Things are advancing rapidly. This is something that most are aware of. However, this is a condition that was present the last 4 decades. Over that time, we see enormous advancements that, in the end, generated a tremendous amount of wealth.
In the 1980s, being a millionaire meant something. It was a level whereby one was elite. That changed as the ensuing decades passed. During that time, billionaires were very rare. It wasn't until the turn of the century that we see the massive explosion in the category.
So what happened?
Many are tempted to blame inflation. That would be incorrect. In spite of the governments money printing, which is ever increasing, it has not had the impact desired. Also, we can blame wealth inequality, which certainly exists. However, that does not account for the tremendous amounts of capital that exist today.
The answer is simply advancement. Technology got to the point where it can generate so much wealth that the total pie, if you will, exploded. Again, this is not spread evenly yet that is a discussion outside the scope of this article. The important factor is that the total wealth generated exploded due to technology.
At the core of this was, of course, the Internet. Look at the Top 10 billionaire list and you will see a heavy representation of that medium. Most who broke into that category over the last couple decades came from the tech sector.
This is a trend that is not going to change.
What is going to change is the fact that this idea is only going to keep growing and spreading. We are nowhere near done with it. In fact, a strong case could be made that things are just getting started.
Today we talk in billions, tomorrow it will be trillions. On a national or global level, those numbers will reach quadrillions.
Many ask what will be the most important technology going forward? Is it quantum? Artificial Intelligence? Space colonization and exploration? While this is fuel for debate, it really does not matter. All of them are going to have an impact as well as VR, renewable energy, and robotics.
The core factor in all of this is the ability to keep increasing our computation while producing more energy. Moving closer to a virtual world means that we are going to see even more wealth generated as things keep increasing in pace.
We can start with the idea of what is the Internet worth? This is a hard number to figure but we can presume it is somewhere in the $30-$50 trillion range. That is a lot for something that really did not exist 3 decades ago. If there was a "Internet token" traded, I am sure the total value would be increasing at a faster pace. The jump from 1995-2005 would be less than it was the ensuring decade.
This is how technology works. Each new generation is more powerful, of greater impact, and generates more wealth than what went before it.
As we travel through the 2020s and into the 2030s, some of the wealth generators will come into our everyday lives. Dystopian believers this will be the end of humanity, resulting in slavery for the masses. History shows us that technology has the exact opposite effect. It ends up creating more abundance than was previously experienced.
Cryptocurrency is a new model that is really going to enhance this entire concept. For now, it is operating as its own standalone technology. However, as it is integrated into other technologies such as virtual reality, space colonization, and artificial intelligence, we will see results that are orders of magnitude greater than today.
All of this will lead to greater innovation and breakthroughs.
Whereas the present Internet is worth tens of trillions of dollars, Web 3.0 will likely push towards the quadrillions. When the Internet moves from the 2D world, something that we view on a screen, to fully immersive 3D, then the value will jump exponentially. Industries that do not exist today will be worth trillions apiece.
We see this all tying into intelligence. Naturally, there is great debate about what this is and how consciousness plays in all of this. As we learn more, perhaps some of the answers will come to us. For now, we can just know that things are expanding on all levels, including our level of intelligence.
Many theorize that our entire universe is nothing more than data. Thus, evolution is a giant exercise in computation. The historic evolution of the universe all boils down to information being passed on from one generation to the next. This is seen even when we break things down to the most basic level.
Genes are a prime example. Information is passed from parent to child, containing all the previous data that was encoded. Looking at the human progression over time, we see the changes in physical makeup as compared to earlier "iterations".
The reason this concept is important is our ability to generate and pass on information is speeding up. Computer science and biology are merging. If we thought major advancement was made in informational technology over the last 40 years, we can only guess what will be uncovered over the same time frame going forward in Bio-Tech. This might be the next area of innovation that creates a multitude of trillionaires.
Many wonder how this will not result in a dystopian future?
Once again, if we look at technological advancements over the last few decades, and the impact upon society, we see areas of abundance are inclusive, not exclusive.
The digitization process makes things very accessible as well as inexpensive. Look at information, pictures, video, music, and communications. We are going to see the same trends in construction, education, food, energy, and transportation.
There was a time when one needed a specially designed device to play videos. Coupled with this was the fact that people needed to put in a physical disc that was encoded with the video. This was tied to a screen that allowed is to view the video. All of this took money.
Today, we see anyone with an entry level smart phone can access millions of hours of video for free on sites like YouTube. No longer is there much of a cost to video.
What happens when a bioreactor is the price of a microwave and one can take a stem cell from a chicken feather and create enough meat for a holiday barbeque? Right now the cost per pound of chicken might be $50 but that will come down in time. Food is going to follow the same path as video and music.
The tokenization process is going to allow us to monetize things that presently do not carry a value in that area. Certainly, they have value to society and individuals, yet it is not financially productive, especially for the person engaging in the activity.
That is changing. We are seeing innovation in this area whereby the potential exists to monetize everything someone does. In the past I used the idea of monetizing going to the bathroom. Human waste has value. For example, medical researchers need data and our excrement has a lot of that. Tokenize this along with a smart toilet and that morning bowel movement can be a money maker.
As we move further into the digital realm, coupled with AI, quantum computing, and VR, we are going to see enormous wealth generated. This is our natural path of evolution. Information is now being monetized and we continually are creating more of it.
Therefore, the idea of trillionaires, by the end of this decade, will not be a foreign concept to us. In fact, fast forward a few decades and most of us will fall into a category like this. We are rapidly moving towards an era where abundance will be so great that money is nothing more than a scorecard.
The more we automate, the greater the amount of wealth created.
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