In this article, we shall analyse the drivers behind the rise in cryptocurrencies’ value and market capitalization and start envisioning future evolutions, focusing notably on Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Previously, we explained what is a cryptocurrency and highlighted the possible revolutionary impact of blockchain, the technology underlying the majority of cryptocurrencies. We, meanwhile described the… Read More
Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… Each section of the scan below focuses on signals related to a specific theme: world (international politics and geopolitics); economy; science; analysis, strategy and futures; technology and weapons; energy and environment. However, in a complex world, categories are merely a convenient way to present information,… Read More
This article explains further what a cryptocurrency is, with the examples of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, focusing on the most common underlying technology, the blockchain and its implementation. It underlines commonalities and differences between the three cryptocurrencies, starting highlighting their potential advantages and dangers compared with classical international currencies. It notably singles out one of the main challenges characterizing the Bitcoin phenomenon: energy sustainability.
As 2017 draws to a close, according to the signals of the Weekly and their evolution over the year, it seems that we are heading towards a year 2018 that is very different from 2017, with probably the rising tension – or “competition” between the U.S. and China – plus Russia – getting ready to… Read More
Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… —– Each section of the scan below focuses on signals related to a specific theme: world (international politics and geopolitics); economy; science; analysis, strategy and futures; technology and weapons; energy and environment. However, in a complex world, categories are merely a convenient way to present… Read More
Horizon Scanning for National Security No93 – Are political authorities back? Many high-tech and cyber related signals emerged this week, from the massive DDoS attack to digital arm trade, right to kill hackers, DNA computing, quantum technology or space entrepreneurs, besides the possibility of renewed attacks by “climato-skeptics,” when scientists wonder if the frozen spring could be linked to a slower gulf stream, and when political impacts of natural catastrophes start being studies more consistently. Meanwhile, the Syrian quagmire deepens, progressively dragging the region in, and tensions in Northeast Asia heighten. And at the core…
Horizon Scanning for National Security No92 – Global Experiment and Fog of Transition: Those two labels – the first borrowed from Paul Krugman’s now famous interview, and the second from Global Trends 2030, among others, itself adapted from von Clausewitz’s fog of war – seem to describe most aptly the current period, and the short (to medium?) term future.
Horizon Scanning for National Security No91: The Actors and the System: Powerlessness? If we were to estimate the power of the actors by their ability to stabilize the system, they would not fare very well, and this, in itself, is a signal that tensions will most probably continue to rise and escalate in intensity as well as widen in scope. One of the interesting question would thus be: How long can this system withstand the pressure until it breaks?
Horizon Scanning for National security No89 – Look East: Indicators are turning red! The possibility of war – between China and Japan… and the US (security treaties can also have an escalating effect) and ? – is now very much on the agenda, despite all wishful thinking and previous disbelief. The dire financial situation of Japan, which everyone tries so hard to ignore, while US potential sequestration shockwaves nears and Europe polarizes, are not the most stabilizing context and factors. We had a window of opportunity, at the beginning of February, it closed. Shall we see another opening up of “the funnel of choices” (Nye, 1993: 68-69)?