After an explosive decade, internet-user growth is starting to slow down.Despite the growth of video and developing markets, the once-aggressive expansion of the internet is finally slowing. After years of hyper-growth rates of 50 percent per year or more, metrics across the consumer tech industry are seeing growth rates falling to modest levels.
The Maturation of the InternetAs the railways of the internet have been built during the first decade of the 21st century, new industries and products have flourished leveraging the worldwide web. The last couple of years it was all about the growth of mobile internet usage, as companies have had the perfect platform to build services on demand, wearable tech, and social platforms. After successful endeavors, in 2019, big players are well-established, competition is heavy, and consumers are locked into their chosen platforms, providing fewer opportunities for major growth. At the same time, tech companies are a core component of the U.S. economy, accounting for 25 percent of the total U.S. market capitalization. The normalization of growth rates is partly due to saturation in western markets where internet access is a commodity, and at the same time experiencing a halt in spreading internet access in lesser developed countries.
Internet AlternativesNevertheless, investors, companies, and entrepreneurs will look to move onto the next big thing. Many emerging technologies including AI, virtual reality, and blockchain are primed to enable the next generational shift. Consumers are even looking for products that can improve on current iterations. Lately, consumers have started to question their business strategies of using personal data to provide better consumer experiences while violating consumer privacy. Reports show that only one-quarter of U.S. adults are willing to share personal data for benefits (e.g. lower costs). Furthermore, close to two-thirds of U.S. consumers delete or avoid apps because of data privacy concerns.
Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies: Setting The StageBusinesses built around Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency platforms are being created right now to be a solution that empowers users. They are setting the stage to significantly change how people view money, value, and transactions between one another. Cryptocurrencies can address the needs on the demand side of the users and are attractive enough on the supply side for entrepreneurs and investors to start building the next generation of products. While the cryptoasset market looks like a playground for speculative traders for the time being, behind the scenes, new expressways are being built for the next generation of products to be created and delivered to the wider public. Is the saturation in the current tech industry giving tailwind for cryptocurrency projects to attract more investors and entrepreneurs? What do you think of the current state of the internet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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