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OneConnect and SMU sign MoU for augmenting blockchain capabilities with quantum technology

Image credit: OneConnect.

OneConnect Financial Technology (OneConnect) and Singapore Management University (SMU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), on September 6, to partner in the research work for developing a Proof of Concept (POC) on the possibilities of quantum computing boosting the capabilities of blockchain technology.

The event saw the signing done by Tan Bin Ru, CEO (Southeast Asia) at OneConnect and Professor Pang Hwee Hwa, Dean of SMU School of Information Systems.

The research team behind this project is made up of researchers from the SMU School of Information Systems and engineering staff from OneConnect.

It is led by both Associate Professor Paul Griffin from SMU School of Information Systems and Dr Corey Manders, Head of Research and Development at OneConnect Financial Technology.

Quantum Computing is becoming of growing interest within the tech and innovation world. This technology, while still in its early stages, it will supersede classical computers. It allows for much faster processes and carrying larger quantities of data.

While there is a rise in the use of blockchain technology, there are still some obstacles faced. These will include maintaining strong consensus as the technology grows.

The role of quantum technology in this research effort is to find ways of improving blockchain technology in areas such as tough wide-scale consensus, efficiency for on-chain data searching, private record validation, high-speed smart contract processing and interoperability between blockchain networks.

The research team will be looking into quantum algorithms that could boost blockchain technology. The developed POC will be used to show how these algorithms can be used in blockchain networks. This can then be engineered into a production-ready system for wider use as quantum computing grows with time.

Quantum computing has proven that is can break some of the encryptions used now and allow for more secure ways of data transmission.

As part of this collaboration, SMU will have access to OneConnect’s business expertise and blockchain technology to collect real data for the research work. Space and resources such as resources for hosting multiple nodes in a blockchain network for research work will also be provided by OneConnect.

“This collaboration focuses on how building blocks like quantum communication, quantum consensus and quantum storage that have been achieved experimentally can be applied to blockchain’s to give a real business advantage,” said Professor Pang.

He shared that SMU’s School of Information Systems, Lee Kong Chian School of Business and the School of Law have been researching and teaching blockchain for several years covering areas from cybersecurity, smart contract coding, trust dynamics and decentralised exchanges.

“Unravelling what quantum computing and blockchain can become as a whole allows OneConnect to be the game-changer, bringing the best and latest technology to the market,” said Ms Tan.

She added that the data explosion has allowed for a lot of progression in artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology. Bringing AI and blockchain together will open the doors to many other possibilities in the Internet of Things (IoT).

This collaboration will also see both parties working together to potentially provide student programmes and internship opportunities with OneConnect.

OneConnect has previously collaborated with and supported OpenGov on two of our breakfast insight sessions:

Thriving in an A.I World – Are you ready for the future? and Who Wins the Future of Banking?

The first session was held in Singapore while the latter in Sydney, Australia.

Both sessions involved discussions with delegates from various financial institutions about the use of technologies such as AI and blockchain in financial processes and services to better provide for customers.

OneConnect shared about their technology-enabled business solutions during these sessions. They gave insightful information about how Ping An has created technology solutions which employ big data and AI technologies, such as voice, face and image recognition.

These solutions are already being used by citizens in China and have proved to increase efficiency and accuracy in areas such as processing of claims and fraud detection.

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