Near-Future: Quantum Computing

Silicon Foundry
Jul 13 · 3 min read
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“We see quantum computing technology as both a near-term experiment addressing today’s business challenges, as well as the next and potentially greatest technological paradigm shift.” — Steve Gotz, Silicon Foundry

In recent years, quantum technology has garnered an increasing amount of attention and investment as proof-of-concepts progress and potential use cases have become better defined. While the potential applications span across sectors, we recognize there is one industry that is especially well-positioned to benefit from quantum computing (QC) technology — financial services.

As part of Silicon Foundry’s Near-Future event series — where we bring together leading executives, founders, academics and industry experts to discuss the potential near-future impacts of key frontier technologies — we recently hosted a virtual discussion with a unique group representing QC users, startups and investors: RBS, QCWare and MFV Partners.

The goal of the conversation was to explore potential applications of QC across an industry that is especially well placed to benefit from the technology: financial services and investment management.

“We know today that quantum computing will have a large disruptive effect on the financial services sector, specifically in areas such as machine learning and Monte Carlo simulation, and we expect it will impact other areas like binary optimization. The question is not if, but when this disruption will occur, and it certainly looks like the timeframe keeps shrinking.” — Yianni Gamvros, QCWare

During the conversation, we explored the challenges, vulnerabilities and opportunities presented by QC within the financial services sector, while also digging into how each of our featured experts is applying and approaching quantum technology today.

  1. We can expect to see increasing adoption of QC in the next 3–5 years, as technologies advance and commercial applications begin to mature and scale up.
  2. There are three main categories of QC use cases within the financial services sector: targeting and prediction, trading optimization and risk profiling.
  3. Organizations should think about QC as a form of insurance — strategize around and conduct small, but measured experiments and investments right now to begin preparing for the near-future implications.

Looking ahead there are four activities that an organization beginning to develop its QC strategy should be focusing on:

  • Educate the organization on what QC really is and identify specific and realistic problems and use cases that this technology will solve for that individual business.
  • Identify external partners with relevant expertise and technical capabilities in the selected use cases.
  • Map the skills that are needed in-house to build the appropriate infrastructure.
  • Begin experimental trials to understand potential strategic value and financial uplift.

The QC landscape is rapidly evolving, as the large technology platforms (e.g. Google, Microsoft, Amazon and IBM) extend their traditional offerings into the quantum realm and a growing number startups continue innovating at every level of the QC stack. Below, Silicon Foundry mapped many of the key players in the QC landscape, which we hope can inform your organizational QC strategies and accelerate identification of the right partners and/or investment targets.

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“Quantum computing is at the equivalent stage of the Commodore Pet (who learned to code on one of those?), and we are seeing positive results. Imagine what it will do when it gets to be a Pentium Processor or even a quad core. To infinity and beyond.” — John Stewart, RBS

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