Oxford economist who predicted crypto going mainstream says ‘quantum economics’ is next

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Mathematician and author David Orrell, an economist who received his PhD at Oxford University, says the future of economics is quantum.

Quantum economics is the idea that the same kinds of models used to make predictions in quantum physics can be applied to simulate the economy.

In a recent exclusive interview with The Quantum Insider, Orrell explained that classical economics, which are based on the same sort of binary maths that underpin classical computers, don’t offer enough depth to truly model the economy.

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Classical computers use bits to perform calculations. These are essentially on/off switches that can direct programs. In quantum computing, however, bits are supplanted by qubits. Where bits can be on or off, qubits can be on, off, both on and off at the same time, and neither on nor off at the same time.

This may seem counterintuitive, but quantum mechanics was developed through the observation of quantum phenomena that appear to function outside of the boundaries of the classical physics defined by Sir Isaac Newton in the late 17th century.

According to Orrell:

“A qubit can be likened to a spectrum of colors, offering different shades and complexities. It’s not just zero or one. Qubits are entangled; they interact with each other, introducing uncertainty upon measurement. This fundamental difference is what sets it apart. And as I’ve mentioned, demonstrating that models based on this principle can be profitable and effective is the key point.”

In this context, Orrell isn’t referring to quantum physics as it applies to black holes and quantum computing hardware. Instead, he’s talking about the class calculus and underlying mathematical models used to measure and predict economic shifts.

“It’s really just economics,” he told The Quantum Insider, adding “when I say ‘the economy is quantum’ I don’t mean it has anything to do with subatomic particles.”

Orrell, who’s written numerous books on the subject of the economy, including “Quantum Economics: The New Science of Money,” has argued that quantum math models are necessary to unlock the full potential of economic analysis.

Among the challenges preventing quantum economics from going mainstream is, according to Orrell, the fundamental problem of awareness. To combat this, he founded his own science journal called “Quantum Economics and Finance” to support further scientific study in this burgeoning field.

This isn’t the first time Orrell’s gotten ahead of the technology and maths curve when it comes to economics. Back in 2018 he predicted cryptocurrency going mainstream, saying, at the time, that crypto was the money of the future but that “the future might be a long time coming.”