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Quantum supremacy: 1000x faster computers for financial transactions


Goldman Sachs focuses, together with startup QC Ware, on quantum computing, designing algorithms that could be used on hardware available in five years. Quantum algorithms developed for financial applications, especially with regards to risk assessment and price simulation for a variety of financial instruments. Compared to traditional hardware, algorithmic computers perform the complex calculations necessary for simulation with the Monte Carlo method, based on random sampling to obtain numerical results, 1000 times faster than today’s maxi computers. Until now, the predictions of making computers capable of developing quantum hardware for these calculations were in the terms of 10/20 years but, the team of Goldman and QC Ware says they have taken a significant step in this direction that could lead to reducing the time at only 5/10 years. Fabio Cavaliere, on Ericsson’s blog explains that “What distinguishes a quantum computer from a traditional one is the nature of the bits that store information. In traditional computers, a bit can take the values ​​0 or 1. In a quantum computer, however, the information is contained in qubits in which two values ​​are present simultaneously in superposition (as if an object could be black and white at the same time ). This is a puzzling property of fundamental physics that is not reflected in normal daily life. By exploiting this particular principle, algorithms have been developed that are able to efficiently solve problems that would be impossible to perform in a functional time interval with a traditional computer ”. In this sense, in December 2020 a Chinese quantum research group published in Science the results achieved with Jiuzhang, a photon-based quantum system that recorded a sampling rate 1014 times faster than a standard processor. It accelerated enormously after a few first attempts when IBM unveiled the first commercial quantum computer, the IBM Q System One, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 2019, which can be used by companies via the cloud. But in the race for quantum supremacy, or the superiority of these computers over traditional computers, Google is also involved in the front line, which in California has developed the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab dedicated to quantum research and development while Europe moves with the Quantum Flagship Initiative in which 1 billion euros has been invested in ten years starting from 2018. In these applications, however, the security of the current data encryption protocols in communication networks could be jeopardized. Although, as a quantum computational capability is being developed, in parallel we are thinking of producing an equally powerful quantum cryptography, that is a system that exploits the properties of quantum mechanics to send messages securely.

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