• You won’t believe which company is getting into quantum computing
  • Philip K. Dick’s “precrime” comes to Utah
  • The real reason humans will need to mine asteroids

Dear Reader,

While researching over the weekend, I realized that today was going to be one of those days.

The stock market futures traded “limit down,” which means that they were down 5%… and thus trading activity on the futures was halted. That’s when we know we’re in for a tough day. Oil opened down 27% and dropped as much as 34%. Complete chaos.

And it will all pass.

It will be a moment in time similar to what we experienced back in the fourth quarter of 2018, when the Federal Reserve was very aggressively raising interest rates… seemingly with the intention to hurt the U.S. economy. Over three months, the markets dropped around 20%. Then, in the three months that followed, they rocketed back to new highs.

The mainstream media is doing us a terrible disservice with its fear-based reporting. This is especially true considering the real data that we are now receiving out of South Korea.

South Korea has been testing more mild cases of COVID-19 than any other country. With the current data, the mortality rate is only 0.65%. Worth mentioning is that South Korea is not testing all of the cases of COVID-19. After all, in most cases the symptoms are very mild, many don’t even seek medical care. And this means that the real mortality rate is much lower.

William Schaffner, a professor of preventative medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is predicting that the mortality rate is more like 0.5%. This is about in line with the seasonal flu.

There are some great companies now trading at attractive prices. The coming weeks will be a great window for investors to build positions.

For now, let’s turn to our insights…

The incumbents are getting into quantum computing…

Honeywell is a company I never thought we would talk about in The Bleeding Edge.

This is a massive, slow-moving conglomerate that provides technology and services to the industrial sector, aerospace industry, energy industry, and commercial building sector. It produces safety systems, control systems, automation technology, materials, sensors, and other components and systems to serve its broad customer base.

Honeywell is a strong, financially healthy company, but it just isn’t growing. Revenues dropped 12% last year to levels not seen since 2011. And growth for the foreseeable future is at low single-digit percentages… So it’s not the kind of company I normally follow.

But that may soon change…

Honeywell just announced that it has developed one of the world’s most powerful quantum computers. And the company plans to make it available within three months.

This is a big surprise. When we think of quantum computing, names like Google, IBM, Rigetti, and D-Wave come to mind. But certainly not Honeywell.

Apparently, Honeywell has been doing a lot of work with what’s called “trapped ion” quantum technology. This is one of the two most promising approaches to quantum computing. The other is a superconducting quantum computer, which is the path that Google, Rigetti, and IBM are pursuing.

Both superconducting and trapped ion quantum computers have the potential to achieve a universal quantum computer. That’s the holy grail of quantum computing, as we discussed last Thursday.

And Honeywell claims that its quantum computer is twice as powerful as IBM’s. What’s more, the company says its quantum computer will see a tenfold increase in power over the next five years. Clearly, Honeywell is serious about being a top player in this space.

And with Honeywell’s large base of existing enterprise customers, it can provide useful quantum services right away. If Honeywell can help its clients solve their toughest problems using quantum computing, this would certainly breathe new life into its anemic growth.

To help with this, Honeywell invested in two early stage quantum computing companies – Cambridge Quantum Computing and Zapata Computing. These two companies focus on the software side of quantum. They produce the algorithms used to find optimized solutions to complex problems. This was a smart move.

And get this – Honeywell signed a deal with JPMorgan to develop quantum computing algorithms for financial services. The fact that such a prominent financial firm wants to work with Honeywell on this is a major vote of confidence. Honeywell is not known for working with the financial services sector, which is why this is so unusual.

Quantum computing is an emerging technology. And it can sometimes be difficult for us to appreciate the significance. The capabilities of quantum computers are exponentially more powerful than the kinds of supercomputers that we use today.

For example, Google’s 53-qubit quantum computer solved a problem in seconds that would have taken the world’s most powerful supercomputer 10,000 years to solve.

We can consider how much our world changed with the adoption of classical computers in the mid-20th century. Or consider the significance of the personal computer (PC) revolution in the 1980s and ’90s. These technologies transformed our society in ways that few could have predicted at the time.

Quantum computing will do precisely the same thing, but the impact will be far more powerful. And it won’t take decades. We’ll see profound changes thanks to quantum computing in a matter of years or even months.

That’s why we must track developments in this space. I’ll be sure to keep readers up on the latest developments.

The all-seeing eye in the sky above Utah…

A company called Banjo just popped onto my radar. Banjo is using artificial intelligence (AI) to do “Live Time Intelligence” in Utah. This is scary stuff…

Live Time Intelligence takes in all data from traffic cameras, CCTV cameras, “public safety” cameras, state-owned vehicles, and 911 emergency systems… and then combines that with data collected from satellites, social media, and other sources.

The AI processes all this data in real time to develop an understanding of “normal” daily human behavior.

From there, the AI is constantly watching for anomalies. It’s looking for human behavior that isn’t considered “normal”… And it tells the police about it. The idea is that this can predict when and where crime is about to happen.

Some of us may be familiar with Philip K. Dick’s short story “The Minority Report.” The story centered on a police force division called Precrime, which arrested suspects before they committed a crime. This isn’t precisely the same thing. But there are some eerie parallels.

Now, law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been using AI to analyze data for years. That’s not new. Palantir became a $20 billion company by providing data analytics to governments and intelligence agencies. But Palantir’s technology isn’t being used in real time in the U.S. to surveil citizens by looking for irregular behavior.

That’s what makes Banjo especially scary. The company is spying on law-abiding citizens in the great state of Utah all day, every day. It’s watching their every move both in the real world and online. It’s the “eye in the sky” that sees everything.

Sure, this approach will successfully thwart crime every now and then. The problem is, we all have days where things don’t go as planned. We all have days where we do things we don’t normally do. But the AI doesn’t appreciate that. It simply looks for breaks in normal behavioral patterns.

Inevitably, this system will lead to innocent people being reported to the police and potentially even arrested. And even if no charges ultimately come down, being arrested in front of family, friends, bosses, or coworkers could damage a person’s reputation forever.

That’s not something innocent people should have to worry about. And the worst case, of course, is if people are charged for something that they didn’t do at all.

So I would like to pose the question to readers. What do you think about this use of surveillance technology? Is the risk worth the benefit?

I would be especially interested to hear from any residents of Utah about this matter. Please write to me by clicking right here.

More big news from SpaceX…

We’ll wrap up today with another big breakthrough in the new space race…

NASA just announced that it is hiring SpaceX to explore a massive asteroid that orbits between Mars and Jupiter. It is calling the mission “Psyche.”

Now, why would NASA be interested in a big clump of rock way out in space? Two words: asteroid mining.

This asteroid appears to be loaded with iron ore and other metals. In fact, it is estimated that the asteroid contains $10,000 quadrillion worth of metals based on today’s Earth prices. That’s not a typo – $10,000 quadrillion.

So SpaceX is going to launch the probe that will go check it out. The company will use its Falcon Heavy rocket to launch a probe this summer. The probe will land on the asteroid and collect samples. That will give us a better idea of the asteroid’s metal content… and whether an asteroid mining mission would make sense.

This is incredibly exciting. Mining asteroids for metals, minerals, and water is an idea that is gaining traction. With a $10,000 quadrillion at stake, we might be thinking it makes sense to mine and bring the metals back to Earth, but we’d be missing the point.

This kind of mission is not about bringing materials back to earth. There is a much bigger picture here…

We are very close to establishing space-bound civilizations. The first commercial space hotel is being built right now. From there, we will establish a manned presence on the Moon. And then Mars. And who knows what comes after that?

When we get to the point where we have a permanent civilian presence in space, it makes sense to find other places to get materials. It would be far too expensive to ship everything from Earth.

For that reason, we will see more asteroid mining missions as we transition to the Moon and Mars. We are in the early stages of preparing for the habitation of other bodies in our solar system. We’re going to build cities to support permanent presence, and we’ll need a lot of materials to make that happen.

So all I can say is get ready. The space age is upon us.


Jeff Brown
Editor, The Bleeding Edge

P.S. As I mentioned on Friday, my friend and colleague Teeka Tiwari has a free crypto training seminar coming up on March 18 at 8 p.m. ET.

I don’t make cryptocurrency recommendations in my own services, but Teeka helped his readers to make some staggering returns during the crypto bull market of 2017. And he places a strong emphasis on risk management, which is critical for these kinds of investments.

If you’re interested in finding out more, you can find all the details right here.

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