How quantum computing may change the financial industry, not just science

What does finance have to do with a concept computer not yet proven to be effective? Banks like JP Morgan and Daimler are investing in the technology of quantum computing to prepare for the inevitable slowdown in growth for traditional silicon chips. As our data gets bigger, and financial models get more complex, our everyday CPU’s just won’t be able to keep up in the future. Scientists at IBM, Google, and a handful of startups like D-Wave and Rigetti Computing are engineering a new kind of computer that uses quantum physics to exponentially increase speed for certain applications, and companies like JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, Daimler, and Lockheed Martin are investing in it.

However, quantum computing is still an immature industry. The computers rely on a physics phenomenon that’s very hard to maintain, requiring giant refrigerators to cool the computers to temperatures near absolute zero (–273.15°C). This makes it hard to create large and stable quantum processors without losing data. Furthermore, while quantum computers are mathematically more powerful than conventional computers, scientists are still experimenting on how to utilize them.

If these computers live up to their theoretical strengths, they will be able to efficiently analyze massive amounts of financial data, improve supply chains, and even simulate chemical reactions.