New Year is Here, Hooray! I received a question yesterday from Fuchuan Yang, Chief Editor at 华章 Publishing Ltd.
What technology will bring to digital economy in 2019? He invited every member from Digital Economics Think Tank to share his/her own opinion. I always love to share my predictions. For me, it’s great fun to check back a few years later to see which ones proved right and which wrong. So below I will make myself quite clear about some very specific things, do not want to make investment advice, but I think it’s a good way to show my view points.
Here is my first prediction: Old economics orders will wiped away at a higher speed, Internet Plus will be accelerated.
So, what is Internet Plus. to quote Shiyi Pan ( 潘石屹 )
Internet Plus is NOT Plus Internet, Plus Internet means building on old orders, while Internet Plus means rebuild from scratch.
Let’s take automobile industry as an example. To fund GM and Ford and expect them to use Internet more is Plus Internet, while to launch Tesla and support programmers to build cars is Internet Plus.
People say economy will be worse in 2019, and even worse in the years to come. IMHO, this is only true for old economy. Winter is good in that it get ride of the old and pave the way for the new. To me, the old thinkings and orders seem so much lagged behind in efficiency , openness and fairness, compared to new internet thinkings.
Old asset class will fade in value, people will invest more in the Internet. I bet Internet will revolutionize everything, today we see shopping and payment already here, car manufacturing on its way, Apple rethinking what a watch is, blockchain cool kids building a plan B for finance. Yes everything.
My Second prediction, I call it Peter’s Law:
Whatever can be digitalized will be digitalized.
With VR, even cyber prostitution is possible, so there is hardly anything that can not be digitalized. All data will be online and easily accessible by anyone authorized. Privacy and security will be protected by cryptography rather than lock and wall.
Tokenization( in the context of Blockchain) is another form of digitalization. Physical assets need to have their representations in digital world, so that they can be traded and managed efficiently.
A more digitalized world means more efficient world, people will get richer. It is that simple.
The more I study the Internet today, The more I realize cyber ID is everything. My last prediction is that individuals will worry about their cyber ID more.
So why cyber identity is so important, simple answer is that it is the virtual you. Tencent and Alibaba are so powerful, with the control of our digital ID, that they can control everything. You may want to prove me wrong by showing the recent little giants like 字节跳动，MeiTuan 美团 and Didi 滴滴。As the way I see it, they came into existence only because T & A allowed them to do so. Here is my logic. When you signup Wechat or Alipay, you got a ID that is actually controlled by T & A. Since all your data, be it chat messages or money transactions, needs to attach to your ID, then the ID become a virtual you. If DiDi or MeiTuan wants to provide their services, they need to get approved by T&A to setup mobile payments. And because WeChat is the place where the virtual you lives, if not for the reputation, Tencent can easily mute 字节跳动 in its infancy and set up its own 抖音 or 今日头条.
Blockchain is the only technology to provide a decentralized digital ID. In order to get their own virtual self back, people need an ID that is not controlled by any company. I do respect T&A’s hard work, but looking at the way ahead, this have to change.
These are all my predictions for 2019. Economy winter will accelerate the switch from old to the new. Technology will rebuild every detail of our world. Things can be easily controlled, so the efficiency roars. A warning alarm is people don’t want to be controlled, and It’s time to let individuals control their virtual self.