Prediction is a tricky business.
It’s so easy to be wrong and so hard to be right.
But that’s exactly what we’ll do here. Since we’re rapidly approaching the ten year anniversary of Bitcoin’s whitepaper publication, I’ll attempt to project out twenty years to see the evolution of Bitcoin, blockchain, alternative cryptocurrencies and decentralization.
This is the type of article that will look unbelievably foolish or incredibly brilliant when I’m old and gray.
I don’t care. I’m going for it anyway.
I’m also going to go much, much deeper than “Bitcoin will go to zero” or “Bitcoin will become the reserve currency and be worth $1,000,000”. That’s not really saying all that much and anyone can do it.
Instead we’ll look at how the technology will transform and how society will transform with it.
I’ve got a decent track record of successfully predicting future trends and technology but nobody gets it 100% right. Arthur C. Clarke, one of the greatest sci-fi writers of all time, saw the coming of satellites and GPS, as well as the cloud, the Internet and telecommuting but by his own admission he overestimated the importance of rockets and failed to see the importance of a prototype laptop a company gifted to him to write his next novel.
Chaos theory tells us it’s impossible to predict the future.
But that’s not entirely true.
We can never see black swan events or completely unexpected technology (try explaining a computer and the Internet to an 18th century farmer) but we can do a kind of Monte Carlo analysis of tomorrow and see the major pathways spinning out into infinity.
Few people can do it well.
In fact, most people get the future laughably wrong so before we leap into our predictions, we need to understand why so we can try to avoid the same mistakes.