Quantum Computing Business Update 2023-2024?

Clint Brown

Looking at the fascinating events unfolding in the quantum world, we are fast approaching the technological era when quantum computers will be part of our everyday lives. Once we arrive there, we begin imagining how the world existed without that innovative technology.

Quantum computing (QC), as you know, holds numerous juicy promises, and one of them is doing what today’s computers cannot do – quantum supremacy. When you ponder over quantum supremacy, your instinct tells you that investing in that technology gives you mouthwatering returns. Well, you should spare a few minutes to read this informative article. One thing is sure: You will make an informed decision after reading it.  

Is quantum Computing Profitable?

Over the past decade, QC companies have launched a few QC machines for solving different combinatoric problems, but these QC computers are relatively expensive. Despite the release of these quantum computers, they haven’t gone ubiquitous. Because some companies are already launching their QC systems, it makes business sense to assume that the business landscape will be profitable.

Pie chart on grey background reflecting to answer question is Quantum Computing Worth Investing in

However, there is more to it than meets the eye. On the investment outlook, before angel investors or venture capitalists consider something worthy of investment, it should have real-world applications, or they weigh its intrinsic value. Interestingly, the QC industry has attracted a lot of funding that keeps it going.

As a result, several QC companies have partnered with other establishments to explore how to apply quantum technology to enhance their businesses. Management consulting company McKinsey estimates that the vast QC applications can generate over $700 billion before 2035. 

As stated before, these innovative machines haven’t gone on large-scale commercial application yet. However, IBM has signaled that they are set to make that happen by 2025. Likewise, QC pundits estimate that the market will skyrocket to $4,375 million by 2028 from today’s $866 million. These figures represent a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38.3% within the period under review.

A high growth rate means that more and more investors will be laughing all the way to the bank. Given the buzz around the revolutionary technology, analysts firmly believe that prospective users will fall over themselves to procure and use QC machines when manufacturers launch them on a large scale in the coming years.

The increased demand for quantum computers, according to the proponents, will see the demand for QC services rev up. The positive growth trajectory means more money for manufacturers, app developers, and investors.

Who Are the Drivers of Quantum Computing today?

Indeed, the most prominent drivers of the QC industry are governments and companies; they are good enough to build investor confidence. Collectively, these stakeholders have splashed billions of dollars into the industry to fast-track its development and growth. In 2021 alone, they invested over $3 billion in the rapidly evolving ecosystem.

A model of a quantum computer against the background of formulas, a quantum factorization algorithm

They primarily invested the funds in startups designing and developing quantum technologies. Studies indicate that most investments in this industry come from venture capital (VC) firms who are confident that their investments will yield substantial returns in no time. 

Apart from VC firms, governments have shown keen interest in seeing the industry thrive. For instance, China has been leading the investment pack in the QC industry. The Southeast Asian country took the industry by storm when it launched the first-ever quantum satellite in 2016. According to the Center for New American Security (CNAS), China is quickly repositioning itself to become the powerhouse of quantum science. 

Understanding the enormous potential quantum technology wields, other countries have intensified their research efforts to cash in on the emerging technology. For example, the US, Germany, Russia, India, and the EU have shown commitment to investing in the disruptive technology.

One notable mention is former US President Donald Trump’s establishment of the National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee in 2019. In accordance with National Quantum Initiative Act, the committee plans to spend $1.2 billion on quantum science in 5 years. 

Aside from the United States government, the Indian government has ploughed large sums of money into the industry. In 2020, the Indian government announced the establishment of the National Mission on Quantum Technologies & Applications with a kickoff budget of $1.12 billion which it intends to spend in 5 years. In a similar vein, the EU earmarked €1 billion to fund QC projects in 10 years. While countries are setting aside funds to develop the QC industry, Russia launched a prototype of a quantum computer in 2019. 

When Will Quantum Computers be Commercially Available?

So far, leading QC companies have drawn up a roadmap to commercialize the emerging technology. In fact, both big tech giants and pure-play QC startups are working round the clock to design, build, and launch QC systems on a large scale. As the race to market continues, it remains unclear who will get there first. 

However, at this time, IBM is clearly ahead in the race because the American computer corporation has released a series of QC systems in the past, making them the leader in the universal gate model. Although one may argue that IBM is only taking baby steps to attain quantum advantage and release large quantities of QC machines, they are miles ahead of other big tech companies, who many pundits consider archrivals.

In short, the American computer corporation rolled out a clear-cut plan to reach the 1000-qubit threshold and surpass it. Guess what, IBM hopes to debut the world’s first universal quantum computer of more than 1000 qubits – the Condor – this year. By 2025, the tech company plans to skyrocket to 4000 qubits. 

On the other hand, Google made a strong statement in 2019 when the tech company announced that it achieved quantum supremacy. As the story goes, its team used its Sycamore QC system to solve a puzzle that they claim would take classical computers about 10,000 years to tackle. Google has also set a target to launch its QC systems in commercial quantities and reach the market by 2029.  

Although competitors in the universal gate circus are racing to take their products to the market in commercial quantities, the builders of the quantum annealing model have already reached the finish line. D-Wave Quantum Inc., the leading Canadian quantum annealer, is the first company with real-world commercial annealing QC systems.

However, quantum annealers have limited problem-solving capability (because unlike the universal gate QC systems that are general purpose QC systems, quantum annealers focus on optimization) and are pricey. Little wonder D-Wave is now branching out into the universal gate model.     

Why Does 1000-Qubit Quantum Computer Matter?

Before you consider this technology, you have to understand how things work around here. You see, the primary factor propelling the development of quantum technology is the quantum advantage. Put simply, these next-gen computers can do what classical computers cannot do.

The funny thing is that experts still use conventional computers to simulate algorithms of the QC systems they test in labs today. In other words, they haven’t achieved quantum advantage yet. They still run algorithms of 50 qubits using high-performance classical machines. However, as they get to 100 qubits, it comes with a high coherency level, and it becomes harder to see a conventional machine that can efficiently run such algorithms. 

When they finally scale to 1,000 qubits, it comes with high fidelity. At this point, you can say for certain that they have attained true quantum advantage for industrial applications. In truth, such a 1000-qubit system can enable multiple businesses to solve hard business problems that classical computers cannot solve. Indeed, this makes the QC machines appealing to acquire and use. This means that the moment these computers hit 1000 qubits, we will now see them more in the real world than being restricted to laboratory experiments. 

Delving deeper into the technicalities of the ultrafast machines, one setback today’s manufacturers face is an error. The machines are prone to errors due to decoherence (the loss of quantum properties) and noise. However, efforts are on to implement a quantum error correction (QEC) mechanism, which enables the machines to protect information by encoding it across multiple physical qubits to form a logical qubit.

Once the manufacturers achieve that feat, they can produce high-performance QC systems for large-scale industrial applications. Well, here’s how: Those pure-play QC companies must have sellable products to pay your returns (and those of others) and remain in business. 

How Will Quantum Computers Go Ubiquitous? 

Sure, you get a substantial amount of returns when it is available in commercial quantities, with everyday companies and government agencies placing orders for them.

quantum computing entanglement

At that time, everyone believes in the much-talked-about quantum advantage. Yes, Social media will be a critical enabler for quantum computers to go mainstream. The reason is that investors, companies, and government agencies will use their social media accounts to sustain the buzz around the technology. When this amplification continues, it turns into hype. 

Additionally, competition among industry rivals will help the technology go far. Think of two companies that leverage ultrafast technology to deliver top-notch services and user experience. Once Company XYZ acquires a quantum system, other rivals will follow suit to stay relevant or keep up with the competition.

At this juncture, like a ripple effect, the disruptive technology becomes a norm in the entire industry because those who don’t use it are kicked into obsolescence. Although many computer scientists fear that quantum technology could pose security risks to classical computers, its merits by far outweigh its demerits. All this leads to a clear pathway to QC profitability.  


Future of Quantm Computing Companies?

Tips and tricks investing in quantum computing

Yes, there are some tips for you: 

  • No doubt, this article shows you some quantum technology basics.
  • The beauty of this technology is that quantum researchers can make money at this infancy stage by selling their intellectual property to interested parties. For example, there are strong indications that IonQ does this. Reports show that the QC startup is sharing its findings with NATO countries, universities, and R&D departments of companies in exchange for a fee. In other words, QC companies can still make money without selling hardware (computers) units. 
  • Given the gradual evolution of the QC industry, investors are likely to expect returns from 2030 or later. Therefore, you should make it a long-term investment. 
  • Many experts are bullish on the future of the QC industry; you should be too. If you want to buy QC stocks, do that when it is low (bear market). Keep close tabs on market movements and trends, so you can resell when it rallies. This way, you make some profits.  
  • Like other financial instruments traded on the stock market, QC stocks rise and fall. Therefore, bear in mind that all investments come with some degree of risk. 

Final Thoughts

Although quantum technology hasn’t gone mainstream yet, stakeholders are racing to harness and maximize its potential. Indeed, these giant strides shrink the chasm between the research labs (where most studies take place) and the real world .

With social media buzz and endless dog-eat-dog industry rivalry, quantum technology will go ubiquitous. Prior to that, quantum computer manufacturers must tackle its drawbacks. In all fairness, the makers are already working toward finding the lasting solutions.  

About the author

Our team consists of PhD and industry experts specializing in quantum computing. With extensive experience in research and practical applications, they are dedicated to helping businesses understand and harness the power of quantum technology for innovation and growth.

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