For a larger version of this infographic, click here.
Predicting the future isn’t easy. For example, in 1977 it was predicted by Ken Olsen, a well-known tech entrepreneur at the time, that “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”
It was not only an inaccurate prediction, but decades later the exact opposite has happened. Billions of computers now fit in our homes and our pockets. Even refrigerators, thermostats, and alarm clocks are armed with computers that connect to us as the Internet of Things grows exponentially.
As a result, we should take any forward-looking guesses with an open mind and a light heart.
In this visualization, Envisioning.io looks at the historical relationship between currencies and technology. The graphic also looks forward to the future of trade, where new applications of technology may change and expand the ways our financial system works.
Importantly, the visualization also makes the distinction between the different types of networks that encompass currency and trade. Centralized networks are where nodes connect through dense centres that support the connected few, such as governments and banks. Decentralized networks are where nodes connect in clusters under no centralized authority. These networks favour the selective individual and give rise to things such as stock markets. Lastly, there is the distinction of distributed networks, where network nodes connect independently. This is what has enabled bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, where the whole of the network is reinforced and supported.
There are several topics covered here that we have looked at in the past in much more depth. Most recently, we showed the opportunity in mobile and electronic payments, the evolution of US currency, and also how cryptocurrencies could disrupt the financial system. We’ve also covered precious metals in depth with our goldand silver series.
Original graphic by: Envisioning