A question I was asked on Twitter

From @ijbarratt: what are the biggest changes you see coming in the following years and how do you plan to capitalise?

Pretty broad question. Cheers Izaac.

I think one of the biggest things we’ll start to see is decentralisation of processes. We’ve already seen the rise of the crypto-currencies and online marketplaces such as Silkroad which use Bitcoin to make transactions with since it is anonymous. Blockchain is a ledger process that is still heavily in its infancy, but I feel that there is definitely some place for it. Even investment banks are really starting to adopt the technology.

All transactions have an auditable trail and a traceable digital fingerprint. The data on the ledger is pervasive and persistent, creating a reliable “transaction cloud” where transaction data cannot be lost.

Another key difference between distributed ledger and traditional database technology is how they approach security. Distributed ledgers encrypt individual transactions or messages in the data stored on the blockchain, whereas traditional databases typically have a database-wide layer of security that, once breached, offers access to all of the data inside. In a world where the threats of hacking, data manipulation and compromised data are very real, the security and risk management implications of these two different approaches are important considerations.

The above is key for the future of keeping transaction, audit and costs from cyber crime low. In addition, because it isn’t centralised, if one ‘node’ is compromised then you can still gain access to the rest of the database with no issues.

I don’t know a huge amount about the technicalities, but it looks like it could be a major development. https://2030.io/ is a great community to learn more about it. How I’d capitalise? That is TBC.

The second change I see happening is a real push from ‘Internet of Things’ manufacturers. Someone only informed me that it was a real industry used phrase a few weeks ago. These are goods that are connected to the internet and which act intelligently i.e you can turn lights on or your heating with an iPhone app. Eventually I think that’s how our houses will be operating. You might have forgotten to turn a light off before you go to work, but you can then turn it off with your phone, saving a bit of cash. Or you won’t ever need a door key again, just your phone, a password and fingerprint.

The third change that may take a decade or so to proliferate is the US student loans crisis. I can foresee a load of defaults happening, since student loans and car loans are the only two markets post financial crisis where deleveraging hadn’t occurred. I’ve written about that here.

Lastly, I see a continued growth in app companies – Snapchat, Uber, Deliveroo etc. Massive valuations, no product at all, but provide a useful and needed service.

I don’t really like predictions because you live in dreamland with those, but that is what I could see happening.

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