Investors are faced with new risks and a constantly changing market, as with the conflict in Ukraine, high inflation and rising interest rates, the future looks very uncertain. As a consequence, it is recommendable to shift the focus to the medium and long terms, just like many companies are doing.
Investors face new risks and a constantly changing market. With the conflict in Ukraine, high inflation and rising interest rates, the future looks very uncertain. In these times of uncertainty, we believe it is important to take a step back and consider the main trends that will shape the remaining part of 2022.
Metaverse and digital reality
The current virtual world is the result of an evolution in which the life of each of us has been subjected to constant digitization. These days, we spend a large part of our life interacting with other people through virtual spaces and the near future will probably reserve us a further evolution in which we ourselves and the environment around us will be “digitized”.
At first glance, it looks like something straight out of a science fiction movie. But during the second year of the pandemic, a “critical mass” of factors came together to make that “science fiction” more realistic as reported in this article.
We speak of a “metaverse”: a virtual universe in which everything that can be digitized is digitized, including ourselves in the form of an “avatar”. The first step towards the metaverse is due to the “general” improvement of the technology.
During 2021 Facebook announced that it had renamed itself “Meta”, following the exploit on the market of its virtual reality headset “Oculus Quest 2”. Subsequently, the metaverse was fueled by thousands of investors looking for NFTs (Non-fungible tokens), which certify ownership of assets on blockchain.
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies
Most blockchains are designed as a distributed and decentralized digital ledger. Put simply, a blockchain is practically the electronic version of a paper ledger, and has the task of archiving a list of transactions. More precisely, a blockchain is a linear chain of blocks that are linked and protected by cryptographic evidence.
Blockchain technology can be applied to other businesses and does not necessarily require financial transactions, but, in the context of cryptocurrencies, it is responsible for maintaining a permanent record of all confirmed transactions.
On the other hand, a cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency used as a medium of exchange within a distributed network of users. Unlike traditional banking systems, these transactions are monitored through a digital public ledger (the blockchain) and can take place directly between participants (peer-to-peer) without the need for intermediaries.
‘Crypto' refers to the cryptographic techniques used to protect the economic system and ensure that the creation of new cryptocurrency units and the validation of transactions go smoothly.
While not all cryptocurrencies have this characteristic, the large number that, like Bitcoin, rely on the mining process has a slow and controlled growth of their circulating supply. Consequently, mining is the only way to create new units, preventing the risk of inflation that threatens traditional fiat currencies, as a government is able to control the money supply.
On top of mining, trading these assets is becoming more and more popular as advised in this review of the news spy with a step by step guide of one trendy platform.
The United States and Europe push on electric mobility with incentives. In response, major automakers are promoting their electric cars. Not long ago, Ford Motor announced plans to increase production of its F-150 Lightning electric pickup but also General Motors plans to unveil a battery-powered version of its Chevrolet Silverado pickup. Other automakers, such as Mercedes-Benz, have shared plans for electric cars to be released in the coming years.
We also saw a prototype of a hydrogen flying car, just to stay in the sustainability field. Electric vehicles are often also autonomous, in the new models presented, such as a tractor or a freight truck although it is not yet clear how autonomous driving can help sustainability (it could make it worse if it comes at the expense of public transport).