Monthly Archives: April 2016
Posted by dddraeger
Our latest Gist report briefly looks at the future of Bitcoin and its related technologies – blockchain, smart contracts and distributed autonomous organizations. Proponents say Bitcoin will decentralize power away from banks and other institutions while distributing it across whole communities. If these promises hold true, Bitcoin will only be the beginning.
Download the whole report for free.
What is changing?
Financial institutions are investing in the blockchain to make their job easier and more secure. R3 CEV is a company specifically set up to help banks trial blockchain technology. They lead a consortium of 42 banks who want to see how blockchain technology could change their industry, the potential of which R3 compares to how the internet changed the music and media industries.
However, the blockchain could be useful for so much more than just financial transactions. Ubitquity has developed a blockchain platform specifically for the real estate industry. The company says the new platform will improve the title transfer process by making it faster, more accurate, and more transparent for fraud prevention. And they say it will improve the due diligence process for the industry.
Multiple organizations are working to use blockchain tech to make voting more secure, and anonymous. In 2014 a major political party in Denmark, the Liberal Alliance, used blockchain tech for its own internal party voting. Since the blockchain relies on consensus anyway, it is inherently a voting platform and could one day be modified by government entities for such purpose.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies offer a libertarian ideal that could destabilize the current infrastructure of banks and other powerful institutions. The blockchain offers distributed, secure, trusted and highly scalable architectures that conventional technologies cannot compete with. Although the banking industry is pre-empting disruption by investing in this new technology, many of their business models and revenue streams will be affected especially with increased competition from the tech industry. The opportunity for the financial industry is high, but the potential risks are also large especially for smaller players in the industry.
- By 2027, 10% of global GDP will be stored on a blockchain network.
- Multiple bitcoin and blockchain companies will raise $100m rounds and reach $1bn valuations next year (2016).
- Several studies indicate that in the next four years the global market for digital transactions will reach $9.5 billion while global blockchain technology investments will reach $300 billion.
- Micropayments are expected to reach $13 billion over the next three years as cryptocurrencies gain greater acceptance.
- Decentralized payments technologies could transform the “business architecture” for money transfers.
- Blockchain could eventually cut costs for financial services such as credit cards, remittances and money transfers.
- Bitcoin technology could potentially be as disruptive as the internet itself.
- A system like this could transform the way people consume media online and enable content creators to receive payment directly on a pay-per-use basis.
- Brand equity in the industry will likely flow from partnerships with others in the ecosystem as banks play catch up with super-consumer brands such as Google and Apple.
- Reliance on third parties for noncore infrastructure and talent will be a common phenomenon as banks become increasingly connected via a complex network or web of vendors and third parties.
Posted by dddraeger
Verne Wheelwright is a pioneer in using foresight for personal development. The same methods that corporations and governments have used for the past decade are just as relevant for personal use as they are for shaping macro futures.
Many self help authors want readers to connect to their future selves, but none of them offer any practical tools for doing so. Such authors look too narrowly at the future to guide readers into visualizing multiple, plausible futures, and readers often give up or lose faith when their actual future turns out differently than they expected.
Wheelwright takes a different, less mystical approach with his award winning self-help book, It’s Your Future…Make it a Good One. He also offers some free downloads on his website which I strongly recommend, but the book provides readers with the perspective necessary to understand what these free resources are all about.
Most people view the future as either a hazy, cryptic event or a technological utopia. Neither of these views are true much less practical. The future is unpredictable, especially at a personal level. But the future can be forecasted into multiple scenarios to help organizations and (now thanks to Wheelwright) individuals steer their personal lives in a direction to achieve their goals no matter how the future plays out.
If you run your own business, no mater what size, this is the most important book you could read for your business success. As a business owner, your personal life is the rudder that steers your business, and to achieve success you need to align your personal future with the future of your company. Wheelwright even has a book coming out soon about applying these techniques to small and medium sized businesses.
Methods for learning about the future have been in use by businesses for decades, but the process was simply too complex for most individuals. The Personal Futures Network introduces some new, easily understood approaches that will help you to think and plan like a futurist. You will be able learn about and plan for your personal futures.
Think like a futurist? What does that really mean, think like a futurist? Well, each futurist may have some different thoughts, but generally futurists think about longer term futures, usually 10 or more years ahead. Futurists believe that the future is not predetermined, but that several futures are possible. If several futures are possible, then one of those futures may be better than the others, or a “preferred” future. Very important; futurists believe that individuals or groups can take actions in the present that will help determine the future.
That brief paragraph helps explain why most futurists don’t make predictions about the future, but rather suggest multiple possible futures, often in the form of “scenarios” or stories about the future.
The above quote was taken from Wheelwright’s homepage. The whole website is dedicated to helping readers understand how to look at the future in an effective and practical way. Read the book and begin learning more from your future than from you do from your past.