A century ago, the Roaring Twenties were an era marked by economic prosperity, technical innovation and societal progress. Following the end of the Great War (now known as WWI) and “The Forgotten Depression” (which occurred between 1920 and 1921 when GDP plummeted by 24%), the stock market surged for the better part of the decade, jumping 250% through late-September of 1929.
The physical and digital universes have something in common: sheer size with respect to volumes that are so large that they require special measurement units. Once one gets used to these new dimensions, concepts like “large” and “small” take on new meaning.
Two years ago to the month, bitcoin was in the midst of a surge that put some of the frothiest bubbles of all-time to shame. The unprecedented run saw the price of a single bitcoin swell from just under $1,000 at the beginning of 2017 to over $20,000 towards the end of the year.
In 1999, 547 companies rushed towards public markets looking to capitalize on the zenith of the dotcom era. The vast majority of those companies were comprised of young tech darlings and, all told, companies that went public in 1999 took in a record haul of $108 billion.
The idea of a “connected world” has taken many forms over several millennia. In the 4th century BC, trade between regions of Asia and parts of Europe and Africa expanded considerably, connecting foods, cultures, fabrics, metals and fragrances across three formerly detached continents. When Spain and Portugal became interested in finding a direct sea route to Asia in the 15th century, the known world expanded, and the Eastern and Western hemispheres were suddenly linked.