ConsenSys’ Andrew Keys on what the year ahead holds for blockchain, Ethereum, and decentralization.
From the steam engine to silicon chips, innovation has compelled society forward.
We’ve seen three industrial revolutions turn farms into factories, steel into skyscrapers, and computer networks into a connected world. But with each revolution newly created wealth has consolidated with the few and fewer.
As Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, explains of our late capitalist state: “The largest beneficiaries of innovation tend to be the providers of intellectual and physical capital — the innovators, shareholders, and investors — which explains the rising gap in wealth between those dependent on capital versus labor.”
For the first time in humanity’s history, we’ve built a technology capable of reversing that centralization. As blockchain digitizes the world’s assets, automates the world’s agreements, and enables self-sovereign digital identity for every person, place, entity, and machine, we will all have something to gain.
As the Internet transformed and commoditized how society communicates, blockchain will transform and commoditize how society agrees, trusts, and transacts.
The emergence of blockchain tech takes place while similar transformative developments in technology, economics, and geopolitics are aligning to initiate what is known as “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Here are my 19 predictions for what happens next:
1. Beginning in 2019, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will move exponentially faster than preceding revolutions
This year, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will ignite, as the buzzwords of artificial intelligence, robotics, internet-of-things, quantum computing, and biotechnology actuate from proofs-of-concepts into production. All of the aforementioned technologies will be deployed on blockchain substrates. This revolution will be marked by the further embedding of technology into daily life in unseen, but powerful ways, and the disintermediation of exchange.
Cognizant of this, enterprises from Wal-Mart to Fidelity will launch live blockchain systems, releasing a flood of network effects. Amazon, Facebook, VC’s, industrial manufacturers, etc. are all making quiet moves already. This particular revolution will move lightning quick, in a percentage of the time of preceding revolutions. But this time around, every participating individual, not just billionaires, must hold a stake in the benefit. Decentralization will be a necessary development for the Fourth Industrial Revolution to occur.
2. The end of token fever will lead to higher quality tokens
From 1996 to 2006, over 85% of Dot.Com companies saw their market cap go to $0. Still, we witnessed the birth of the Internet and a flourishing digital economy that drives the global market today.