When the technology matures, quantum computing could be worth up to $135 billion in annual revenue in the Finance sector alone. That’s according to a new report from technology investment analyst firm, CB Insights.

For Financial Services, the key revenue opportunities from quantum computing will include portfolio optimisation (up to $50 billion a year); risk management ($20 billion); anti-fraud and anti-money laundering initiatives ($30 billion); and market simulation, including of derivatives pricing ($35 billion).

A further $80 billion in new revenue opportunities could come from quantum cryptography, says the report.

CB Insights suggests that the cloud will become the main delivery platform for quantum services, with a big five of US corporations battling for dominance of the sector in the West: Alphabet/Google, Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, and Intel. In China, Alibaba, Baidu, and others will play a similar role.

However, the technology will be a double-edged sword, warns the report. This is because, once the problems of system noise and errors are corrected and quantum computers can scale to enterprise-grade applications, the new generation of devices will be able to crack many of today’s public-key encryption methods, putting currently secure communications and data processing at risk.

As a result, post-quantum cryptography (PQC) is a fast-emerging discipline – new public-key encryption approaches that are resistant to quantum computers.

In the big five, Intel has a particularly strong focus on PQC, holding by far the most patents in the field, while IBM holds the most quantum patents overall.

Many of Intel’s patents relate to “making quantum-resistant encryption protocols more computationally efficient,” says the report. “This focus on efficiency could help smooth the transition to post-quantum cryptography across Intel’s ecosystem and extend quantum-resistant encryption to low-powered devices used in IoT setups.”

Enterprise cloud giant Microsoft is developing multiple PQC protocols for a range of applications, suggesting that it believes quantum services will be a certainty in the near future.

Alphabet’s quantum software team Sandbox, currently operating in stealth mode, is thought to be working towards helping enterprises adapt to PQC, while developing the potential to roll out quantum services across Google’s software stack.

Amazon is also investing heavily in PQC, says the report – essential for a company whose AWS division underpins the Web infrastructures of countless organisations, including government departments.