A “crystal ball” for crypto that is based on Quantum Computing?
I spoke with Per Lind, a Business Development Expert, Advisor, Cryptoconnoisseur, and Economist with a strong passion for IT and technology. He shared his insights on Cryptocurrency, Quantum Computing, Cybersecurity, Machine Learning, and Blockchain. Per started his career at the trade school in Denmark. He later moved on to the US and earned a University degree in Economics at Indiana University.
Back to the time of his Economics studies in the state of Indiana, Per got involved with the world of insurance and sales. We asked him what he learned about himself at those early stages of his work life in the US, to which he responded :
Economics got me into insurance, but I found out quickly that I preferred driving around and meeting clients face to face rather than working all day at an office, staring at a computer screen. I definitely learned that I am not very good at sitting still.
He moved on, working together with several bartering companies. In essence, bartering is the oldest form of commerce. Basically, it involves providing one good or service by one party in return for another good or service from another party. Inspired once again by his Economic studies and what he learned about money and the concept of money throughout human history, he became fascinated with the idea of value, more specifically, what value is given to money and how money is perceived as a value.
Per has extensive expertise and deep proficiency in modern business solutions that expand across 3 different continents. He spent respectively 19 years of his life in the US, 10 years in the UK where he moved to work for IBM, and more in Asia where he has advised in building new and exciting software for companies, as well as being a business development specialist that helps software companies expand into the fast-growing Asian economies where he is still actively involved in several business projects.
Entering The Crypto World
During his time in Bangkok, he started up his own venture, basically representing and advising Danish, European, and a few American companies on how to get into the ASEAN market. His deep interest in IT led him to work for a Danish company in Bangkok, measuring eye motions and eye-tracking, where he learned a lot about security.
Bitcoin came to life in 2008 by a person or a group of people named Satoshi Nakamoto. The concept of Bitcoin immediately caught his attention due to his prior experiences in bartering.
When Bitcoin came out, it looked extremely promising from my point of view as a currency for bartering companies. I started mining at 27 cents per. Bitcoin at the time, and I have been in the cryptocurrency area basically from the start.
Although Per saw the huge potential in Bitcoin, he was also well aware of its limitations in certain anti-government radical views that some Bitcoin purists held and of other issues around the transaction time concerning mining posed its challenges.
I disagreed with what Bitcoin was doing. They were all radicals in the beginning, and I grew tired of this approach, you know this whole — Let´s make our own money so that the government can´t control us –
I knew that was not sustainable and going to go over like a lead balloon. I also became more aware of the difficulties that the transaction rate had in terms of mining. When I started looking around for alternatives that solved these obstacles, my quest led me into IOTA.
IOTA is an open, feeless, and scalable distributed ledger designed to support frictionless data and value transfer. It was designed to record and execute transactions between machines and devices on the Internet of Things ecosystem (IoT). In principle, the founders behind IOTA claim that Bitcoin and Ethereum are not decentralized despite the blockchain technology, as the miners have great power in the network, and the reason why it sparked Per´s interest, is that it would solve the issues related to transaction mining time, given that the idea behind IOTA is cryptocurrency without mining. Toridion, Quantum Computing, and Machine Learning
Per´s fascination with IT and technology eventually led him into Quantum Computing. In 2016, he Co-founded Toridion with partner Scot Forshaw, a thought leader in Quantum Computing and Predictive Analytics. Toridion Project is a Quantum Computing research and development company striving to bring advanced Quantum Machine Learning to all who need it.
Quantum Computing is an up-and-coming technology. It is said to be more power-efficient than modern computing through Quantum tunneling, speeding up AI’s learning process, reducing thousands of years of learning to mere seconds. Classical computing cannot solve problems above a certain size and complexity, given the lack of enough computational power on Earth to tackle them. This is where Quantum Computing kicks in as a new universal kind of computing that can leverage the quantum mechanical phenomena of superposition and entanglement to create states that scale exponentially with the number of quantum bits (also known as qubits).
Quantum computing has a vast amount of potential use-cases, so we asked Per to explain more about what Toridion is doing, and he responded :
Toridion is doing Quantum simulations, and we have been working on that for the past 6 years. Scot has built a program that actually solved the 10.000 piece puzzle. The way it works is by tuning in a neural network with your quantum algorithm; you make it see the picture (the picture on our webpage is president Obama), and then you make it learn it. Afterward, you split that picture into 10.000 pieces that the computer can still see, but then you arrange the neural network’s memory, and you ask it to identify the picture. Until last year, Google had the quickest time solving this puzzle in a couple of hours, but we did it in 20 minutes.
Per introduced his partner Scot into the Crypto World. Given that Crypto is one of his areas of expertise, he knows exactly what the problems are. Their conversation started by focusing on the following question: can we make a quantum assisted mining operation that would beat everybody?
The basic answer to that is Yes, you can. However, you have to spend a lot of money to get it into production. There are many challenges with developing Quantum because it is still costly and difficult to scale. I wanted us to start by looking into practical applications instead, because if your focus is all over the place, you will not be very successful.
In this note, we are releasing an APPI very soon that predicts Bitcoin and Ethereum future movement in the market based on 3 years of backtesting with a 75% success rate already now, and certain trading houses are already interested. We call it Crypto Ball, just like a Crystal Ball that shows the future.
Another area where they have worked is facial recognition for preventing and managing crimes that involve public safety. When asked about his opinion on the controversy which usually surrounds the topic of facial recognition and its likely misuse, Per responded :
We are not fans of any Orwellian mindset. But if it is about solving a crime and putting rigorous usability cases around it, I do not see a problem with some terrorists being caught, hopefully before the crime is committed. This kind of technology is already being used in some airports for passport identification, for instance, the International Airport of Singapore.
Toridion has also worked with the anonymization of private data and biometrics so that data can be used but not identified easily by hackers if they have a part of the information, thus preventing identity theft and other crimes related to breaches in cybersecurity. Per illustrates this with the following example:
Let´s say that if I have your first name and last name, I can figure my way into your social security number and if I have those two things I can find your address on Krak, and boom, I can easily just buy the most expensive Bang & Olufsen equipment in your name and next month you will get a bill that will shock you. Quantum has the capability of securing your private data and biometrics.
This technology also helps AML practices by recognizing the patterns of where the money comes from by tracking all the transactions that have been involved. Per feels strongly about the need for more robust cybersecurity systems. Not only concerning money laundering crimes but also cybersecurity carried out by inter-governmental organizations such as Interpol and the EU. He explained this further:
Right now, the bad guys are winning over the good guys in terms of cryptographic crimes. Interpol and the EU are way behind in time and lagging in knowledge, proper IT training, and equipment. This is a multifaceted problem, but unfortunately, it is a reality that specialized crime units are limited by factors such as budgeting and gaps between technology, politicians, and legislation. Quantum computing can help solve these crimes, but if it falls into the wrong hands, it can also help the crooks. We do not have a solid defense yet, and as a society, we need to become significantly better at tackling these threats.
How will quantum computing affect blockchain?
One of the major selling points of Blockchain is that it provides a virtual ledger that is cryptographically “unbreakable” under normal circumstances. On the other hand, there is Quantum Computing, which in essence has enough capacity to “break” this virtual ledger by running specific algorithms much faster than any existing supercomputer.
A group of researchers from the Russian Quantum Center observed one potential risk that originates from the fact that blockchain security largely relies on one-way mathematical functions- the ones that are easy to run yet more difficult to calculate in reverse. This means that quantum technology has the capacity to make blockchains more vulnerable or render them more secure. Per believes more in the latter scenario :
Quantum will add a lot of security to cryptocurrency, and although the hardware part of Quantum is still going to take a long time to develop, it is definitely here to stay and in terms of blockchains, I believe it will just add improvements. A good use case for quantum and how it will help improve security is replacing classical digital signatures and the encryption of all peer-to-peer communications on the blockchain network. It is a huge deterrent for hackers because they do not know what the transaction involves exactly. After all, it is hashed, and figuring it out would take many resources. Indeed Quantum Computing can help society, but we must also be responsible for ensuring its proper use.
Quantum will help health care experts.
The use of Quantum technology could revolutionize the detection and prevention of serious illnesses such as cancer. Big data research and machine learning are likely fields to advance quickly with the advent of real-world functional quantum computers. Toridion is currently working with a partner to catalog and analyze cat scans and X-rays in a European country.
We are working on a simulated version of quantum computing with machine learning to help medical researchers gain vast amounts of useful data. Basically, neural networks, coupled with machine learning algorithms, are very good at finding outliers. This means abnormal things in what appears normal at first glance. For example, it could be an X-ray of a woman’s breast; the algorithms would be able to look for anomalies or cysts on the tissue, helping identify potential cancer cases. Machine learning holds great promise in eliminating most diagnostic errors related to reading imaging.
The impact that quantum computing will have on health care is difficult to grasp. Still, it perhaps may become the strongest tool to increase our understanding of the complexities of genomics, individual physiology, pharmacology, and several other areas of medicine and health care. Especially areas such as research and diagnostics will greatly benefit from the advances in quantum technology and the resulting enhancement in available data quality.