After a year that made the terms WFH (work from home) and metaverse instantly recognizable for many people, there are a new set of technological trends headed this way for 2022.
‘Web 3.0’ and crypto
First, it was websites and blogs, which allowed the emergence of companies like Yahoo, eBay, and Amazon. The next was Web 2.0, defined by social media and user-generated content on sites like Facebook and YouTube. Benedict Evans, an independent analyst specializing in Silicon Valley, summarized that these platforms “get the money and control it, they let you on their platform.”
So, is Web 3.0 coming? In this iteration, “users, creators and developers would have stakes and votes” in a platform in much the way cooperative works, Evans said on his “Another Podcast.”
It could be made possible by blockchain technology, where computer programs run on networks of thousands or millions of computers. So far, blockchain has enabled the rise of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and more recently, the unique digital objects such as drawings or animations called NFTs.
The spike toward record ransomware attacks and data leaks in 2021 looks likely to spill over into the coming year. Cyber-extortion heists break into a victim’s network to encrypt data, then demand a ransom, typically paid via cryptocurrency in exchange to unlock it. A confluence of factors has fueled the trend, including the booming value of cryptocurrencies, victims’ willingness to pay and the difficulty authorities have in catching attackers.
More lawsuits and a federal investigation
New laws are possible in the wake of the damning whistleblower leaks showing Facebook executives knew its sites could cause harm. Some critics say the firm’s major push into realizing the metaverse — a virtual reality version of the internet — is an effort to change the subject after years of criticism. Apple dodged a bullet in 2021 when a US federal court said Fornite maker Epic Games failed to show the iPhone giant held an illegal monopoly, but the firm was still ordered to loosen control over its App Store. Both sides have appealed. New regulations may come sooner in the EU as it pushes through new laws.