Vegetable meat, Web 3.0 and Big Tech online

The world of technology offers a lot of promise for 2022: Waymo (Google) will continue to test driverless vehicles in several U.S. cities, and Facebook – now Meta – will move forward in the construction of the metaverse, a parallel universe of virtual reality. .

Here’s how technology can change your life next year.

– Vegetable meat –

Meat alternatives have become commonplace in many U.S. homes thanks to Beyond Meat and Impossible Food’s plant-based products that try to replicate the texture and flavor of beef and pork.

As these products improve and prices fall, so does demand due to environmental concerns: the growth of food-producing animals is responsible for 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions associated with human activity, according to UN data.

The global vegetable-based meat market is expected to reach $ 35 billion by 2027, more than $ 13.5 billion by 2020, in part due to expansion beyond the United States, according to Research. and a report by Markets.

“2022 will be the pinnacle of plant protein foods,” said David Bchiri, president of U.S. consulting firm Fabernovel. “The products are good and mature. They will become commonplace. ‘

– Web decentralization –

In the first phase of the Internet, websites and blogs were created, which led to the creation of companies like Yahoo !, eBay, and Amazon.

Then came Web 2.0, which featured social media and user-generated content on platforms like Facebook and YouTube.

These platforms “take money (from the ad) and control it,” summed up Silicon Valley-based independent analyst Benedict Evans.

If Web 3.0 were to arrive, “users, creators and developers would have shares and votes … they might choose to switch platforms” as a co-op works, Evans said in a podcast.

A breakthrough of this kind would be possible thanks to blockchain technology, as the software runs on thousands or millions of computer networks.

To date, blockchain has allowed the emergence of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and, more recently, special digital objects such as drawings or animations called NFT (non-fungible tokens).

“We talk a lot about decentralized finance, but I think we will see more localized use cases that will come into daily life in 2022,” Bchiri said.

As the most volatile digital currency like Bitcoin hit records in 2021, people of all kinds have jumped on the bandwagon, including versions released in Miami and New York.

Miami has raised more than $ 20 million through its cryptocurrency, created in collaboration with CityCoins, an open source protocol specifically designed for municipalities looking for alternative ways to raise funds. New York also embarked on a similar adventure in early November.

But these technologies have a high environmental impact due to the high electricity needs of computer networks and data centers, blockchain links.

– Ransomware everywhere –

The record for ransomware attacks and leaks in 2021 is likely to be extended to 2022.

Cyber ​​extortion invades the victim’s network, encrypts their data, and decrypts it, requiring a ransom that is usually paid in cryptocurrency.

A number of factors fuel the trend, including the rise in cryptocurrencies, the willingness to pay for victims, and the difficulties authorities face in catching attackers.

The cybersecurity company SonicWall wrote in late October: “With 495 million ransomware attacks recorded by the company so far this year, 2021 will be the most expensive and dangerous year on record.”

“When I think about 2022, the most important thing for me and my colleagues remains ransomware. It’s too profitable,” wrote Sandra Joyce, chief executive officer of global cybersecurity company Mandiant.

– ‘Big Tech’ regulations? –

It’s hard to say whether 2022 will be a year when big tech companies will be affected by the new rules, but some regulatory and legal threats launched in 2021 will spark big fights.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit against Facebook poses a real threat to the social media giant, even though a court has ruled the case outright.

There may be more litigation and a federal investigation, perhaps new laws will also be passed, due to the risky leaks of documents that Facebook executives could cause damage to their platforms.

Some critics say that the company is trying to change the focus of the metaverse verse project after years of criticism.

Apple, for its part, was rescued in 2021 by a U.S. federal court when Epic Games, the founder of Fornite, failed to prove that the creator of the iPhone had an illegal monopoly, even though it ordered the apple company to relinquish control. in your app store, Apple Store. Both parties appealed.

New regulations could come first in the European Union, as the bloc pushes for new regulations like the Digital Services Act, which would create much more stringent oversight of harmful or illegal content on platforms like Facebook.

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