Cryptocurrencies: the future tech

Fri 03 Sep 2021 ▪ 12h05 ▪ 6 min read — by Hugh Renolds

Imperial College London has a research group called Imperial Tech Foresight that specialises in developing models of the future and future tech. Several years ago, the group came up with a table called Disruptive Tech, where it shared its findings in the field of future technologies that could potentially ‘disrupt’ the socio-economic picture of the world. 

The 100 elements making up the world

The table, looking not unlike the Periodic Table of Elements, features one hundred ‘elements’ that constitute the modern world much like atoms constitute a molecule, a molecule does a tissue, etc. 

It’s worth noting that even though the word “disruptive” has a somewhat scary feel to it, not all the technologies listed in the table look all that frightening. “Disruptive” here means something along the lines of “capable of drastically changing things”, or “having the potential to revolutionise people’s lives”. The creators even described many of the inventions as “wonderful” and “weird”. 

Among the tech listed by ITF, there are some perfectly benign inventions, such as concentrated solar power. 

However, the table features a bunch of pretty “worrying” ones, too. For example, predictive policing (speak of the film Minority Report), and thought control.

The full table with a brief description of each tech can be found here

The logic of the table is this: the horizontal axis represents how soon a change or “disruption” may take place, and the vertical scale represents the probability of the said disruption. In other words, the topmost rows are the likeliest, and the leftmost ones are the soonest. 

What place do cryptocurrenies occupy in the table?

You might have guessed that we’re sharing this table with you for a reason… and you’d be right. 

Among the various tech featured in the table, the one we could not ignore is, of course, cryptocurrencies. 

Have a look: it sits at №11 in the leftmost corner. What that means is that crypto already has a pretty solid foothold in our lives and isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. It occupies a nicely-looking green cell alongside other amazing but now more-than-possible inventions, like robotic care companions, distributed ledgers, and autonomous vehicles. 

Mind the fact that almost all of its neighbouring “green” technologies are at this point pretty well fleshed out and are being actively integrated into various aspects of modern life (except predictive policy and intention decoding algorithms). So it is safe to conclude that cryptocurrencies are too. 

No tech is an island

The table also makes one think about the interconnectivity among different types of tech. All technologies are, in one way or another, dependent on all the rest of them. 

The invention of the steam engine had lead to the creation of the first industrial factories. The factories, in turn, made possible mass production of tools and machine parts, which in their turn lead to the invention and the subsequent dominance of the internal combustion engine. 

The engine then allowed everyone to relocate at speeds previously unheard, haul incredibly heavy cargos across vast distances, and erect gargantuan buildings that seemed to touch the sky. It also made possible the launch of the first hydropower plants, which lead to the electrification of the whole world. 

The constant supply of electricity across the globe created a whole new world that only two hundred years ago would’ve been considered a flight of fancy, utopian wishful thinking of romantically-minded futurists. And that’s the world we’re living in right now. 

The digital revolution didn’t take half a century to happen, and see how the internet turned the entire world upside down in a blink of an eye. Who knows, maybe crypto already has changed the world for good, and we just aren’t caught up on the news yet.

The next disruption is (up)on us

Digital coins have long since established their ‘disruptive’ presence on the worldwide map, and as time goes by, newer and more innovative approaches are discovered at an increasing rate to strengthen that presence.

It’s safe to assume that before long, the crypto industry will spawn a plethora of “wonderful” and “weird” new technologies that once again will change the world completely. Already at this point, you can’t imagine peer-to-peer energy trading & transmission without crypto, not to mention the e-tagging of humans (although we genuinely wish for this one to never take off). 

The future is here, and it comes in crypto. It’s the world’s most expensive and innovative industry right now, and no matter what they say, it’s here to stay and make one hell of a difference. 

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Hugh Renolds avatar
Hugh Renolds

I believe in the bright future of crypto. I have been investing since 2017 and look to share my experience in, and thoughts on, crypto and the blockchain.


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.

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