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Quantum Supremacy – a Sputnik moment?

29 September 2019

Bloc portfolio company Crypta Labs enables large infrastructure projects to prepare for when quantum computing will quickly break classical encryption models, an event that is getting closer if Google’s claims are verified.

The Economist argues in a recent article that Google’s claim to have demonstrated quantum supremacy, if true, is a Sputnik moment. The Sputnik launch itself didn’t achieve much, but it proved a concept and gained worldwide attention.

Google’s machine has performed a task in just over three minutes that would take the world’s most powerful classical supercomputer around 10,000 years to complete.

VC investing in quantum computing is fraught with time risk as commercial quantum computers are unlikely to be available for a decade or so, heralding the “post quantum era” “PQE”. However, infrastructure projects being planned and built today that are likely to outlive the PQE will need to be future proofed from the implications of quantum computing, and the one that is top of mind is the quantum computer’s ability to break current encryption techniques very easily.

Bloc Ventures has focused on preparing for the PQE by investing earlier this year in Crypta Labs. Crypta is already working on a number of projects using its QRNG (quantum random number generator) technology to provide quantum ready security. Classical encryption is based on random number generators that are not truly random. This is good enough for preventing classical computer decryption, but quantum computers can break them very easily. Crypta has used quantum techniques to develop a true random number generator that enables PQE ready encryption.

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