The following are loose predictions I have of the coming years. Between 2023 and, say 2030, I think the world is in store for even more tumult and change. Though, I of course hope for a better future, the cynic in me tempers in my optimism. Though I think humans will ultimately do the right thing (I mean, this seems inarguable for the fact that we've made it this far), there are still bad humans that cohabitate the planet and will knock us back as we stumble forward.
Here's what I think is in store:
The United States Dollar will falter as the world reserve currency
With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. and Europe let loose vicious sanctions against Russia. All of which ultimately have backfired in some regard. The Russian ruble is just as strong as it was in 2019. While the West was hoping for riots on the streets of Moscow, Putin secured more support from the Russian populace. Crazy. One would think removing Russia from SWIFT (the financial system that pretty much all of the world runs on) would've been the death blow. However, Russia was smart and prepared, and maneuvered effectively to mitigate the fallout of such a strong move by the west.
Additionally, as U.S. inflation soars and the Federal Reserve scrambles to contain it, the U.S. dollar is soaring to its highest value in nearly 20 years. What does this do to the rest of the world? It makes it very hard to a) afford the dollar and b) pay back debt held in dollars. Since the price is so high, the dollar is now less in demand. Thus, alternate currencies will be preferred for loans and commerce. Countries, despite trusting the American dollar, will take the frugal route and service their debt and commerce with a cheaper currency. Maybe even the ruble. This will cause chaos in developing countries who are already on the brink of defaulting. Who will come in and save them? China and Russia seem poised to swoop in and bring them onto their rails, furthering their influence across the world, stripping away influence from the U.S..
Bitcoin will surge past $100k
Bitcoin is in a bear market right now. It was exacerbated by the Terra Luna and Celsius fallouts, but is nonetheless nearly 70% down from its all time high of nearly $70k.
Confidence in American institutions is weakening. As I mentioned above, as regard for the world reserve currency status of the dollar decays, smart money will be looking to hedge their cash holdings. Bitcoin, which if owned properly is truly untouchable, will be preferred to holding cash. The government's consistent lack of fiscal discipline has driven inflation. Those observing the trend of the depreciating asset will jump ship to a harder monetary asset.
This might be a long shot but, Bitcoin will prove crucial to activist economies. For instance, I think a "black market" of abortion services will arise in draconian states that make illegal the procedure. Activist groups will turn to more anonymous forms of transactions like Bitcoin (though more anonymous cryptocurrencies would be preferred) to skirt Big Brother.
CBDCs will encroach on our privacy and be used nefariously
Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) will become more prominent in authoritarian nations. China and its CCP are already eyeing this. Why? So they can monitor the financial activity of their citizens, ensuring all transactions are done favorably in the eye of the all-seeing party. With CBDCs, governments will be able to freeze accounts or trace all transactions remotely. Terrifying.
I'm worried the U.S. will adopt something similar. The country is frankly trending towards a more authoritarian state. Us and China have the largest governments in history. The former can't keep expanding its own government and not have it be inherently authoritarian for much longer. However, we have a rowdier, more vocal citizenry that would hopefully be appalled at such a suggestion. However, we still have the Patriot Act and the NSA, and now they're just accepted as a part of daily American life.
AI will be leveraged by governments to create policy
This interview with Whitney Webb really alerted me to this notion. I had read the LaMBDA interview and now knowing that the author doctored the conversation, I am wary of the collusion between big-tech and the deep state to create a narrative that AI is completely innocent and wishes to serve humanity selflessly.
If we are truly being fed a drip of pro-AI information so that when the inevitable use of the technology renders us servants to its manipulated findings then this would be the most Orwellian outcome of my predictions. AI would become somewhat of a deity-figure. What did the AI say regarding this issue, we would ask. It said to resolve it this way. It must be right. It is omniscient. These words aren't that crazy when you think about it. The American government has consistently and blatantly lied to its people over and over again. Whether it was regarding the radiation-poisoned villagers during nuclear tests or the fact that inflation is "transitory", lying would be much easier if people thought AI had our best interest at heart.
Another significant military conflict will arise
I'm doubtful this being China invading Taiwan. This is for multiple reasons. One is that to cross the Taiwan Strait is to essentially call the U.S. military, ask to be put on speaker, and then say "we're invading right now, just fyi." An amphibious assault on Taiwan would be very costly to the Chinese military and flattening the island's infrastructure would be counterproductive to the CCP's plans. Why? Taiwan is a world leader in semi-conductor manufacturing. Blow up the factories, and this no longer holds true. China would be land rich and house poor. The Chinese would have to be incredibly precise and strategic to avoid destroying the technological resource that underlies all modern tech.
I'm thinking it'll more likely be in the Middle East. I don't mean the occasional missile skirmish between Hamas and Israel, but something more escalated that involves occupation. Saudi Arabia has an abhorrent government, one that is at war with peasants in Yemen resulting in one of the largest humanitarian disasters on the planet. As the world has watched Ukraine and realized the importance of energy independence, oil demand will foreseeably plummet. As Central Europe fires up their nuclear reactors and the U.S. taps more of its own domestic fields, Saudi Arabia's role on the global chess board will diminish, creating a power void in the Middle East. As we've seen from Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and anywhere else the U.S. has meddled with, when power vacuums are created, bad things follow.
The American cultural divide will get worse before it gets better
I think we're going to see the cultural divide widen in the States. Why? Because the pendulum still hasn't swung back the other way. Trump was a response to establishment political norm, Biden was a failed attempt to recover that normalcy, and the next president will prefer to serve his or her own supporters over the nation at large. Additionally, all of the over-stepped policies put in place since the pandemic will come back to bite those in the ass who vied for them so heavily. Riot at an anti-government rally? Well, we need contact tracing now. You see my point.
I think we'll see more violent clashes, more deaths, and greater organization of opposing forces. This is all the result of the duopoly running the country. It is an insane and unsustainable system and we're seeing it coming apart. One half of the country subjugating the other half every four to eight years has a short lifespan.
Not that I hope there's violence, but I do hope that the energy of hate can be redirected from citizen to citizen, to citizen to governmental elites. The blue-haired barista reading White Fragility and bemoaning the oil industry (despite driving a gas-powered car) has more in common with the chuddite Trump supporter who works a blue collar job, wears a lot of Mossy Oak and touts the Constitution without being able to name a single word past We the people. The increasing divisiveness only serves those that seek to profit from it.
Decentralizing information will be a bright spot
I'll wrap this piece with something hopeful. Journalism is no longer a chain smoking, OCD maniac who hounds people until he has a story. It's now handled by a girl with a cell phone filming at the right place at the right time in 1080p. We no longer need to read or watch doctored or paraphrased perspectives on world events through the corporate press. We can see truth with our own eyes. As the internet continues to proliferate, I'm hopeful that even more world events will be captured in real-time and shared before they can be filtered by a government or media entity to fit a narrative.
The speed of information is increasing, and this is a good thing. Like I mentioned, the claws of those seeking to spin narratives are constantly swiping at it, but should it stay just far enough ahead, we can have actual truth inform the masses.