The Disruptive Triad For 2022

Do you have enough turmoil? After COVID, riots, inflation, and disrupted supply chains, maybe you’ll answer, yes enough for my life. But things are just getting started. Here are my predictions about the three technologies that will cause explosive disruption in 2022 (one of them quite literally), with reverberations that will continue through the rest of the decade and into the rest of this century.

The first would be hypersonic missile technology. Unlike ballistic missiles, hypersonic weapons do not follow a single trajectory. They can twist and turn on their way to a target, while their incredibly high speeds – faster than Mach 5 or one mile per second – render today’s Earth- and space-based systems almost obsolete because they can’t detect a hypersonic attack until it’s too late . Nor is it clear whether the Pentagon’s current command and control systems can process data quickly enough to respond to a direct hypersonic threat.

Last summer, China tested a hypersonic missile that literally flew around the world before landing on its target, which it missed by a margin of error that can be corrected next time. A second test showed that these weapons could be mounted on nuclear-capable ballistic missiles — even carrying a nuclear weapon themselves.

Although the United States was the main developer of hypersonic vehicles dating back to the X-15 program in the 1960s, China has conducted hundreds of tests of hypersonic weapons in the past five years, compared to just nine for the United States. According to Gen. John Hyten, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, China’s hypersonic missiles have everything intended for a first-strike weapon, with the United States being the most obvious target.

The US military is not expected to use hypersonic weapons before 2023. Meanwhile, the Missile Defense Agency hopes to have a hypersonic missile defense capability by mid to late 2020. All of this may be too late to address the Chinese capability. Growing in number and lethality. A sudden attack with hypersonic missiles probably isn’t imminent, but a radical rethinking of our military posture in the face of a hypersonic threat should be. It is certainly the most serious threat to the strategic balance since nuclear weapons, and we need to respond with appropriate resources starting now.

The second biggest disruptive technology in 2022 will be cryptocurrency. The past year has been a remarkable year for Bitcoin and its blockchain-based cousins. For 2021, total inflows reached $9.3 billion, an increase of 36% over 2020. According to CoinMarketCap.com, more than 13,000 different cryptocurrencies are now publicly traded. Cryptocurrencies continue to proliferate, raising funds through initial coin offerings, or ICOs. The total value of all cryptocurrencies on October 22, 2021 was over $2.5 trillion.

Don’t be surprised if they hit $3 trillion this year. Overall, it is estimated that the global cryptocurrency market will reach $4.94 billion by 2030, nearly twice its current value, while the price of one bitcoin could reach $1 million.

Some predict that the current Bitcoin boom is actually a crypto bubble, which will end in collapse as bubbles eventually do. But whatever happens to Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies are not going away. As long as central bankers continue to make improper decisions, cryptocurrencies will continue to literally give money to state-denominated currencies.

As for its core security, former SEC chief Jay Clayton correctly predicts that a blockchain or a Distributed Ledger technology based on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to protect investors, is the future of cybersecurity. But only if you take up the third disruptive technology, Quantum.

I have written many times about how important quantum technology is in the future of the twenty-first centurySt a century. A series of significant achievements this year in the field of quantum computing – such as China’s claim to a quantum advantage with a 1,000-kilobit superconducting computer and IBM

IBM
The 127-qubit Eagle quantum computer has been unveiled — and it continues to accelerate the timeline for developing a large-scale quantum computer, including one that could threaten existing public cryptographic systems. What skeptics used to say could never happen, is now something they admit could be true by 2040.

But those who see quantum computers as the promising future of quantum technology are looking in the wrong place. The real quantum disruption in 2020 will be in quantum security, including the use of quantum-based technologies to secure data and communications from current and future threats.

In contrast to quantum computers, this trend is already commercially viable. An increasing number of companies are offering customers quantum secure algorithms to protect against a future quantum attack; Many now offer hybrid security systems that combine quantum random number generators, for example, with algorithm-based security to provide an additional layer of impenetrable protection. Still others are using quantum entanglement to create similar impenetrable networks.

In fact, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) competition for quantum-resistant algorithms, which is expected to publish results by 2024, may already be far behind on this trend.

The emergence of quantum security systems, whether algorithm-based or quantum ones, will disrupt the entire cybersecurity landscape as they protect against classical hackers as well as against quantum attacks in the future. Now deployed, they can even defend against data collection, or against Russian and Chinese hackers who steal now-encrypted data to decrypt it later when a large-scale quantum computer is ready — the most pressing threat posed by the race for quantum computers.

This quantum protection includes the blockchain. It even includes the command and control systems that oversee our most vital defensive networks, including those that will prevent a future adversary from interfering with our hypersonic defense or disrupting our hypersonic capabilities.

Everyone knows we’ll be living in “fun times,” as the saying goes, in 2022. Look for this trio to make things more interesting — that is, unless our government and leaders seize this moment to turn long-term risk into opportunity, and disruption into strategic advantage.

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