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IonQ: A Bellwether for Quantum Computing Evolution

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Websim is the retail division of Intermonte, the primary intermediary of the Italian stock exchange for institutional investors. Leverage Shares often features in its speculative analysis based on macros/fundamentals. However, the information is published in Italian. To provide better information for our non-Italian investors, we bring to you a quick translation of the analysis they present to Italian retail investors. To ensure rapid delivery, text in the charts will not be translated. The views expressed here are of Websim. Leverage Shares in no way endorses these views. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment, please seek financial advice. View the original at

After merging with the SPAC (special-purpose acquisition company) dMY Technology Group III in 2021, Maryland-based IonQ Inc (ticker: IONQ) became1 the world’s first publicly-traded quantum computing firm. Since its listing, investors fixation is centered around the fact that the stock is one of a handful that gives any significant exposure to the ground-breaking potential inherent within quantum computing.

Quantum Computing in Brief

Currently, computing is limited to having a single value of either 0 or 1 for each “bit” of logic used for solving a problem. Therefore, solving for a solution being true or not is a sequential process for each “bit”. Quantum computing uses quantum bits (“qubits”) that are simultaneously in both states (0 and 1) at the same time, thus enabling every solution of a problem to be tested at once. Also, computing power is estimated to expand exponentially with every additional qubit. Quantum computing is estimated to have an explosive impact in problems such as training AI models more efficiently, simulating otherwise hard-to-model chemical reactions, and quickly solving complex logistics problems.

In 2015, Gartner estimated in its periodically-reviewed “Emerging Technology Hype Cycle” that quantum computing was in its “Innovation Trigger” phase, i.e. investor and adopter interest is high, with mainstream adoption more than 10 years away.

By 2020, it was estimated that the market for quantum computing would grow by almost 3,400% within the course of a single decade.

However, quantum computing didn’t feature in Gartner’s Strategic Technology Trends Report in 2024. The company explained2 that industry capability to work with quantum computing isn’t at the point where mass adoption can be expected at scale in the short term. Also, while hardware is becoming more and more accessible, programming skills that aren’t binary but account for the infinite measure between 0 and 1 isn’t widely conceived at the moment. Gartner expects the true impact of quantum computing to be unlocked before the end of the decade.

In the private market, deal-making has been increasing in value and volume over the past five years. Since 2020, deal value has increased 237% to reach over $1.26 billion in 2023 alone.

For investors without access to or without a preference for private markets, IonQ has become the investment of choice and for good reason: the company was founded in 2015 by Dr. Christopher Monroe and Dr. Jungsang Kim, researchers with two decades of combined experience in researching quantum physics. The company extends their academic research towards building a programmable quantum computer using ions. IonQ’s current generation quantum computer, IonQ Forte, boasts 36 algorithmic qubits.

Tapping into IonQ’s Performance Potential

While IonQ’s stock was down 18% from the start of the year till the end of March 2024, the stock has historically shown some strong performance since it was listed:

Source: Leverage Shares analysis

In 2021, the stock was up 55% while the next year was a bearish one, with the stock dropping 80%. 2023 was the stock’s best performance at 258%.

The company continues to make progress in its goal towards developing quantum computing to its full potential. By the end of March, the company brought on board3 renowned quantum algorithm expert Dr. Martin Roetteler as the head of its Quantum Applications Team, which will work on developing commercial applications of IonQ’s ion quantum computing technologies to deliver business value to customers.

As quantum computing’s potential value continues to unlock, IonQ is likely to continue to attract investor attention given its extensive network of collaborators and partners around the world. Towards that end, professional investors can capitalise on the stock’s trajectory in tactical terms via the 3x IONQ Exchange-Traded Product (ETP), which offers a thrice-magnified exposure to the stock’s daily returns.


Footnotes:

  1. “IonQ Takes Quantum Computing Public With A $2 Billion Deal”, Forbes, 23 March 2021
  2. “Why Gartner Excluded Quantum Computing from its 2024 Top Tech Trends”, IOT World Today, 20 October 2023
  3. “Renowned Quantum Algorithm Expert Dr. Martin Roetteler to Lead IonQ’s Quantum Applications Team”, Business Wire, 26 March 2024
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Sandeep joined Leverage Shares in September 2020. He leads research on existing and new product lines, asset classes, and strategies, with special emphasis on analysis of recent events and developments.

Sandeep has longstanding experience with financial markets. Starting with a Chicago-based hedge fund as a financial engineer, his career has spanned a variety of domains and organizations over a course of 8 years – from Barclays Capital’s Prime Services Division to (most recently) Nasdaq’s Index Research Team.

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Violeta joined Leverage Shares in September 2022. She is responsible for conducting technical analysis, macro and equity research, providing valuable insights to help shape investment strategies for clients.

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Violeta is a certified market technician from the Australian Technical Analysts Association and holds a Post Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment from Kaplan Professional (FINSIA), Australia, where she was a lecturer for a number of years.

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