The fake news industry is booming more than ever, polluting reliable news sources we have trusted for decades. The spread of disinformation is accelerated by algorithms that favour engagement, funnelling readers to extreme, attention-grabbing positions on blogs and biased new media outfits. Even worse, new developments in deep learning research have enabled the creation of realistic deep-fake images and videos, able to show politicians and other people in power saying things which they simply never said. This falsified and manipulated content is conquering the internet at a rapid pace, blurring the lines between what seems real and what is not. Working against this development, companies like Verizon and IBM are working on technologies to counter fake news with verification using a blockchain network.
In 2021, the mounting threat of disinformation and the erosion of trust in even well-established news providers reaches a critical level, demanding an industry response. Major media companies and social platforms are forced to impose new countermeasures against fabricated and misleading news. The enabling technology is a massive shared blockchain network for news content, which allows distribution of news in an immutable way with a validity check of both the content and the source. With a shared ledger structure, any content alterations would immediately be visible to everyone, and every news item is always traceable to its original source, suppressing misinformation that other sources can’t verify.
Companies like Twitter and Facebook invest heavily in this blockchain tech, motivated first and foremost by self-preservation as the threats of regulatory oversight we’ve seen in recent years become white hot. Alternative news sites peddling conspiracy theories like QAnon, disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, falsified evidence of election fraud and more will suddenly become unavailable on major platforms. Reality wins, and echo chambers lose.
Trade: Buy Verizon, IBM, and social media companies.
See next 2021 prediction:
China's new digital currency inspires tectonic shift in capital flows
Quarterly Outlook Q3 2022: The Runaway Train
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European energy crisis: it will get worse before it gets betterThe winter in Europe will be tough, but whether the result is political chaos or sustainable, innovative solutions is still undecided.
A difficult and volatile quarter awaitsAs the year draws to an end, commodities continue to be at centre stage of the world with growth pockets political uncertainty.
The bright side: crises drive innovationThe positive spin on crises is that they come with solutions. It is worrisome that deglobalisation may be a response to this crisis.
Green transformation in China: renewable energy and beyondGoing green, China needs to span numerous energy sources to ensure stability, as every source comes with a challenge.
Asia: Intermittent solutions, but a faster renewable adoption curveAsian energy supply is being squeezed. This and the adoption of renewables may change the investment sentiment in the region.
FX: A Fed thaw needed to deliver a sustained USD turn lowerThe US Dollar can keep momentum when the Federal Reserve continues to tighten, leaving the rest to play to their drum.
Autumn can become ugly for equities and bond holders. Comfort for Dollar longsTechnical analysis suggests that equities could face a tough Q4 as could fixed income. US Dollar positions could provide some upside.
The next stock market sector to watch, with stocks going nuclearAs the world scrambles to find affordable, sustainable energy, nuclear is getting attention from politicians and investors alike.
The crypto space is getting cold when the hype disappearsCryptocurrencies face a winter of their own as retail investors and governments are asking tough questions.