“What can we expect in the next 10 years?”
This is the question that a few days ago we asked on our LinkedIn page to some of our friends and collaborators with whom we have been lucky enough to work in recent years. All professionals who work in startups, SMEs or communities that every day deal with issues such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, sharing economy and love to face new challenges in the sign of innovation.
Who better than them to ask the question of what will be the technological, financial or environmental phenomena of the next 10 years?
We have selected the 5 most important themes mentioned above:
In the first place, we find the tokenomics sector.
By this term we mean a new economic-financial model in which there is the possibility to tokenize any asset, tangible or not, through smart contracts and blockchain.
The tokenisation consists in associating to a physical or digital asset one or more tokens, created through the ethereum standards erc-20,721 and 1155 (the most important).
This sector was born with the phenomenon of ICOs, Initial Coin Offering, in which the tokens used for crowdfunding campaigns were coin created with the erc-20 standard. The latter, however, only allows the creation of fungible tokens, while other possibilities are offered by nft (non-fungible tokens). One of the first uses of this standard is to be attributed to the dapp Cryptokitties, one of the most popular applications running on Ethereum, where each token is associated with a crypto-cat that can be bred (providing unique features) and resold on the network. Sales have reached over thirty million dollars. Since no other tokens are the same, each one of them becomes a rare object to own; we can talk about a sort of “digital collecting” that is involving more and more subjects.
Many in the Blockchain sector, including important figures who commented during the discussion, believe that of tokenomics we have seen only the tip of the iceberg (the ICOs), while another revolution will be both nft and STOs (Security Token Offering). In fact, there are many sectors (gaming, finance, intellectual property, etc.) in which tokenomics will allow new business models making markets more liquid than they traditionally were.
2) Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is the discipline that analyzes the theoretical foundations, methodologies and techniques that allow the design of hardware systems and software program systems capable of providing the computer with performances that, to a common observer, would seem to be of exclusive relevance to human intelligence (source Wikipedia).
A very generic definition and for this reason even more complex as it includes many different applications of such technology.
For our interlocutors also here we have seen very little of its true potential. In the next 10 years, we will see an increased presence in our homes, cars and offices of tools that, through artificial intelligence, help us as real assistants in activities such as the management of energy consumption in the home or tasks to be performed at work.
The possibilities here seem really endless and we are getting closer and closer to the realization of the most famous intelligent supercomputer in the history of cinema: HALL9000 (“2001: Space Odyssey” by Stanley Kubrick).
HALL9000 is equipped with an advanced artificial intelligence that allows it to reproduce all the activities of the human mind, to feel emotions, to speak with a totally human voice and to steer the spaceship “Discovery 1”, to lead it during the space mission, talking with the astronauts (it would be able to steer the ship even without a human crew) and keeping under its control every single aspect of the mission, from the smallest to the most important.
Are we close to the realization of such a supercomputer or will it remain science fiction in the coming years?
3) Sharing Economy
Completing the podium is the sharing economy defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “an economic system in which goods or services are shared between private individuals, free or for a fee, through the Internet. Thanks to the sharing economy, you can easily rent your car, your apartment, your bicycle or even your wifi network when you are not using them”.
In the case of sharing economy, already in the last decade, we have seen important realities like Blablacar, Uber or Airbnb revolutionize their respective markets with innovative business models that revolve around the sharing of an asset. There are countless benefits in the sharing of an asset, free or not, both from an environmental point of view (e.g. CO2 reduction for the use of
a single car) and economic point of view.
So are we heading for the decline of private property? No, rather we will become more and more rational market players who, according to their possibilities, own a few essential goods while the rest can be shared with other people.
4) The Blockchain
Unfortunately, we have to place below the podium Blockchain and DLT.
To understand what will happen in this sector we report an opinion (which we share) of one of the experts in Italy: Sebastiano, blockchain developer of one of the most interesting projects in Italy.
“Blockchain Industry will be the second layer of the internet in all those applications whose security is something critical. We will see plenty of blockchain privacy-oriented solutions, whose aim is actually to guarantee an alternative to cash and we will see completely open solutions, where the traceability of information is crucial (environment, emissions, etc.)”.
We add that the Blockchain and the cryptocurrency will undergo a further evolution before we can aim at real mass adoption. Much will depend, as in the case of other disruptive technologies, on making the use by the user/end customer as user-friendly as possible, ensuring all the advantages usually associated with distributed ledger technologies.
5) A return to the origins
For the fifth and last place in this special ranking we chose Ilaria’s “out of the chorus” opinion, so in the next ten years “there will be a return to the origins. More and more are the European (and not) funding for the land. (…) In my opinion, SMEs linked to the primary sector will be born as fungi, giving reason to the statistical studies that see the Z generation as the entrepreneurial generation par excellence, no longer giving weight to the hierarchy and decades of experience, to privilege the desire to do and the ‘creativity’ and ‘freedom’ typical of youth.
And why not, a 360-degree modernization of the sector, so that it is possible to manage one’s own piece of land remotely?”
Is this the future of our beautiful country? We could rediscover our lands, whose fruits have long made our fortune, in a completely new way. Rethinking old backward business models with a view to integrating new technologies and accepting the challenges that our parents and grandparents did not have the opportunity to face.
Finally, to conclude this long article, we would like to thank everyone for their participation and give an honourable mention to the reflection of our friend Leonardo Vescovo, CEO and founder of PDC Academy:
“Technology goes so fast that I can’t clearly imagine if there will be cars that will drive themselves, safely managed by distributed cryptographic access systems… but I imagine that people will use these new features without knowing exactly how they work but only knowing what they do!”
The message is simple and direct, which is why it is even more important than all the previous ones.
Man must study and understand how to use technology; otherwise, we will live more and more in a “passive” way the technological novelties ending up becoming machines ourselves and losing the capacity for creativity, imagination, and reflection that makes the human mind unique.
It is not by chance that the most required working skills do not refer to the above-mentioned areas but to soft skills such as leadership, problem-solving or the ability to work in a group.