TrUE vs. QKD vs. PQC – Know the Difference

Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) and Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) are two major approaches to quantum-safe data protection that are currently under active development. Although both technologies intend to protect against quantum threats, they’re drastically different in their technical implementation and ideal use cases. They also have some serious limitations that governments and businesses should keep in mind when considering quantum-safe security solutions.

In this blog post, you’ll learn more about the benefits, disadvantages, and applications of QKD and PQC. We’ll also be stacking QKD and PQC up against Quantropi’s TrUE quantum-secure product families available through QiSpace™.

What is Quantum Key Distribution?

Quantum key distribution, or QKD, is a method of secure transmission of cryptographic keys. QKD exploits quantum mechanics to allow communicating parties to securely exchange cryptographic keys.

QKD can replicate true random numbers, which are used as cryptographic keys between two points (and currently two points only) across a dedicated communication channel. A typical QKD communication channel consists of lasers and optical fiber cables. QKD encodes quantum states which are passed across the fiber cables in the form of entangled photons between the end point devices. Once transmitted, matching cryptographic keys are derived (using classically-based error correction methods) from the photons that can then be used in quantum-safe and classical encryption algorithms.

The reliance of QKD on quantum mechanics implies a few rather interesting benefits for the technology. At the same time, QKD has several serious limitations that will hinder its widespread adoption.

The Benefits of QKD

QKD is Impervious to Hackers (in Theory)

In quantum physics, the no-cloning theorem states that it’s impossible to create a copy of an unknown quantum state. In practical terms, this means that a hacker wouldn’t be able to intercept and store the photon states exchanged with QKD. It’s believed that this property of quantum mechanics makes QKD impenetrable, but only in theory; the specific devices used to construct a QKD link might still be vulnerable to attacks (e.g. A side-channel attack on the QKD devices themselves rather than on the transmission).

QKD is Intrinsically Sensitive to Eavesdropping

Even if an adversary tried to steal your keys despite the no-cloning theorem, they would need to somehow measure the quantum states passing over a QKD link. Any measuring attempt causes the quantum entanglement to collapse and is therefore immediately noticeable by the communicating parties because transmission ceases.

QKD is Resistant to Advancements in Quantum Computing Hardware (in Theory)

Unlike classical methods of key exchange, QKD doesn’t rely on mathematical complexity – it exploits the laws of physics. This means that QKD, in theory, is resistant to advancements in Quantum hardware and technology. So no matter how powerful quantum computers get with time, QKD is thought to be capable of maintaining its security attributes indefinitely.

The Limitations of QKD

While QKD seems promising, it has a few serious limitations that researchers must overcome to make the technology practical for widespread use.

Government cybersecurity agencies, like the Central Security Service of the US National Security Agency (NSA) or the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), currently advise against using QKD in government or military applications.

Why do government agencies view QKD in a negative light? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons below:

QKD has Limited Range

Limited range is one of the bigger practical challenges for QKD – so much so that increasing its operational distance has been a primary research goal in recent years.

In standard optical fiber – the one commonly used in classical computer networks – most photons are scattered and absorbed before reaching the receiver. Just 10% of the photons can travel more than 50 kilometers in a standard fiber, and only 0.01% make it past 200 kilometers. This issue is worse because we can’t use standard network repeaters to extend the communication range because of the no-cloning theorem.

Optical fiber with ultralow losses and noise reduction techniques have allowed researchers to extend the range of QKD to as much as 509 kilometers. However, experimental solutions like this one might take time to become widespread and can be prohibitively expensive for most businesses.

QKD Requires Special-purpose Hardware

QKD requires dedicated fiber connections and lasers to send and receive the photons with the keys. These hardware requirements imply huge deployment costs and the need for major infrastructure changes for businesses that rely on cost-effective Ethernet cabling for internal communications.

The fact that standard fiber cables don’t work well for long-range QKD exacerbates the issue, as discussed in the previous point. With all that in mind, switching to QKD can be a gargantuan task in terms of scale and cost.

QKD Cannot Authenticate the Source of a Transmission

QKD doesn’t perform entity authentication. In other words, QKD cannot ensure that the transmission comes from the intended entity. This implies that QKD might be vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks where a hacker communicates with parties without their knowledge. With that in mind, QKD protocols must be complemented by classic cryptographic measures that can authenticate the transmission source.

QKD is susceptible to Denial-of-Service Attacks

QKD’s intrinsic sensitivity to eavesdropping can also become a liability. Even if an attacker cannot extract or interpret the photons being exchanged, merely tapping the line means the security has been compromised so the sender / receiver can no longer trust what was shared. Even inadvertent and environmental perturbations of the signal (e.g. vibration from a passing vehicle) may be interpreted as or indistinguishable from an actual attack.

The Use Cases of QKD

Quantum key distribution is thought to be suitable for secure key exchange in critical industries like financial services, core telecommunications networks, and Defense applications.

However, the limitations we listed earlier can significantly limit its practicality in any industry.

QKD is expensive, difficult to implement, and needs to be done right to uncover its full potential. With these points in mind, if you absolutely needed to use a technology like QKD, you would want to limit it to very high-value areas where its benefits outweigh the implementation costs. Even then, you would want to consider other, more efficient means of securing cryptographic keys.

What is Post-Quantum Cryptography?

Post-quantum cryptography, or PQC, is cryptographic algorithms that are believed to be secure against quantum threats. In current common parlance, PQC is only used to refer to post-quantum asymmetric encryption algorithms.

Like QKD, PQC’s primary use case therefore is the secure exchange of cryptographic keys. But unlike QKD, which exploits the properties of quantum mechanics, PQC relies on algorithms (complex math puzzles) that are too complex for quantum computers to crack.

Classical cryptographic algorithms rely on integer factorization, discrete logarithms, and elliptic curves to encrypt data. While classical computers cannot crack these mathematical problems in any reasonable time frame, a sufficiently powerful quantum computer would be able to do so in a time frame short enough to make an attack practical.

To protect against quantum threats, PQC algorithms rely on more complex mathematical problems that are thought to be secure against quantum attacks. These problems include finding short or close vectors in lattices (lattice-based cryptography) or inverting hash functions (hash-based cryptography).

PQC is still in active development, and it’s currently undergoing standardization by NIST. Draft standards are expected to become available in 2022/2024. Government agencies like the UK NCSC or the US NSA support the development of PQC as well because of its advantages over QKD. PQC isn’t perfect, however, as we’ll explain below.

The Benefits of PQC

PQC Can Authenticate Transmissions

PQC can be used to generate digital signatures or certificates to authenticate the source of a transmission. This simplifies the implementation of PQC because it can be used without any “out of band” or extra identity authentication tools.

PQC is Cost-effective and Easy to Deploy

Because PQC leverages complex mathematical functions that can be expressed in today’s computer programming languages, it can operate on classical computers without specialized hardware. PQC can be delivered to devices via software updates, which considerably simplifies its deployment. Perhaps even more important, PQC isn’t as costly to deploy because it doesn’t require dedicated fiber connections or lasers to send and receive data.

PQC Has a Wide Range of Use Cases

Rather than provide point-to-point security like QKD, PQC can work in a wider range of environments and applications. Thanks to its independence of hardware, PQC can work over cable connections and wireless networks. This makes it more mobile and thus expandable to essentially any device in a corporate network.

The Limitations of PQC

PQC Relies on Large Keys

The majority of promising PQC algorithms rely on keys that are much larger than those in classical algorithms. These large keys consume more storage space and increase the time required to encrypt, decrypt, and verify messages.

With that in mind, the transition to PQC may force you to upgrade your IT infrastructure so that it can keep operating at acceptable performance levels. Additionally, PQC might not be able to operate on resource-constrained devices like cell phones or IoT devices.

PQC has Poor Scalability

Currently, PQC algorithms cannot scale endlessly while also maintaining their hardness (resistance to attack). Lattice-based cryptography – an important candidate for PQC – can scale well, but it may only achieve average hardness at large scales. This might change as researchers make advancements in PQC algorithms.

The Use Cases of PQC

Compared to QKD, PQC is a more general-purpose solution that can be used to secure cryptographic keys and generate digital signatures for user authentication.

Because of the software-only simplicity of its implementation, PQC might also be the right choice in situations where costs must be kept low. PQC is also useful when asymmetric encryption needs to be delivered to a wide range of devices across a large range of network technologies, including wireless.

What are TrUE Technologies?

TrUE refers to the three prerequisites for end-to-end quantum security – Trust (asymmetric encryption), Uncertainty (symmetric encryption), and Entropy (strong random numbers). Quantropi is the only quantum-secure technology company offering this full suite of quantum encryption and quantum entropy services – all available through its QiSpace™ SaaS platform.


MASQ™ is the Trust offering in Quantropi’s line of cryptographic solutions. It provides quantum-secure asymmetric encryption and is Quantropi’s chief PQC offering. MASQ™ aims to deliver the security benefits of NIST PQC candidates at a lower performance cost.

The two primary functions of MASQ™ are as follows:

  • Key exchange – MASQ™ can enable two parties to securely share their symmetric encryption keys
  • Digital signature – Using the sender’s private key, MASQ™ can generate a digital signature to allow you to validate the sender’s identity

Currently under development, MASQ™ will offer not only Quantropi’s efficient PQC algorithm but also NIST-approved PQC algorithms.


QEEP™ is the Uncertainty offering in Quantropi’s line of cryptographic solutions. It’s primarily aimed at data encryption at rest and in transit.

QEEP™ implements quantum-secure symmetric encryption functionality and is primarily intended for deployment in resource-constrained edge devices, like IoT devices. QEEP™ also has low latency, which makes it optimal for applications like high-bandwidth communications or connected vehicles.


SEQUR™ is the Entropy offering in Quantropi’s line of cryptographic solutions. It provides functionality for quantum key generation and distribution.

SEQUR™ QEaaS relies on Quantum Permutation Pad technology to enable quantum-secure distribution of FIPS-certified QRNG over any network infrastructure. SEQUR™ SynQK implements digital quantum key distribution (Digital QKD), an analog of QKD that works over any IP network, including wireless. To provide localized secure key generation, SEQUR™ NGen, is a pseudo-QRNG solution that generates random numbers with extremely long periodicity that passes all NIST, ENT and Dieharder tests for strong randomness.

The Benefits of TrUE

TrUE Delivers Quantum-Secure Protection with High Performance

TrUE provides quantum-secure data protection with little or no performance impact on existing IT systems.

Quantropi’s PQC offering – MASQ™ – has a very similar performance profile compared with classical cryptographic algorithms. One of the reasons for the relative efficiency of Quantropi’s novel PQC offering is its small key sizes and elegant algorithm execution. For example, in situations where you need to generate and authenticate a large number of digital signatures (e.g. in blockchains), MASQ™ will perform on par with (or even better than) legacy cryptographic approaches.

QEEP™ symmetric encryption offers the same level of protection as the AES-256-CBC algorithm. At the same time, Quantropi’s tests have shown that QEEP™ is up to 18 times faster than AES-256-CBC across several hardware platforms and operating systems.

Power savings are significant as well, with QEEP™ consuming up to about 90% less power than AES and up to about 40% less power than AES-NI.

TrUE Deploys Effortlessly at Enterprise Scale

There’s no need for you to make significant changes to your IT infrastructure to start using TrUE technologies and QiSpace™. QiSpace™ integrates rapidly into existing enterprise environments via Quantropi’s downloadable SDK and standard programming APIs.

Thanks to its software-based delivery model, TrUE technologies can help you avoid investing tens and tens of thousands of dollars in new hardware infrastructure. TrUE technologies work on any network endpoint, and they’re also easily scalable and can grow with your business.

TrUE Is a Complete Data and Communication Protection Solution

TrUE technologies make up a complete quantum-secure solution that can protect your organization across its entire IT infrastructure. Not only do TrUE technologies deliver the functionalities of both PQC and QKD, but they also allow you to protect data at rest and in transit. You can use QiSpace™ across entire corporate networks to secure data on any endpoint, like a cloud server, desktop, mobile phone, or IoT device.

At a more specific level, you can use TrUE to:

  • Secure enterprise messaging and file sharing
  • Protect remote endpoints via quantum VPN
  • Protect corporate data at rest and in transit
  • Secure Public Cloud and SaaS Platforms
  • Securely share cryptographic keys


Try QiSpace™ Today

Quantum-secure any application, product, network, or device with the QiSpace™ platform — without having to sacrifice performance or make major investments in new technology or infrastructure. See for yourself how only QiSpace™ offers TrUE quantum security via all three essential cryptographic functions. Leverage asymmetric encryption algorithms (the “Trust” or “Tr” of “TrUE”) via MASQ™, symmetric encryption (“U” for “Uncertainty”) via QEEP™ and strong random numbers (“E” for “Entropy”) via SEQUR™.  Make it TrUE with QiSpace™ — and protect your business, brand, and customer promise. Now and forever. 

To learn more about our quantum-secure solutions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts!

Sacha Gera

Sacha Gera possesses a deep understanding of the industry’s nuances through extensive experience in the cybersecurity sector. The Ottawa-based leader and Forty Under 40 recipient has nearly twenty years of experience in SaaS industries, professional services, and M&A, working in technology for both start-ups and large multinational organizations, such as IBM, Nortel, CGI and Calian. He currently also holds the position of CEO at JSI and Director at CENGN & Ottawa Board of Trade BOD.

Christopher McKenzie

With his extensive experience in software development and strong analytical skills, Chris can handle the entire end-to-end software development life cycle. Prior to Quantropi, he served as Director of Product Development at Sphyrna Security, Inc., where he managed the delivery of security compliance automation and data diode appliance products, and as Commercial Software Development Manager at Cord3, Inc., where he managed the development of an advanced data access policy management product. Chris graduated from Computer Science at Algonquin College and the Ottawa School of Arts in 1998. Read less

Dr. Randy Kuang

Randy holds a doctorate in quantum physics. His research findings have been published in top international journals and named “Kuang’s semi-classical formalism” by NASA in 2012. With a career spanning IT, including with Nortel as senior network researcher & developer, he co-founded inBay Technologies in 2009, serving as CTO of the cybersecurity platform. As the first recipient of a patent for two-level authentication (2011), Randy is a prolific inventor, with 30+ U.S. patents in broad technology fields, such as WiMAX, optical networks, multi-factor identity authentication, transaction authorization, as well as concepts, technologies and industrial applications for quantum key distribution.

Cory Michalyshyn

Cory brings a breadth of experience to the Quantropi team, working fractionally with multiple SaaS technology companies as CFO, and as the CFO with Celtic House Venture Partners. Prior to these roles, Cory was CFO and COO at Solink, and played a lead role in the metrics-led pivot to a direct-sales SaaS model, followed by multiple VC-backed funding rounds and their recognition as one of the fastest growing start-ups in Canada. He qualified as a CPA while serving technology, VC & PE-fund clients at Deloitte, and earned his Bachelor of Commerce at Queen’s University.

Ken Dobell

Ken leads marketing strategy at Quantropi. In high demand as a consultant with 25 years’ experience in performance media and an award- winning creative background, he has completed successful transformations, (re)branding and product development mandates with KPMG, Keurig DrPepper, Fidelity,the Previan Group of companies, Coveo, and numerous others. Previously, Ken pivoted an offline advertising brokerage to a leading-edge, data-driven performance agency as President of DAC Digital, held a progression of international leadership roles with in North America and Europe, pioneered a range of multi-channel initiatives as VP Marketing with a global franchisor, and introduced a mobile-first programmatic media offering to Canada within WPP.

Raj Narula, P.Eng.

A seasoned technology executive, business builder and angel investor, Raj has held operational and advisory roles in Recognia (Trading Central), Belair Networks (Ericsson), March Networks (Infinova), Sandvine (Procera), Neurolanguage (ADEC), Bridgewater Systems (Amdocs), Vayyoo (Cafex), TenXc (CCI), 1Mobility (Qualys) and others. Having divided his time among North America, EMEA and Asia-Pac for over 20 years, Raj speaks several languages. He grew up in Asia, Europe, South America and Canada, and holds a B.Eng degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ottawa. He is also a co-founder and Charter Member of the Ottawa chapter of TiE (the Indus Entrepreneur).

Michael Redding

Before joining Quantropi, Mike was Managing Director and co-founder of Accenture Ventures, where he grew a global portfolio of strategic partnerships and 38 equity investments in emerging technology startups.

During his nearly 30 years with Accenture, he incubated and launched technology innovations for enterprises across multiple geographies and industries. Ever-passionate about bold ideas with game-changing results, he speaks frequently on the impact of emerging technology on large organizations.

With a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton, and a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern, Mike is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Accenture Foundation and Board Observer for startups Maana and Splice Machine.

Alex He

Alex is a product-oriented project manager who bridges the gaps between the company’s engineering and commercial teams. He has over ten years of experience in the analysis, design and development of enterprise-class applications, with a particular focus on creating optimal user experiences (UX). Ever passionate about cybersecurity solutions that can deliver solid security without unreasonably sacrificing customer convenience, Alex is the lead inventor of a registered patent on user interface security. He is committed to helping ensure that the Agile software engineering team at Quantropi delivers consistently high-quality, high crypto-agility cybersecurity solutions for next-generation communications.

Nick Kuang

As VP Corporate Services, Nick plans, directs and coordinates a wide range of activities aimed at achieving Quantropi’s vision of the Quantum Internet. He has a keen interest in transformative technologies and the possibilities they offer for bettering our everyday lives. A pharmacist by training, Nick nurtures teams with a focus on integrity and collaborative effort, coupled with strong attention to detail. With prior experience in a successful biotech start-up developing point-of-care test kits, he enjoys the fast pace and challenge of the start-up environment.

Tina Wang

Tina develops websites and participates in a range of different projects, using new frameworks for front-end UI, along with Vuejs, Angula, Beego, Ruby on Rails, and Electron. She developed Quantropi’s desktop CipherSpace application by integrating Electron, Webassembly and Go, to ensure a good user experience, as well as perfect operating system compatibility. She is also part of the dynamic and efficient QKD-NODE project team. Tina is always looking for new ways to increase her knowledge, improve her technological proficiency and enhance her strong execution and implementation skills. Prior to Quantropi, Tina served as a full-stack web developer at Sunny Future, where she maintained a WordPress home site and managed the release of new content for the company.

Bond Vo

Bond Vo is the Business Analyst of Quantropi. Along with Quantropi, Bond has been dynamic in accordance with a fast and evolving startup environment and is responsible in a wide range of areas including market research, funding, and more involved in the controller roles to oversee day to day accounting operation as well as build financing models and budget to achieve company’s ultimate goals/objectives. Bond has applied best practices consistently and successfully supports equity, debt, and non-dilutive funding for Quantropi since joint the team. He earned a Bachelor of Commerce concentrated in Finance from Carleton University. Outside of his professional career, Bond also participated in volunteer for the Vietnamese Immigration Student Association (VISA) to help and support students as well as newcomers in Canada.

Pauline Arnold

As James Nguyen’s EA, Pauline Arnold brings more than 40 years of experience in complementary customer service and administrative roles. Prior to Quantropi, she served 20 years as Branch Manager and an assistant in investments, and over 20 years at Metropolitan Life Canada in various aspects of the insurance sector – assisting clients, management and colleagues to complete tasks, solve problems, address questions and achieve goals. She also worked part-time for Royal Lepage Performance for 5+ years as a receptionist & admin, and for 5 years was chair of the TKFG’s charity golf tournament.

Dafu Lou

Dafu is Quantropi’s Director of engineering. Prior to Quantropi, he served as a technical leader at Irdeto, a world-leading provider of digital platform security software, where he was responsible for white-box cryptography, cloaked CA secure core, and iOS/android application protection services, among others. Prior to Irdeto, Dafu served as a senior software engineer at SecureNex Systems, where he led the implementation of an SSL-VPN solution and ECC-based secure data storage & PKI. He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Ottawa in 2009. Dafu is also a part-time professor, teaching VLSI, Cryptography and other subjects at uOttawa.

Eric Chan

Eric Chan a.k.a. EEPMON is a Crypto / Digital Artist with 15 years in the industry – and Quantropi’s Creative Emissary. His hybrid fractal/digital creations have been seen in fashion, comics to museums and has exhibited worldwide. EEPMON’s collaborations include Canada Goose, MARVEL, Snoopy, Microsoft Xbox, Canada Science & Technology Museum and was a TEDx performing artist. In 2018 he represented Canada on its first Creative Industries Trade Mission led by Canada’s Minister of Heritage and serves on the Canadian Museums Association‘s Board of Directors. At the same time, he is currently completing his Master of Information Technology – Digital Media at Carleton University. 

Jeff York

Jeff’s distinguished career includes an extraordinary track record of successfully navigating and spearheading expansions and transforming companies into industry giants. Jeff was the President and CEO of Giant Tiger Stores for 10 years. In this capacity, Jeff helped grow the business from a regional discount chain with 250 million in sales to 1.4 billion in sales nationally as Canada’s third largest discount chain. In 2009, Jeff joined Farm Boy with a mandate to expand the business. Under his leadership, the company grew from a nine-store chain in the Ottawa region to 26 stores in Ottawa, Kingston, the GTA and Southwestern Ontario. Farm Boy was acquired by Sobeys’ parent company Empire Company Limited for $800 million in 2018.

Patricio Mariaca

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Marco Pagani

Marco Pagani began his long and successful career as a senior executive in Ottawa’s high-tech sector in 1985, with Nortel Networks (then Bell-Northern Research). He rose across two decades to become president of several Nortel Business Units, managing more than 2,000 employees and over $1 billion in revenue. Having gone on to advise numerous organizations, as well as guide a range of companies through complex, critically necessary turnarounds, he is particularly respected for placing a strong emphasis on ethics and corporate governance in building the culture of the corporate and not-for-profit organizations he leads and supports.

Lawrence O’Brien

Lawrence O’Brien is a founder of Calian Group and former Mayor of Ottawa. Larry founded Calian Technology Ltd. in 1982 with a $35 investment and built it into a $200M/ year profitable, dividend-paying public company by 2006. As the CEO of Calian, Larry executed an IPO in 1993, completed five significant acquisitions, and managed the overall strategic growth of Calian from 1982 until 2006. After retirement from Calian in 2006, Larry served as the 58th mayor of Ottawa and proceeded to push forward four major economic development projects, including a Light Rail Transit tunnel in the core of the city, a new Convention Centre, now known as the Shaw Centre and a new trade show facility and a major urban renewal project that rebuilt 40 acres of dilapidated downtown Ottawa called Lansdowne Park into a vibrant, destination for citizens and tourist.

Dat Nguyen

Dat Nguyen has executive experience with top global consultancies such as IBM, Accenture, Ernst & Young (EY), and decacorn start-up Grab at C-Level roles.

During 20 years of consulting, Dat has worked with multiple companies across Canada, the USA, the Caribbean, and the Asia Pacific with CEO roles and leadership such as CEO for Accenture Vietnam, CEO of Grab Vietnam, and Partner of EY Consulting leading the technology practice (including Cybersecurity) in Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia).

Dat is a tech entrepreneur, a co-founder, and a digital ecosystem builder. He is passionate about new and innovative technologies and is involved in multiple companies across verticals such as AI, Blockchain, Web3, Cybersecurity, InsurTech, and FinTech. Dat is currently a member of the ASIA CEO Club.

Dat earned the Executive Education at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School, and received the Executive Certificate in Public Leadership in 2018.

Tanya Woods

Tanya Woods brings more than a decade of successful strategic advocacy experience to her role at the Chamber of Digital Commerce Canada. Tanya most recently served as the Interim Executive Director for the Blockchain Association of Canada and is a champion for Canada’s digital innovation ecosystem, domestically and globally. Tanya has held senior-level positions in the industry, representing national and multinational organizations in the telecommunications, technology, and entertainment sectors, including BCE Inc., Microsoft, Hut 8 Mining, and Nintendo. She has also advised and represented the Government of Canada in global trade negotiations and on the growth of the country’s blockchain ecosystem. Tanya is a global public speaker and published author with degrees from the London School of Economics, Ottawa University, and American University Washington College of Law. She was named among the top 10 “Leading TechWomen in Canada” by the Government of Canada, a “Trailblazer” by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and a “Top 40 under 40” in Canada’s Capital by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and the Ottawa Business Journal.

Renato Pontello

Renato has 30 + years of experience as a trusted legal advisor and strategist. As an executive he has assisted numerous companies and their Boards of Directors to plot out and implement significant growth, diversification and reorganization plans in challenging circumstances. He was lead counsel on the sale of Zarlink Semiconductor’s $680 million dollar business as part of a takeover bid. At Zarlink he negotiated significant development, manufacturing, supply, distribution and IP licensing agreements with leading suppliers (eg Cisco, Nokia, Ericsson, Medtronic, Starkey, TSMC, Global Foundries, etc.). Renato has been involved in M&A, restructuring, financings and commercial contracts for dozens of companies. He also provides legal support in regards to intellectual property, securities, real estate leasing and employment law. He represents clients mostly in the SaaS, wireless, proptech, quantum, renewables, e-commerce, engineering and real estate conversion space.

Timothy Stapko

Timothy Stapko is a senior software engineer at Microsoft with 20+ years of experience in the information technology industry specializing in embedded systems, IoT security, security (SSL/TLS), and 9+ years of experience leading projects and a team of engineers on two commercially successful implementations of TLS for resource-constrained embedded systems (including cryptography, X.509, DTLS, HTTPS, etc.). Tim also has experience with US federal information standards (e.g., FIPS) and other standards and certifications (e.g., Common Criteria/EAL) and specializes in C, C++, FIPS 140-2, Linux, SSL, TLS, TCP/IP

Jay Toth

Prior to joining Quantropi, Jay was Chief Growth Officer of Kepro, responsible for the organization’s overall growth strategy in government markets. Before that, Jay held a progression of sales leadership and general management roles during his nearly 17 years at Microsoft, including GM, Enterprise Services, State and Local Government & Education, during which period he was responsible for the most complex business in the U.S. subsidiary (with 2,000 customers across the country), nearly doubling revenue from $160M to over $300M. Prior to his career at Microsoft, Jay was VP at Risetime, where he launched and ran a Financial Services practice area; a Principal at Lakefront, where he was responsible for business development and strategic partnerships; and a Manager at Accenture in the Emerging Technology Solutions group. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia.

Nik Mahidhara

Prior to joining Quantropi, Nik most recently provided strategic and tactical leadership as Director of Finance overseeing a large corporate treasury department. Here, he managed over $2B in operating funds and $1B in financing. Other responsibilities included cash management and forecasting, liquidity and investments, corporate financing, financial risk management as well as accounting and internal control management. Preceding that, Nik provided assurance, accounting and advisory services focused on high tech clients with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Canada. Nik has held progressive finance roles in various different environments and holds a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business.

Brian LaMacchia

Brian LaMacchia recently retired from Microsoft Corporation where he was a Distinguished Engineer and head of the Security and Cryptography team within Microsoft Research. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at Indiana University Bloomington, an Affiliate Faculty member of the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. Brian also currently serves as Treasurer of the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) and as a Vice President of the Board of Directors of Seattle Opera. Brian received S.B., S.M., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 1990, 1991, and 1996, respectively.

James Nguyen

James Nguyen is a Co-Founder and the CEO of Quantropi, a quantum-secure communications company established in 2018. Alongside Dr. Randy Kuang, he aims to uphold truth and trust in the digital economy on a global scale. In 2021, James was officially recognized as a recipient of Ottawa’s Top Forty Under 40 Award, and he holds a degree in Economics from Carleton University.

With a profound understanding of banking and global finance, James actively invests in and advises early-stage companies in the fields of Fintech, Graphene, and Quantum Technologies, particularly in emerging markets. Prior to his role at Quantropi, he served as the Chief Investment Officer and VP of Asia Operations for a diverse group of private and public interests involved in real estate, mining, energy storage, and manufacturing. In this capacity, he was responsible for strategy, banking, and global expansions, successfully securing substantial investments and partnerships to commercialize graphene applications across various industries.

James participates as a speaker and panelist at international conferences focused on quantum technology, cybersecurity, and investment. He also contributes to the community as a volunteer and mentor, leveraging his expertise and experiences to benefit others.