Why quantum technologies represent a new paradigm of trust


Over the last few years, greater attention has been placed on quantum supercomputers and what they might mean for both scientific research and breaking certain forms of encryption. On December 3, 2020, the Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency announced that a group of scientists from China’s University of Science and Technology had reached quantum supremacy, after building a machine able to perform certain computations nearly 100 trillion times faster than the world’s most advanced supercomputer. If true, these scientists’ achievements will represent the first milestone in China’s efforts to develop quantum technology. Most symbolically, this scientific landmark portrays the ongoing global race to build the most powerful supercomputer in the era of superpower competition and U.S.–China rivalry.

The development of quantum technology has inestimable potential effects on our livelihoods, from message encryption to quantum teleportation. Given the multiple landmark applications of this technology, it is not surprising to learn that Xi Jinping’s government is building a $10 billion National Laboratory for Quantum Information Sciences and that the United States’ White House, National Science Foundation, and Department of Energy announced $1 billion in funding last August to research artificial intelligence and quantum information.

In this second issue of the Economy of Trust newsletter, both SICPA and the Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Center analyze the implications of quantum technologies in the development of an economy “based on a social contract, with the government defending the interests of the people.” In the face of significant moral and sociopolitical challenges of quantum technologies, SICPA argues that political and industrial decision-makers must “prepare their organizations for the future challenges” given that “our traditional way of managing risks will be insufficient in the face of high uncertainty.” The GeoTech Center concurs with our SICPA partners noting that “data and new technologies are changing societies around the world—making it extremely important that we encourage more trust and knowledge-based collaborations to work towards better futures together.”


Christine Macqueen
Economy of Trust Foundation / SICPA
Dr. David Bray
Atlantic Council GeoTech Center
Borja Prado & Nikhil Raghuveera

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Related Experts: Borja Prado, David Bray, and Nikhil Raghuveera