I am regularly asked: what’s the next big thing? Answer: there isn’t one. There are just all the things we can see today that are building to the next big thing. What’s out there today? Web3; the metaverse; cryptocurrencies, digital currencies and CBDCs; artificial intelligence plus; blockchain, smart contracts and distributed ledger technologies in reality; digital identities and biometrics plus; quantum computing; and more.
Having said all that, the most exciting thing I keep returning to is space.
Space … the final frontier … not anymore.
It amazes me that we are seeing black holes, taking hi-definition pictures of Pluto, building reusable rockets, talking about a life on Mars as a thing that will definitely happen and launching near-Earth hotels for space holidays.
There are projects to send a balloon into space and return as a thrill ride; Blue Origin that goes up and down pretty fast; Virgin Galaxy trips; and, of course, SpaceX.
Part of the reason for such rapid change is that the cost of flight has reduced immensely in the last half century.
Source: Visual Capitalist
We can even just send satellites into space using a catapult.
It feels like a TV sketch that starts with when I was a lad, and then it kind of became one and, and, building on yesterday's blog about soul-based tokens (SBTs), here's my idea of the very near future.
Grandad: When I was a lad, the idea of flying to Mars was so ridiculous that David Bowie wrote a song about it.
Grandson: Who’s David Bowie?
Grandad: A guy who used to write about space and starmen.
Grandson: Was it something?
Grandad: It was when I was a lad.
Grandad: Because no one had ever been in space.
Grandad: Yes. The first time a person was in space was in the 1960s.
Grandson: So what did we do before?
Grandad: Well, we stayed local.
Grandson: But why wouldn’t you want to fly to Mars?
Grandad: Because it was difficult and dangerous.
Grandson: But mummy books us to the moon every year now.
Grandad: I don’t know why.
Grandad: Because, when I was a lad, holidays were about beaches and the seaside. None of this moon lakes malarkey.
Grandson: But I like going to the moon.
Grandson: Because we can jump higher than ever thanks to zero gravity.
Grandad: Sure. And that’s worth spending a week away from school?
Grandson: It’s no longer a week grandad. We can do it in a few days now.
Grandad: Well, I’m not doing it.
Grandad: Because it’s not worth it.
Grandson: Grandad, come one, get a life.
Grandad: I’ve had a very good one and never needed to fly to the moon. That’s what astronauts do.
Grandson: What’s an astronaut?
Grandad: These were the people who used to fly spaceships.
Grandson: Oh, you mean a pilot.
Grandad: I guess I do.
Grandson: You’re funny.
Grandson: Well yes, you talk about spaceships and astronauts like someone who used to talk about sailing ships, Captains and pirates.
Grandad: I guess history repeats itself.
Grandson: What do you mean by that?
Grandad: Well, haven’t you noticed the space pirates?
Grandson: Space pirates?
Grandad: Yes. The guys who are attacking your holiday flights and stealing all of your money and valuables.
Grandson: I haven’t heard about that.
Grandad: Well, your mum and dad don’t want you to, but it’s a thing.
Grandson: What do they do?
Grandad: Well, you check in for your quick flight to the moon and, whilst you’re there, they steal everything on earth.
Grandson: That sounds a bit scary.
Grandad: And they’re not pirates like the ones I used to know, with ships and swords. They’re pirates who just catch your info at the spaceport.
Grandson: How do they do that?
Grandad: Technology. They get your DNA and biometrics as you check-in.
Grandson: I don’t think they can do that.
Grandad: They can if they pay the check-in person enough to pass the info along.
Grandson: What can they do then?
Grandad: Well, they can do anything because they’ve stolen the token to your soul.
Grandson: My soul?
Grandad: Your soul.
Grandson: And then?
Grandad: Once your soul’s gone, you might as well be dead.
Grandson screams. Mum enters the room and cuddles him. Grandad gets heavy scowl and is asked to leave.
Grandad walks out of the house. It’s getting dark and he looks up at a beautiful full moon. A beautiful full moon with people dancing in hotels, whilst their soul tokens pay for everything.
Strange world …
Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...