Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), through its financial technology subsidiary Digital Ventures, has announced a strategic investment in 1QBit, a software company focused on quantum and quantum-inspired computing based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The investment makes SCB the first bank in south-east Asia to actively engage with quantum technology and its applications in financial services.
Dr Arak Sutivong, first executive vice-president and chief strategy officer, Siam Commercial Bank PLC, said: “The world is rapidly approaching a critical junction where today’s classical computing technology will be inadequate in handling the advanced computational workload that will mark the data-driven, hyper-interconnected landscape we will find ourselves living in. Quantum computing represents that next generation of technology that will propel computing forward and shape the technology landscape through the next century. SCB’s investment in 1QBit reflects the strategic importance we place on learning from bleeding-edge technologies that could have vast and profound impact on a variety of industries, including financial services.”
Quantum computing is a field of computing technology that harnesses unique physical properties of sub-atomic particles to execute computations that would be too complex or too time-consuming for traditional, silicon chip-based “classical” computers to solve.Though the initial theories and ideas behind quantum computing technology were first introduced in the early 1980’s, existing technology at the time made the development and implementation of practical quantum computing applications impossible. However, increased investment into quantum research in recent years by companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Intel and Google has dramatically accelerated technological progress in the field.
Founded in 2012 in Vancouver, 1QBit develops algorithms and software for quantum and quantum-inspired computing via its hardware-agnostic software platform. To date, 1QBit’s algorithms have been applied towards computationally-complex problems in the financial services, life sciences, and advanced materials industries for Fortune 500 clients.
Following its most recent venture capital fundraising round in 2017, 1QBit counts Royal Bank of Scotland, Accenture, Fujitsu, Allianz, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange among its pool of strategic investors.
Landon Downs, president of 1QBit, said: “We’re excited to have SCB join our growing group of industry partners focused on applying new types of hardware to their high value problems and we look forward to collaboratively applying quantum computing to portfolio optimisation, risk management and security.”
“In the near term, we expect our investment in 1QBit and quantum and quantum-inspired computing to have tangible influence on our business through advancements in portfolio optimisation, wealth management, risk management, and cyber security. Over the long term, quantum computing forms a core part of SCB’s investment strategy to identify fundamental technologies with the potential to reshape our industry from the ground up,” said Dr Sutivong.