Muscat Daily - - FEATURES -

For the in­dus­try at large, busi­ness con­sul­tancy Ac­cen­ture this year coined the acro­nym DARQ to de­note four ma­jor trends: dis­trib­uted ledger tech­nol­ogy (such as blockchain), ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI), ex­tended re­al­ity and quan­tum com­put­ing.

Unbreakabl­e blockchain net­works of com­put­ers have al­ready been gen­er­at­ing vir­tual cur­ren­cies in the form of bit­coin and its ilk, by­pass­ing the need for a reg­u­la­tor like a gov­ern­ment or central bank.

Face­book wants to make the tech re­spectable through its ‘Libra’ project, but has hit po­lit­i­cal op­po­si­tion around the world, and sev­eral fi­nan­cial part­ners have pulled out.

Un­will­ing to let pri­vate en­ter­prise dic­tate terms, China and other na­tions are build­ing their own dig­i­tal pay­ments sys­tems, which could see fruition next year.

How­ever, blockchain net­works de­vour huge amounts of en­ergy, and con­cerns will mount about their en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as de­bate in­ten­si­fies more broadly about tech's con­tri­bu­tion to cli­mate change.

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