LEAP INTO THE QUANTUM DARK
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.