Interview

The next big thing in financial technologies: quantum computing

Friday 11 May 2018 08:27 CET | Interview

George Gesek, CEO of NOVARION Systems shares with us useful insights into how will quantum computing affect the financial services industry.

We had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Gesek at the European Payment Summit 2018, where, during an interview held with The Paypers, he offered a detailed overview of this emerging technology and what benefits quantum computing could bring to businesses across the globe.

Operating from Vienna, Austria, NOVARION Systems is a high performance computer manufacturer, serving thousands of customers in various fields of industries, scientific and governmental organizations. The computers designed by the company are based on artificial intelligence systems and on a high transaction processing layer for meta-information. According to the founder of NOVARION, this transaction processor “shall be capable of the same amount of transactions per second as the human brain by 2025”.

As everything in our universe represents information, in order to apprehend, comprehend, and understand any of the things within, one needs to process this information. In order to do this, “until the end of the 2nd millennium, people knew two kinds of information processing machines: the computer, called Turing machine and the brain”. However, according to Mr. Gesek, the future sounds more promising as “the dawn of the 3rd millennium unveils a much more powerful beast for information processing, the quantum machine, or quantum computer”, he added.

What is quantum computing?

A quantum computer is an unprecedented mighty tool that crunches vast amounts of information, just with the glimpse of an eye. In fact, a quantum machine works similar to the way the universe calculates/analyses space and time coordinates, the foundation of what we call reality.

Explaining what quantum computing is, Mr. Gesek added that “as the amount of information exceeds the one within our state-of-the-art computers by factors like 10 to the power of 70, scientists plan to harvest this quantum information and put it into newly developed machines called quantum computers”.

Moreover, there are several types of these machines, related to the different implementations of the Quantum information storage, the so-called Qubits. From a scientific point of view, “these are of two different technological types, namely the ones which are mounted on a solid surface and thus, in order to maintain the precious Quantum information long enough for the calculation, deeply cooled down, almost to absolute zero (<1mK). The other ones are built with free particles like the ones of light (photons) or single ions (electrically charged atoms trapped in a magnetic field) but at room temperature”, the NOVARION CEO added.

Interestingly, on both sides of the Atlantic, the early adopters in the computer industry have bet on the two different technology approaches. In the US, big companies such as IBM, Google or Microsoft have chosen the “deeply frozen” architecture on a super conducting chip. Going back to his company, Mr. Gesek stresses the fact that in Europe, “on the contrary, smaller companies like NOVARION Systems are going to implement the 300 Kelvin version of Qubits. The idea here is to maintain the elusive Quantum information much longer without interactions from a solid crystal lattice”. Smiling confidently, he added that it would be interesting to see “which quantum technology will prevail, so far the race for Qubits has started just now”.

Quantum computing applied to financial services

After presenting the technological aspects of quantum computing, Mr. Gesek also revealed some of the technology’s main applications in the financial industry. He praised the volume of information and results quantum computing offers “due to the calculation of quantum information, which effectively adds meta information to the model. Thus, with a quantum computational model of a system, like financial markets, the results can contain probabilities of future events such as trades or quotations,” he said.

Fighting money laundering (and financial fraud in general) is an area that would benefit a lot from quantum computing. “Especially within the financial analysis of transactions”, Mr Gesek arguments, “quantum models could very efficiently uncover undesirable behaviour such as fraud or money laundering. A human financial analyst with a quantum computer assistant is in many ways more efficient than today’s classical computer aided skilled workers and will be the new normal as soon as sufficient quantum computing power is available in data centres.”

“There are two sides to every story”- challenges and threats

“There is more to the technology that it seems at first sight”, the founder of NOVARION specified, as “quantum computing is a threat and a chance for the entire financial industry at the same time. The threat arises from the extreme computational power, which endangers most of the state of the art encryption methods and security measures for classical data including the blockchain.” The good news is that “on the other hand, quantum information allows for encryption of data itself, and provides technologies for identification in future.”

For those interested to find out when will quantum computing make its debut, Mr. Gesek announced that NOVARION with its science partners have lately made significant progress with the integration of the first industrial standard for the future quantum computers.

“This new technology shall lead to a useful quantum computer for the financial industry in just 4 years from now (by 2022). Among the first use cases, which are already under evaluation with bank customers of NOVARION, one can find optimized workflows where computers and humans work together, as well as new prediction models for market behaviour” he concluded.

If decades ago, technology would take great stretches of time to design, test and implement, nowadays, it is going from beta to real-world applications in a fraction of the time. While interviewing NOVARION’s founder we discovered that even if quantum computing is still a nascent technology, we are the winners, in the role of consumers seeing the benefit in conveniences and functionality in our banking and financial experiences.

About George Gesek

After his studies of physics at the Technical University of Vienna, George Gesek entered the ICT industry to foster the beginning merge of computer and quantum science. This milestone of humanity seems reached now with the state of the art production techniques in the nanometer realm, finally to create the first universal quantum computer.

 


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Keywords: quantum computing, George Gesek, NOVARION Systems, Qubits, innovation, emerging technology, money laundering, financial fraud
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Countries: World