Quantum Computing: the Next Big Thing?

Every now and then, the entire tech community jumps on a new hype wave. Whether it’s virtual reality, blockchain, or AI/ML: Each technology contributes value to the tech stack but may fall short of the lofty expectations set during the hype.

While all eyes are on the almighty Artificial Intelligence now, many wonder: what will be the next groundbreaking innovation? In this article, we peer into the crystal ball and nominate our candidate: Quantum Computing (QC). We are not alone in our anticipation of QC’s potential—be it IBM, Google, Microsoft investing in Quantum for the past 15 years, or your neighbor’s mom googling “quantum what is”: all signs point to QC becoming the Next Big Thing. So, what is quantum, anyways?

What is Quantum and why you should care

Quantum offers a fundamentally different way to handle information, essentially changing the underlying math of computing, making it faster and more powerful. Unlike classical computing, which is built upon bits (1s or 0s), Quantum Computing is built upon quantum bits (qubits) and key concepts such as superposition and entanglement (Check This Out To Learn More).

Superposition allows qubits to be both 0 and 1 at the same time.

Every qubit is able to exist across many states at the same time until it is measured. Imagine flipping a coin: whereas a traditional bit is more like a coin landing on heads or tails, a qubit resembles a spinning coin representing heads, tails, and myriad possibilities in between—or even neither.

We have all heard about Schrodinger’s cat – a hypothetical experiment which implied that the cat in the box will be both dead and alive until looked at. Not everyone knows, though, that this is an actual quantum-related theory. Surprisingly, this experiment, initially proposed to challenge the concept of superposition, has become the go-to analogy for explaining it.

Entanglement allows qubits to interact with each other in “magical” ways and perform computation.

Now, in extremely simple words, entanglement means that when two particles (say electrons, or photons) become entangled, they remain connected even when separated by vast distances. Something like a non-breakable long-distance relationship in the physics particles world.

Let’s recap. Qubits serve as the quantum counterparts to traditional bits used in contemporary computing. Through superposition and entanglement, we can transmit information in ways impossible before. Quantum circuits also look nothing like traditional code – something like this if you will.

(image from ResearchGate)

The rest is pretty similar to what we know nowadays – quantum computers use algorithms just like regular computers to solve problems, except sometimes they can do so much faster. In 2019, Google claimed to have performed complex calculations using quantum computers in 200 seconds instead of the projected 10,000 years. Let that sink in.

Potential Use Cases

Quantum is not new – first ideas were proposed in 1980s, kicking-off extensive research and the emergence of first hardware prototypes of quantum computers. As the first computers were demonstrated in laboratories in the early 2000s, the question of “How do we make it useful?” kept more and more people awake at night. Now, it seems we are finally reaching the utility scale of QC, taking a closer look at particular problems and get closer to real quantum-powered solutions.

There are plenty of use cases, really. Quantum primarily focuses on solving complex scientific and mathematical problems, such as cryptography, optimization, simulations. Consider healthcare: quantum-driven drug development isn’t a far-off fantasy—1QBit partnered with a biotech company in Massachusetts In 2020 to employ QC for molecular comparison in drug development. Similarly, Cambridge Quantum has been delving into genetic data analysis for cancer treatment.

Another strong use case for quantum is fraud detection and overall risk and portfolio management for financial institutions. Combine it with machine learning, and we get capacity to evaluate an insane amount of information in a fraction of a minute. Bonkers.

We are not going to dive too deep in all possible use-cases, but if you’re curious: Q-CTRL is doing great job at showcasing what can be done with QC, so we definitely recommend checking them out.

The Quantum Playground

A quantum computer able to function at scale might not be viable before 2040 – and possibly later, according to McKinsey. However, QC is no longer confined to laboratories, as we are now reaching the stage where QCs are programmable. Let’s not delve into B2B solutions (there are many) and focus on curious devs and smaller teams out there. Using programming frameworks like IBM’s Qiskit, Intel Quantum SDK or Microsoft’s Q#, one can create quantum applications and run them on either classical simulators or actual quantum computers. It is still tough thoughto test and debug – these processes are complex for quantum due to its nature.

Beyond big companies, there are smaller emerging players enhancing the accessibility of QC for devs out there. For example, BlueQubit offers an SDK (software development kit) that allows you to construct circuits and run them on large CPU/GPU and even QPU machines in the cloud. QMWare provides a basic tool for hardware-agnostic quantum algorithms, offering an SDK to simplify the development process. Strangeworks is also attempting to democratize quantum by offering its platform to developers. These three are available for anyone willing to explore quantum computing, so check them out!

By the way, the Quantum excitement has reached the Czech Republic too. It’s not just the ability to obtain PhD of Quantum Technologies at CTU in Prague. For example, QCzech (community of quantum experts, educators and enthusiasts, member of a global QWorld organization) runs educational events in Quantum Programming and Computing accessible for the general public. We also have our own hardware, as just recently the Czech Republic became one of the six countries in Europe to host a EuroHPC quantum computer in Ostrava. This is Big News and an enormous opportunity to ensure a diversity in quantum technologies and architectures not just in the Czech Republic itself, but across Europe.

The “Not Yet” Problem

If quantum is so promising, why hasn’t it been widely adopted? Well, as you may have guessed, such a technology comes with its share of adoption challenges:

  • Hardware and its maintenance. Quantum computers demand specific conditions to operate (low temperatures, precise calibration, and high levels of isolation from external disturbances). Different technical innovations are required across the value chain to make quantum work – for instance, IBM has a dedicated team that manages cryogenics to ensure a stable environment for quantum computers. Fun fact: even in making qubits and circuits, there are more ways than one, meaning in the future we may combine various technologies in order to build efficiently. Hence, we have companies like D-Wave, Google (Sycamore) or Rigetti trying to (and succeding, with D-Wave leading the score with 5k+ qubits computers) building more stable quantum hardware.
  • Software. Once we have built a stable quantum computer, we will need to build something to run on it, as simple as that. Software that seamlessly integrates with QC systems is going to take time, just like traditional OSs did.
  • Security (or, essentially, lack thereof). Quantum computers are capable of breaking the most common encryption algorithms (e.g., the public-key cryptographic system RSA). Yes, there are quantum-safe algorithms out there, but their implementation is costly and comes with uncertain rewards in the absence of widespread quantum adoption. In today’s world, concerns over both private and national security are more pronounced than ever. Let’s hope the teams working on “Post-quantum Cryptography” will be prepared for when the technology matures.
  • Lack of skilled talent in the field. Whereas high-level algos supporting quantum computing are familiar to more workers, the specific skill set required to develop quantum hardware and coding languages is still rather rare. The supply is likely to follow the demand though, so we can expect the growth of such a specific talent pool.
  • Short-term versus long-term. For many companies, quantum adoption might not be aligned with their immediate needs or goals. While the likes of IBM have to be at the very front of quantum development, other companies might simply prioritize activities that will bring cash in the next 5 years, not 20. And yet, we’ve seen companies failing to innovate and eventually go out of business. So let’s see who will win the race this time.


All these challenges ring the bell, don’t they? If we look at the beginning of the traditional computing era, similar issues were at the greatest minds’ tables. Good things take time and effort, and it seems we are very close to reaching the technology readiness level where the above mentioned challenges will be overcome.


If you are not following any of the quantum developments, it’s probably time to start. We might be entering the most exciting time of this technology’s lifecycle – before it is ubiquituous and yet at a point where it already becomes adopted faster. Quantum is here to stay, same as many questions. Will we all run on quantum? Was the last Ant-man movie a prophecy? Will the world fall apart once cryptography fails us? Could the future of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) be powered by qubits?

All the unknows aside, faster computing that quantum technology brings us could help us solve worlds biggest issues in healthcare, climate change, national security and many more. If we’d have to predict the future, I’d say I see some sort of hybrid cloud. Mixture of AI, Quantum, classical computing and so one, some environment where you can freely “drag & drop” needed tech because each one will fit best for a different particular problem you are solving right now. technology exists to solve problems, not to compel us to create new challenges to accommodate its existence.

Know any more exciting startups, tools, or frameworks driving the adoption of quantum? Noticed some BS in the article? Or simply akin to share your own POV on quantum? Let’s chat!

I am Kate, an Associate at DEPO Ventures and a tech explorer. I don’t have a tech background so I simply am forced into being able to explain tech phenomena in simple words – this is, too, how this article was born. You can reach out on LinkedIn – I am always happy to chat!
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