Blockchain technology and smart contracts will be the stepping stone for a significantly higher grade of automation in many industries. By enabling machine to machine payments the entry barriers to a business environment where machines become counterparties to machines will be drastically reduced and eventually fall.
Cryptocurrencies will still be around in 10 years and after. We will see regulation, speculation, exaggeration and the bursting bubbles that come with it, but we will also see a growing infrastructure and sustainable use cases. By enabling micropayments and nanopayments on a large scale crypto currencies will be a key element for the ecosystem architecture as described in 3.
People will control the data they produce, collect and distribute on a significantly higher level compared with today. Corporates will start paying people for access and usage of their data. Geodata and geodata based services will rise in value significantly. The internet of things (IoT) will foster this development. The more people are actively collecting data and technology enables them to monetize this data, the more useful applications will emerge enhancing work flows and every day life. Energy, behavioral data, geo data, computing power – all of this will be traded using smart contracts human to human, human to machine, machine to machine. This will be the basis for the concept of universal basic income – arbitrage society.
Access Economy – the revolution eats its children. The trend we have seen happening through the Spotifys, Ubers and Airbnbs is here to stay and will accelerate – people will tend to pay for access not for property. However, most of the unicorn companies that were able to build large customer bases will significantly decrease in value. Leading the digital revolution and threatening the old economy, some access offering companies were able to build empires in no time. Blockchain will eliminate most of these business models and hand back power to those old economy players who are able to adapt to the dynamics of blockchain and follow up technologies and therefore are benefiting from running and maintaining digital infrastructures on a nonprofit basis in order to create revenues elsewhere down the value chain. Disruption reversed.
We will see large corporations building, operating and controlling internet backbones of their own. These backbones will be operated in the sky, the stratosphere and space. They will consist out of constellations of flying platforms like aircraft fleets, drones, balloons or satellites. Their business model will be selling access to bandwidth and data analytics.
Electrical vehicles and autonomous driving will dominate city streets. At first the technology push was overestimated however now the willingness of the industry and regulators to comply with an ongoing change of sentiment within society is underestimated. Changes will come faster than currently anticipated. Participants of emerging decentralized energy networks and creators of said infrastructure will benefit directly from these developments. For the car industry landscape to change drastically my estimate would be closer to 20-30 years, but we will see the foreshadowing of that to happen within the next ten years, meaning car manufacturers will start to merge with tech companies.
Artificial Intelligence combined with big data analytics will have a significant impact on the healthcare sector and change the way we access and use medical services. Not only will entry barriers to access to knowledge come down significantly and foster a higher standard of living in low income countries, also the speed of inventions and new technologies will accelerate significantly by combining AI with big data. Still we are talking about a large industry living off information asymmetries and a lack of transparency and it will certainly take more than 10 years to eventually overcome these challenges.
Fintech companies won’t take over Banks. More likely it will happen the other way round. Fintech companies in general underestimate the stickiness from clients to traditional banks, as well as regulatory hurdles that must be overcome to establish a successful financial business on a large scale. Banks will eventually adapt to new technologies and cherrypick applications emerging from the fintech industry. 10 years from now the banking industry landscape won’t look much different in terms of the names involved, but the sources of revenue for banks will have changed.