Will quantum soon be able to do everything?

Does the quantum computer’s enormous computing power provide opportunities as well as threats? Will it replace regular computers or not? And what can you do now to prepare? These questions were answered at the quantum seminar, organized on April 12 by the Dutch Banking Association. A short report from one of our first live seminars – which of course can also be followed and checked online. This article first appeared in Bank | Wereld Online, a publication of the Dutch Banking Association.

“There is not yet a usable quantum computer. But it is certain that it will have a huge impact on society, on current encryption, secure business processes and payment traffic in particular. But in addition to threats, there are also opportunities. So welcome, and let’s come on it!” For example, Eelco Dubbeling, director of NVB, opened the live quantum seminar on Thursday 12 April. Approx. 60 interested parties from inside and outside the banking sector were present. The event was also followed with interest online.

Like an apple on a stick, small input – complexity in the middle – small output

Under the expert guidance of today’s President Somya Gupta (QuTech), seven players from the technology world and the banking sector took visitors into the relatively new world of quantum computing. Quantum computers are no substitute for classic computers, was one of the messages from Benno Broer, Chief Commercial Officer at PASQAL The quantum computer is not efficient for all tasks, tasks and applications, says Broer. “Like an apple on a stick, small input – complexity in the middle – small output – the quantum computer can do it like no other.”

Quantum computers will be used to a limited extent in the beginning, especially in a research and development environment (R&D), they may be the first to show its added value, was his prediction: “Make sure to talk to the business so you will understand which ( niche) needs there and develop software for it. To do that, you need to understand how the hardware works so that your application is well-tuned to the strengths and limitations of current quantum processors. “

Do not wait too long

Do not wait too long with the implementation of post-quantum algorithms (NIST candidates), was the message from lecturer Simona Samardjiska (Radboud University), who discussed the selection process that should lead to the standardization of a new key encapsulation and signature algorithm that can withstand the quantum computer .

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) post-quantum standardization process is not running smoothly, Samardjiska concludes. NIST was also inadequately prepared. Meanwhile, many post-quantum algorithms have been offered as candidates from the market. But NIST has still not made a final decision. The signature algorithm ‘SPHINCS will be standardized, Rainbow is not’, expects Samardjiska.

Speaker Garrelt Alberts (Orange Quantum Systems) dived into the technology. After discussing technical aspects of state-of-the-art hardware, width (number of qubits) and depth (the longest path from input to output), he addressed an important topic: the various uses of the quantum computer. . Lecturer Gabriele Spini (TNO) discussed the public key infrastructure systems (PKIS) in more detail and the need for them to be able to withstand the quantum computer in good time. PKIS has been implemented in many places, so the impact of quantum will be huge, Spini predicted.

Quantum resistant

After the fascinating – and rather technical – presentations by Itan Barmes (Deloitte) and Pepijn Pinske (University of Twente), Oscar Covers, cyber security expert at NVB, concluded the meeting on the quantum computer’s consequences for the payment infrastructure: quantum resistant. Start with low regret pull. Map which cryptography you use where – systems, processes -. And in new developments, you need to use encryption algorithms that are resistant to the quantum computer, was Covers’ message to payment service providers. A practical and educational end to a good meeting, which ended with a (live!) Drink.

Click here to see the seminar.

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