Plus, a New Twist in China’s Position on Bitcoin
Welcome to your Sunday digest…my breakdown of the things we’re thinking about and talking about in the Global Intelligence world.
It’s been a difficult week for the stock and crypto markets. In yesterday’s column, I offered my detailed analysis on what’s happening and why.
So, in today’s weekly digest, I wanted to take a step back and look beyond the here and now into the future that’s quickly unfolding. Because that’s how true wealth is created…not by reacting (and overreacting) to the day-to-day movements of the market, but by analyzing the trends that will shape the next decade and the decade after that.
To wit, our first story this week: China’s big move to embrace the metaverse future.
The metaverse is the future of the internet.
Instead of staring at a computer monitor or smartphone and using the internet in two dimensions, in the future we’re going to view the internet in three dimensions…all around us. We’ll use virtual reality glasses and augmented reality tech to access these 3D virtual, metaverse worlds.
It can sound fantastical, but it’s coming…and industry in China is getting ready.
This week, China’s government-backed computer industry association established a dedicated committee for metaverse development.
More than 150 companies have joined this committee, which will help the government chart the sector’s development and draft metaverse industry standards.
It’s a boring story to be sure, but this is the sort of dreary, technocratic work that happens before a new technology like the metaverse explodes into the mainstream.
And it’s not the only sign of China moving to embrace the metaverse. In March, the Chinese province of Xiamen launched a three-year plan to nurture metaverse firms.
This technology is coming. China is already preparing for its arrival.
Sticking with emerging tech for the moment…
At a company conference this week, Google previewed a ton of new devices, including a Pixel watch, tablet, and phone.
But the device that caught my eye…and the device that shows where the future is headed…is a new set of augmented reality glasses.
These prototype glasses look just like normal glasses, but they offer a range of amazing features, including the ability to translate spoken language into text that you can view right in front of you.
Google’s CEO called this sort of AR “a new frontier of computing.”
This is the point I always try to emphasize about the tech future now emerging.
I think people find it hard to imagine this future because they picture having to use big, bulky VR and AR glasses…like those available today.
In fact, the world’s biggest tech giants, from Apple to Google to Facebook, are developing new iterations of these devices that will be slim, stylish, and surprisingly inexpensive.
These devices are coming…and when they arrive, they’ll unlock an internet and wearable technology revolution.
Finally this week, we return to China for the latest bizarre twist in the China vs. bitcoin saga.
Regular readers will know that China banned crypto mining and trading last year. That was a monumental decision, considering that China was, at that time, the biggest bitcoin miner in the world.
Well, in a fresh twist, the Shanghai high court recently ruled that bitcoin has “economic value” and is a virtual asset protected by the country’s laws. This is the first ruling on bitcoin by the Chinese legal system.
The ruling emerged from an October 2020 case in which an individual called Cheng Mou demanded the return of one bitcoin from a defendant, Shi Moumou. When Shi failed to return the bitcoin as ordered, the case reached the Shanghai high court.
The wider impact of this case is unclear. The courts in China do not act independently of the government, but rather are beholden to the Chinese Communist Party. So, I don’t expect to see any significant change in China’s crypto policy resulting from this court decision.
Still, the decision is surprising.
At the very least, it means that the assets of crypto holders in China may be legally protected…which might encourage more Chinese investors to seek ways to purchase crypto through overseas exchanges. And that could be a boon for crypto prices.
That brings us to the end of this week’s digest. Many thanks for being a subscriber. And if you have any feedback or questions, reach out through the contact form on the Global Intelligence website.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.