“Quantum Impact” – The Potential for Quantum Computing to Transform Everything

There’s a full-throttle race under way for the edge in developing and deploying computing based on quantum principles. Governments and industry leaders across tech and other key industries are investing heavily in research and development of both the core quantum technology and its potential applications.

The transformative potential of quantum computing may take many years to fully realize. So why do these developments matter for investors now? Leaving aside the geopolitical implications, with China’s planned investment outstripping that of the U.S., quantum computing will affect industries ranging from asset management to transportation. Leading companies are already investing significant sums to stake out their quantum strategies, with a focus on solving challenges that traditional computing power cannot.  

In this report, our contributors — Pathstone professionals and external industry experts — explore quantum computing, focusing in on its implications for sectors including asset management, cryptocurrencies, water technologies, chemicals, transportation, and healthcare. We also address the key question “Is quantum computing investable?”  

Importantly, across many of the governments and leading companies investing in quantum technology and its potential applications, there has been an emphasis on targeting the most pressing environmental and social challenges of our day, as framed by the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. If this current collective focus continues to inform the progress of quantum, it truly will have transformational impact. 

Please see below for summaries and links to each section, or click here to download the full report.


Quantum Impact: Why It Matters for Investors Now

By Erika Karp, Pathstone

Applying the principles of quantum mechanics to computing offers the potential to solve complex challenges well beyond humankind’s current capacity. Governments and major corporations are investing significant sums and jockeying for position. Why does this matter for investors now?

Quantum Computing Demystified (Not Really…)

By Mark Peters, CFA, Pathstone

What is this revolutionary and disruptive technology? Why is it so hard to comprehend? To attempt to understand quantum mechanics, you need to leap from classical mechanics to a new intellectual paradigm, one in which the old “normal” rules of reality don’t always apply. If you are puzzled, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Computing Power and the New World Order

By John Workman, Pathstone

We can imagine both positive and more sinister ways in which quantum computing could change geopolitical dynamics. The current hierarchy of world power is led by the U.S., with China the closest rivalWill quantum computing power be the game changer in terms of which of these two horses takes the lead, or might it be just the thing to jumpstart another nation, or group of nations, to become the unexpected winner?

“Quantum-Interested”: Potential Use Cases Across Sectors

By: Eric Hsueh, Pathstone

There has been an acceleration in interest from corporates in the past few years, with the number of companies actively budgeting for quantum computing expected to rise from around 1% in 2018 to 20% by 2023. We highlight the types of use cases most suited to quantum computing and how they might apply in different sectorsas well as key public companies leading the way. 

Quantum Computing, AI, and Asset Management

By: Garvin Jabusch, Green Alpha Advisors

The asset management industry has made use of complex algorithms for years. However, the type of analysis required in a venture capital or private equity investment, or indeed for an actively managed equity fund with complex criteriacurrently defies automation. Quantum computing could change that.

Crypto and Quantum: Here to Stay, Better Together

By: Jalak Jopanputra, Future Perfect Ventures

The intersection of blockchain technology, cryptoeconomics, data analytics, and artificial intelligence may lead to the creation of nextgeneration business models, similar to what the PC era did with hardware and software, and what the Internet era achieved with mobile applications and cloud computing. 

Quantum Computing…and Water??

By: Matthew Sheldon, KBI Global Investors

Quantum computing has the potential to increase the availability and affordability, and boost the operational efficiency, of water infrastructure globally. It may also help accelerate the adoption of new, more cost-efficient technologies. 

Quantum Computing for a Chemical World

By: Carly Anderson, Ph.D., Prime Movers Lab A

Quantum computers that can help us understand molecules larger than a handful of atoms are still 10-20 years awayMoreover, classical computing technologies have already facilitated major advances in drug discovery for decades. Nonetheless, there are exciting possibilities for quantum computing to tackle complex challenges that elude current capabilities.

Quantum Leap: Travel and Transportation

By: Erika Karp, Pathstone

The travel and transportation sector offers an excellent example of quantum computing’s potential. There is limited logistical connectivity across modes of transportation, and it’s a major carbon emitter. In this section of our report, we explore the applications of quantum computing for supply chain and logistics optimization as well as managing carbon emissions in this critical sector.

The Path to Revolutionary Healthcare

By: Camilla Ozada, Dartmouth College

In this article we focus on how quantum computing might change the face of healthcare and save millions of lives in the process. Three key areas stand out: diagnostic advancement, precision medicine, and drug discovery.

Is Quantum Computing Investable?

By: Alexander Hart, AJ Levine, Pathstone

Quantum computing is a nascent investment opportunity that falls into two broad categories: 1) Investing in the technology and supply chain of the quantum computing industry; and 2) investing in companies that are early adopters and users of quantum computing power. The first category is an early but active opportunity, while the latter category will develop as the technology advances.

Quantum Boosts for Sustainable Development

By: Jude Erondu, Pathstone

Quantum computers have the potential to accelerate the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations. We review five key goals – zero hunger, good health and well-being, clean water and sanitation, affordable, clean energy, and climate action – in the context of how quantum computing developments may aid in the effort.

Please see the PDF version of the full report for important disclosures.


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