HSBC: Utilising quantum protection for AI-powered FX trading

In a world first, HSBC used quantum protection to safeguard an AI-powered trading scenario involving the foreign exchange (FX) of €30 million for dollars

Banking giant HSBC is going the extra mile to protect highly-sensitive financial data from the next generation of cyber criminals. 

In what is claimed to be a world-first trial, the financial services powerhouse harnessed quantum protection to safeguard an AI-powered trading scenario involving the foreign exchange (FX) of €30 million for dollars.

The HSBC AI Markets trading terminal was armed with the necessary capabilities using quantum key distribution (QKD).

Colin Bell, CEO at HSBC Bank and HSBC Europe. Picture: HSBC

"The quantum revolution is not on the horizon; it's already here,” comments Colin Bell, CEO at HSBC Bank and HSBC Europe. “By investing and experimenting in quantum technologies now, HSBC is not just preparing for the future; we're shaping it.

“Today's trials will define tomorrow's triumphs. Successfully pioneering quantum protection for our FX trading is a significant step with far-reaching implications for the blueprint of our future cybersecurity.

“We are determined to do whatever we can to protect our customers’ assets, both now and in the future. This trial marks an important step in this commitment.”

Pioneering the power of quantum protection

HSBC can now safely say it is leading the charge when it comes to exploring how quantum cryptography can safeguard highly-sensitive trading data against possible cyber threats as powerful as future quantum attacks.

QKD uses particles of light and the fundamental properties of quantum physics to deliver secret keys between parties that can be used to encrypt and decrypt sensitive data. They are safe from eavesdroppers or cyber attacks by quantum computers.

As the technology matures into a commercially accessible and globally scalable solution, HSBC has proven it will have the power to safeguard trades of any value from quantum attacks.

What’s more, with this latest achievement, powered by BT, Toshiba and AWS technology, HSBC has reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to staying ahead of the technological curve and ensuring the utmost protection for customer and client assets in the quantum era. 

HSBC chooses to act

Electronic trading has transformed financial transactions in recent times, providing traders and investors unprecedented speed, efficiency and access to global markets.

Last year, HSBC processed 4.5 billion payments for its customers, worth an estimated US$4.45 trillion. 

HSBC is exploring how quantum cryptography can safeguard highly-sensitive trading data against possible cyber threats. Picture: HSBC

However, the increasing threat of cyber attacks and emergence of quantum computing poses a very real threat to the financial sector. 

HSBC has recognised that waiting until quantum computers become a reality to address this issue risks leaving financial systems vulnerable, especially given the transition to quantum-resistant encryption takes time. 

The London-based bank is committed to proactive research and development in this area to ensure the continued resilience of its financial systems in an increasingly quantum future.

"In the world of FX trading, currency dynamics are evolving faster than ever,” adds Richard Bibbey, Global Head of FX and Emerging Markets Rates and Commodities at HSBC. “Ensuring the security of our clients’ data is paramount and we must constantly innovate and stay ahead of the curve.

“This groundbreaking quantum experiment marks a considerable leap in the world of finance. For the first time, we have leveraged the power of quantum communications to further reinforce our secure trading and transactions.”

HSBC's quantum scientists, cyber crime experts and trading specialists are set to use the valuable insight generated by their experiment to inform how QKD can be integrated into the company’s most important trading tools – securing them against future quantum attacks.

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