 — Researchers succeeded in conducting an almost perfect quantum teleportation despite the presence of noise that usually disrupts the transfer of quantum .

May 1, 2024 — Scientists have dramatically reduced the time and energy required to chill materials to temperatures near absolute zero. Their prototype refrigerator could prove a boon for the burgeoning quantum .

May 1, 2024 — A research team has created an innovative method to control tiny magnetic states within ultrathin, two-dimensional van der Waals magnets — a process akin to how flipping a light switch controls a .

Apr. 30, 2024 — A lead-vacancy (PbV) center in diamond has been developed as a quantum emitter for large-scale quantum networks by researchers. This innovative color center exhibits a sharp zero-phonon-line and .

Apr. 29, 2024 — For the first time, the state of an atomic nucleus was switched with a laser. For decades, physicists have been looking for such a nuclear transition — now it has been found. This opens up a new .

Apr. 26, 2024 — Quantum mechanical effects such as radioactive decay, or more generally: ‘tunneling’, display intriguing mathematical patterns. Researchers now show that a 40-year-old mathematical .

Apr. 26, 2024 — Researchers have demonstrated that ferromagnetism, an ordered state of atoms, can be induced by increasing particle motility and that repulsive forces between atoms are sufficient to maintain it. The .

Apr. 24, 2024 — A new technique can generate batches of certain entangled states in a quantum processor. This advance could help scientists study the fundamental quantum property of entanglement and enable them to .

Quantum computers move into the light

Akira Furusawa of the University of Tokyo is developing quantum computers based on light.

Betting on Light

Semiconductor quantum computers also have an impressive head start in that they can exploit current manufacturing technologies. But Furusawa is convinced that, in the longer term, the advantages of using light for quantum processing are so overwhelming that optical quantum computers will eventually win out.

The speed of light

For a start, light can perform operations much faster than other technologies. Because light oscillates at much higher frequencies than those used in electronic circuits, it should be possible to achieve processing speeds that are around 10,000 times faster using light. Based on this speed advantage, Furusawa predicts there will be a wholesale shift towards light-based technologies.

“I believe we’re entering an age of optical technology,” says Furusawa. “Everything will become optical to take advantage of the speed it offers.” “Currently, the way to make fast supercomputers is to use parallel computing with many processors,” explains Mamoru Endo, a lecturer at the University of Tokyo and a member of Furusawa’s team. “But that consumes a lot of energy, which is a major problem.

” But the situation will be vastly different with optical quantum computers. “The basic unit operation has a minuscule energy cost, which means it will be possible to use many processors,” says Endo. “Imagine if we could use 100 times as many processors compared to today’s supercomputers and take advantage of the 10,000 times faster clock frequencies of optical processes — that’s potentially a million times faster.

” Another advantage of light-based computers is that they remove the need to convert a light signal, which is used to transport data, into signals, which other quantum platforms use to process data. Thus, both data transport and processing can be performed using the medium.

A model of a ‘quantum lookup table’ that will be used to perform calculations in light-based quantum computers.

Quantum lookup tables

To implement an optical quantum computer, Furusawa and his team are employing an original method that involves a form of quantum teleportation. To perform quantum computations, they set up what they dub a ‘quantum lookup table’ — a superposition of the relationships between all possible inputs and outputs.

They then make single measurements from the table. Since the measurement results are random, the team incorporates a feedforward mechanism to remove the randomness. In this way, they achieve teleportation between two entangled qubits. “We did the first experiment in the world using this type of transportation,” says Furusawa1.

Importantly, this method uses an original method of multiplexing — a way of combining multiple signals into one — which involves slicing and combining signals in time rather than in space. This is critical because it provides a scalable way of creating large quantum computers. “Since we don’t need to use chips for multiplexing, it enables us to create a large-scale quantum computer,” says Endo. Some significant challenges must be overcome to realize practical optical quantum computers. One of the biggest is achieving nonlinearity, which is critical for analysing complex, real-life processes.

Conventional computers are adept at solving linear problems that can be expressed using simple mathematical functions, but by exploiting the nonlinear nature of quantum interactions, quantum computers can tackle the many nonlinear phenomena that abound in the real world. However, the interactions of light are linear at the low intensities typically used in devices.

It’s very easy to create nonlinearities in superconducting and other quantum computer systems because they are inherently nonlinear systems, but it is very challenging using light because it is basically linear at low intensities. “This is the most difficult part for us,” says Endo. “We’re trying to introduce nonlinearity by injecting special quantum states created using photon detectors.”

A Bright Future

Furusawa’s project is part of the Japanese government’s quantum computing Moonshot Programme, which is seeking to produce a fault-tolerant, large-scale, universal quantum computer by 2050. While that goal is still a long way off, optical-based quantum computer technology has reached a point where it can begin to be commercialized.

“We’re currently developing an actual quantum computer for neural networks. We intend to create a start-up company and make it available on the cloud in 2024,” says Furusawa. “So it’s not just a dream — optical quantum computers can have practical applications even in the short term.”

And Furusawa predicts that the long-term direction of quantum computing will be towards optical technologies. “I think the age of conventional qubits based on standing waves is over,” he says. “We’re going to see optical qubits based on travelling waves taking over. My dream is to see all computers become optical quantum computers.”


So friends, In my post I have given information about Quantum computers move into the light and Quantum Computing News, Betting on Light, The speed of light, Quantum lookup tables etc.

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