It’s that time of year, when writers and audiences alike feel compelled to look back on the year that just ended and plan for the one that has just begun. We figured the best way to do our part would be to review what we identified as 5 key tech trends for the Roaring Twenties last year, see where things stand, and try to come up with educated guesses about where things might take.
Read also: 2021 Technology Trends Review, Part 2: AI, Knowledge Graphs and the COVID-19 Effect
To recall the context of last year, the original roaring twenties dated back 100 years, But we may be about to see a new version of this. And if it will be “a period of economic prosperity with a distinctive cultural advantage,” then the economic and cultural aspects will only be linked to the data.
Data is shaping a new culture, bringing a new way of doing business, a new way of making decisions, new applications and infrastructure, and is a catalyst for the transition to AI. Data is the focal point of our Big on Data coverage, so following the predictions of our fellow columnists Andrew Brust and Tony Baer, here’s our own set of things to watch out for in the 2020s.
Last year, we identified blockchain, cloud, open source, artificial intelligence, and knowledge graphs as the top 5 tech drivers for the 2020s. Although we haven’t predicted the kind of year 2020, it seems that our predictions may not have been totally distorted. Let’s recap, starting today with blockchain, cloud and open source, and following artificial intelligence and knowledge graphs, as well as an honorable mention of technological developments related to Covid-19, in the upcoming days.
Blockchain DeFi-ning Moment?
The main takeaway from last year’s review of the blockchain technology and ecosystem was that the potential exists, but there is still a long way to go, both technically and the organizational and operational plan. We’re assuming this still holds true, but as always the devil is in the details, so let’s explore in depth.
On a technical level, what is arguably the most significant development in 2020 materialized almost at the end of the year: Ethereum 2.0 Beacon chain goes live. Let’s take a step back and explain what this means and why it matters.
Ethereum is a blockchain-based network like Bitcoin. Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum’s goal is to go beyond being a digital currency, to become a substrate for the development of all kinds of decentralized applications, or dApps. While the value of Ether, the token of the Ethereum network, has increased throughout 2020, this token can actually be used to run applications, instead of sitting idle in digital wallets.
Like Bitcoin, however, Ethereum shares a decentralized architecture, imposing the need for crypto guarantees and secure decentralized protocols to ensure the viability of transactions on the network. It was a long-standing goal for Ethereum to break away from the way Bitcoin does this, based on the concept of proof of workand transition to another way of doing things, called proof of participation.
From the beacon chain, phase 0 launches the proof of stake network with multiple technical additions to come.(Trenton Van Epps)
December 2020 was the time when the so-called The Beacon chain came out after years of research and development. Beacon aims to be the backbone of a new Ethereum blockchain, claiming to compete with established payment networks such as PayPal and Visa in terms of processing speed, while beating them in terms of transparency and …
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