Investors tend to talk a lot of about emerging industries and the development of world technologies. Often an overview of technological advances is compared, which can span from since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution 300 years ago. New manufacturing processes began in the mid-1700s to the mid-1800s, a period known as the First Industrial Revolution. It was then followed by three more industrial revolutions, namely: the Second Industrial Revolution (aka Technology Revolution), the Third Industrial Revolution (aka Digital Revolution), and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (aka Industry 4.0).
Each preceding industrial revolution (IR) gave rise to new technological advancements that made best use of current available methods and saw to the introduction of new innovative products.
Industrial Revolutions (IRs)
The First Industrial Revolution (1760-1840) introduced steam as a new power source; that gave rise to machine tools, the steam engine, iron process innovations, railways and the first trains (steam powered).
The Second Industrial Revolution (1870 – 1914) – gave rise to a petroleum industry, automobiles, telecommunications systems (telegraph, radio etc.), and the first practical uses of something called electricity.
The Third Industrial Revolution (1950 – Present) – this is when the world started shifting from mechanical and analogue electronic technology to digital electronics. 70 years later and we’re still in this Digital Revolution as it seems to have opened up never-ending technological possibilities. This period also marked the start of the Information Age (but that’s a topic for another day).
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Inception unknown) – perhaps future generations will have a clearer view of when the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) began because by the time we became aware of what’s going on, we were already in it. The 4IR is so diverse in that it covers everything that builds and extends on the 3IR, in other words, anything that builds on digitization. So things like the internet, e-commerce, cyber systems etc. all form part of the 4IR.
From the First Industrial Revolution in the 1700s all the way to the current Industry 4.0, there’s been a transition of innovations from one Revolution to the next. Ironically, the Third Industrial Revolution has broken that trend.
Revolutions in concurrency
Before the Second Industrial Revolution (2IR) began, the First had stopped innovating new solutions. Likewise, when the Third Industrial Revolution (3IR) began, the Second had stopped innovating new solutions. But the 3IR hasn’t ended yet, and we’ve already entered the 4IR.
The Third Industrial Revolution has been so revolutionary that it just keeps innovating at an unprecedented pace, compared to the IRs that came before it. Technologies such as mobile phones keep thriving with no signs of slowing down. The 3IR has already inspired a new IR but has done it in a way that is complementary to its existence, where the 4IR (internet) is more of an enhancement than a disruptor to the Digital Revolution (3IR).
Internet in Industry 4.0 (4IR)
Without a doubt, the internet has forever changed how people interact with the world around them, as well as how they interact with each other. Everything nowadays can be found on the internet, with the expansion of information having exploded since its creation. However, as much as the internet is capable of such great feats, it comes up short in other areas. Much like the inventions that came before it, there are gaps it just can’t cover as society progresses.
The internet today has been exploited of its well-intentioned purposes; such as connecting people from anywhere in the world. It has become an environment where big business builds large empires at the expense of its customers. It is a place where people’s personal information is exposed to all kinds of attacks whether they knowingly consent or not. Far from being the environment society was promised – where its people could communicate, share information, and conduct their favorite activities without harm.
This tumor on society, which has resulted from the use of internet, has finally found its way to the highest ranks in our society, to a point where it can no longer be trusted. That’s it; the single most reason why the internet is fast becoming dysfunctional is because its network can no longer be trusted. The network has become so vast that it is hard to police.
Considering that the internet facilitates for roughly 14.1 percent or $3.5 Trillion of all of the world’s commerce, it has become a honeypot for criminals to target. As a result of hacks alone, e-commerce retailers are losing $172 on average for each customer they have. That results to tens of billions of losses worldwide on a yearly basis, and that cost is rising. That’s also not taking into account the losses incurred by millions of businesses from other industries. As well as known and unknown hacks of individuals’ personal information.
The world is in desperate need of a better system as the leaks of the current one are starting to show. In 2018, a major scandal brought to light the negative impacts an insecure internet has on society, exposing how people’s personal data was being used to manipulate, not only the individual, but the very society in which they live. The internet has given complete strangers the superpower to control your environment without you ever knowing about it.
I could write an entire book about all the stuff that’s affecting society’s ability to function to its utmost capabilities, starting with our flawed education system. Instead, it is rather more productive to focus on what can be changed and improved upon. Where there is a serious need for change, people find inspiration to present it to the world.
Blockchain in Industry 4.0 (4IR)
At the start of the 21st century an anonymous person or group by the name Satoshi Nakamoto created the first decentralized blockchain (Bitcoin) that solves the problem of double-spending. A decentralized blockchain was the solution to the secretive and corrupt system of financial banks. Since Bitcoin’s introduction in 2009, an entire industry of decentralized blockchains has risen, with claims they can improve the underlying systems that run society – in so many ways. For the sake of not having to constantly separate the wheat from the chaff, I’ll just use EOSIO as the prime example of a highly functional blockchain system.
The EOSIO blockchain protocol will be to global industry what the steam engine was to the train and the automobile, back when this entire Industrial Revolution began. With as many as a couple hundred blockchains today, most of them are nothing but imitations and products of those that came before them. Bitcoin can no longer compete performance wise, but it plays an excellent role as the gold standard for this new digital economy of cryptocurrencies. EOSIO on the other hand is the underlying high-performance blockchain system that the world desperately needs.
EOSIO, like many other blockchains, complements its predecessor (the internet) by providing it a layer of trust. However, what really separates it from the rest is its core tech. EOSIO uses an innovative algorithm that gives it a huge advantage over other blockchains. This algorithm solves the issues of slow speeds, reaching consensus, and helps fast-track the finality of settlements i.e. transactions. Taking it a step further, this algorithm ensures that the interests of all stakeholders within its network are in alignment.
The algorithm is called Delegated Proof of Stake, or DPoS for short, and was developed by Daniel Larimer; the same architect who, along with Brendan Blumer, developed the EOSIO protocol. A testament to the prized quality of DPoS is the mere fact that the most competitive blockchains in terms of performance and scalability use a DPoS algorithm. Blockchains such as Tezos, Cardano, and Tron all use a DPoS algorithm. And these are just the ones with a $1B+ marketcap, as there are tens more that have implemented DPoS.
Digital Age, Internet, Blockchain
The combination of the Digital Age (3IR), the internet and blockchain (4IR), will make for a potent collaboration in the evolution of society and how we interact with the world. The 3IR gave us computers/mobile phones, the internet (4IR) gave us access to instant information and communication, and blockchain (4IR) provides us a trustless network and control over our finances.
These three innovations will be the sole drivers of the new economy. Anything from Artificial Intelligence to healthcare services, to transportation and manufacturing processes, will operate on these three innovations, as some already are. Digital devices, the internet, and blockchain, will introduce to the world new technological solutions that weren’t possible until now.
Blockchain, through the internet, enables the creation of auto-communication through smart-contracts. This makes the future of driver-less cars, drone deliveries, and automated supply chains possible in the present time. There’s just no way around blockchain, because not only does it make these innovations possible, but it would also make them more secure, faster, cheaper, and accurate etc.
The world of mainstream isn’t talking about blockchain yet as a technological revolution and its understandable when considering that most people were still adapting to the Digital Age before the internet came and swept value from under traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. And just as they were getting used to the internet; here comes blockchain threatening to sweep value from every industry they’ve known, some industries are even facing complete extinction.
The 21st century world is a confusing time to be alive; disruptive innovations are being introduced quicker than most busy-ness people can keep up with. Unfortunately, innovation doesn’t ask for permission, it retires whatever is outdated and sets the new standards. Such rapid innovation is a sign that the technology men has built is beginning to overshadow them. A scary thought for some, but inevitable nonetheless. In an inevitable future like that, it is vital that we have a trustless system, and that’s exactly what blockchain offers the world.
Thank you for reading!
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