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Multiverse completes crypto payments simulation with Bank of Canada

By Dan O'Shea posted 14 Apr 2022

Multiverse Computing, which has been making a name for itself with an intense focus on financial sector applications for quantum, celebrated World Quantum Day by announcing that it completed a proof of concept project with the Bank of Canada that employed D-Wave Systems’ quantum annealer to simulate the adoption of cryptocurrency as a method of payment by non-financial firms.

The project was timely, as more companies are starting to accept forms of cryptocurrency as payment for products and services. Also, as many as 46 million customers plan to use cryptocurrency to pay for items, according to a PYMNTS.com study from last year.

As Multiverse noted in its announcement this week, that makes it an important time to start developing a deeper understanding of interactions that can take place in payments networks, and quantum computing can be used for modeling complex transactions and economic behavior that is otherwise very difficult to simulate using traditional computational techniques.

“We are proud to be a trusted partner of the first G7 central bank to explore modeling of complex networks and cryptocurrencies through the use of quantum computing,” said Sam Mugel, CTO at Multiverse Computing, said in a statement. “The results of the simulation are very intriguing, and insightful as stakeholders consider further research in the domain. Thanks to the algorithm we developed together with our partners at the Bank of Canada, we have been able to model a complex system reliably and accurately given the current state of quantum computing capabilities.”

Using D-Wave’s quantum annealer, “the simulation was able to tackle financial networks as large as 8-10 players, with up to 2^90 possible network configurations,” the statement further said, adding, “Note that classical computing approaches cannot solve large networks of practical relevance, as a 15-player network requires as many resources as there are atoms in the universe.”

Maryam Haghighi, Director, Data Science at the Bank of Canada, said the project helped the bank also said, “We wanted to test the power of quantum computing on a research case that is hard to “learn more about how quantum computing can provide new insights into economic problems by carrying out complex simulations on quantum hardware.”

Motivated by the empirical observations about the cooperative nature of adoption of cryptocurrency payments, this theoretical study found that for some industries, these digital assets would share the payments market with traditional bank transfers and cash-like instruments, the companies said. The market share for each would depend on how the financial institutions respond to the cryptocurrency adoptions, and on the economic costs associated with such trades. The quantum simulations helped generate examples that illustrate how similar firms may end up adopting different levels of cryptocurrency use.

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