The Digital Revolution and how Cryptocurrencies support it

13 March 2019 | Wed

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Digital platforms are altering the relationships between customers, workers, and employers. Digitization has permeated almost everything we do. From buying groceries online to finding love on a dating website. With the constant improvement of computing power available to the public, more people around the world are directly participating in the digital economy. The digital transformation is a result of what economists refer to as a general-purpose technology. It is technology that has the ability to continually transform itself by progressively branching out and boosting productivity across all sectors and industries. According to the IMF, these kinds of technologies are so rare that only 3 previous technologies have earned this distinction. The steam engine, the electricity generator, and the printing press. The changes that these technologies brought had enormous long-term benefits.

It is their very nature that general-purpose technologies are highly disruptive. Like with the invention of electricity generators, it enabled power to be delivered precisely when and where it was needed. This vastly improved manufacturing efficiency and paved the way for modern supply chains that revolutionized the economy. Just like electricity delivery depended on generators, the digital revolution depends on computers which have become the technical backbone of the internet, search engines and various digital platforms. The disruption caused by new technologies is largely attributed to its flexibility and pervasiveness.

According to a study conducted by McKinsey Global Institute, with any disruptive technologies, after a slow start, the pace of transformation continues to accelerate. To demonstrate this, let’s look at the smartphone. The smartphone was inconceivable to the average person at the beginning of the 21st century. Currently, more than 4 billion people have access to handheld devices that possess more computing power than NASA used to send 2 people to the moon. The enormous number of people using these devices demonstrate the ability of disruptive technology to positively impact society once we have adapted to it. It is no doubt that smartphones have had a sizeable impact on society and will continue to do so.

There will always be lags involved in adapting to new technologies. For example, James Watt marketed an efficient engine in 1774 and it took 3 decades for the very first commercially available successful steam-powered trains to appear. It took a further 20 years for output per capita to increase after the development and widespread adoption of the steam locomotive. Perhaps, for this reason, the digital revolution doesn’t show up in productivity statistics quite yet because personal computers only emerged about 40 years ago. But make no mistake the digital revolution is well underway.

A significant difference between the digital revolution and electricity revolution is the speed at which the technology was diffused to people globally and its rate of adoption. During 1920, America was producing half of the world’s electricity and by contrast, the multiple components of the digital revolution?—?computers, the internet, and artificial intelligence are widely available. This is exemplified by the fact that less developed countries are leading digitalization in many areas. For instance, mobile payments (Kenya & China), digital land registration (India), and e-commerce (China). These countries facilitated the quick adoption of new technologies because unlike advanced economics they weren’t bogged down in preexisting infrastructure. It is important to note that whilst the digital revolution is global, the pace of adaptation and policy reactions will be large national or regional which reflect different economic structures and social preferences.

Cryptocurrencies, a progressive expansion from the digital revolution, at its genesis, caused economic disruption and uncertainty which fueled social anxiety about our economic future with political consequences. With Countries that are completely banning the use of cryptocurrencies, there is still a large input of resources to further understand and develop the underlying technology. Countries that have accepted cryptocurrencies like Japan and Singapore are willing partners in accepting and improving this new technology rather than ignoring or repressing it because even with short-term disruptions there is an imperative understanding of the long-term benefits. Looking back at our history, we know that humanity eventually adapted to technological advances and chances are we will do so again with the digital revolution. The answer lies not in its rejection but in maximizing the benefits of new technology while minimizing the inevitable short-term disruptions.

With a growing number of companies pushing the edge of technological innovations coupled with forward thinking regulators, Skyrus has seized the opportunity to harness this technology and empower people to improve their lifestyles in an ever-changing economic landscape without diminishing the energy and enthusiasm of the digital age.

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