Christmas in New York 2030
It’s 2030. There’s a buzz in the air, but not just in New York. You can feel it around the world. People feel the hope of opportunity that comes with freedom and stability.
I love Christmas in New York. It’s 2030 and not much has changed since my first Christmas there back in 1997. The Christmas tree lighting and concert is still as exciting as ever. The decorations on 5th avenue and Avenue of the Americas are huge. Vendors still sell hot dogs and bagels in the street.
The toy stores are gone and Macys is now an apartment building. Yes, retail has changed, but the city is still buzzing. Media and Wall Street money are still kings.
No flying cars yet. We took our driver-less cab from the airport to the Grand Hyatt at Grand Central Station. Trains are still running like they were for a hundred years. There’s still homeless on the streets. There’s still threats of violence and the police are visible.
The sea of yellow cabs is now a sea of electric autocabs. Small cars that are tough to get our 4 bags in. Uber and Lyft were forced out due to the union and local restrictions requiring insurance that made them not profitable.
There’s no check-in at the hotel. Straight to the room with the Hyatt app, which also serves as our key. The new national ID system that was debated for the last 4 years, but finally went into effect. Privacy lost for convenience and security. I guess its always been that way. People want privacy, but are willing to partially give it up for convenience of buying things or checking into hotels. People are also willing to sacrifice privacy for security. Something like 9/11 changes things. But the crazy threats of organized terror over the 20’s brought the threat home. When there’s a personal threat against your loved ones, things change.
The new ID system is based on what you know, who you are and what you have.
- What you have – We still have ID cards, but they are RFID chipped so they can be read within a couple meters.
- Who you are – The chip is also tagged to your Iris scan. Iris scans are now done routinely at the DMV thanks to Bi2.
- What you know – this is like the concussion protocol in the NFL. You are given a test. The answers are recorded and can be used as a second factor ID if you don’t have your card .
Its 42 degrees and I forgot my long coat. I saw an Amazon Alternate Reality ad in the lobby when a AR drone buzzed my head. Amazon now delivers in one hour. One click and its ordered. The drone comes to the building, then the hotel staff bring the coat to the room.
Hamilton is playing on 42nd street. The autocab arrives and it’s off to the theater. No payment required, the app took care of it all. We missed Hamilton in the 2010’s, so it’s nice they revived it. There are no attendants at the door. No clerks in the merchandise store. Just ushers to help us find our seats. Our Weixin app took care of all the details. Yea, that’s right China now plays a major role here in the US. I think they owned half of it anyway prior to the trade crash. Most retail purchases go through their US subsidiary with the app. ID readers at the door know we arrived. They can scan our ID’s or if we didn’t bring them, just read our Iris as we walk by. We grab some stacks and a couple post cards and they are automatically debited from our Weixin Wallet.
After the play, I’d been looking forward to this dinner for months. Antony’s on 57th. Another autocab and we arrive. The Pizza is amazing as is the Chopin Martini! Antony hasn’t quite caught up to the 2020’s. We actually have to break out the VISA eDollar card. That’s the same concept as a credit card, but instant settlement and transfer of funds. Old tech, but still effective. Based on something called Blockchain that was all the buzz in the late 10’s, before the trade war. Now, Blockchain is a part of most transactions and deliveries, but most people don’t know and don’t care.
Money changes forever
You see, in the past 12 years, much is the same, but there’s one big change. Money. The trade wars of the early 20’s changed it all. And it started right here.
The US changed the rules and started protecting itself from unfair labor practices that send US jobs to other countries. Other countries then turned around and taxed the US on all the items exported. 60% of everything that Americans buy is imported. Inflation took over, which just means the prices went up on everything. So, wages went up and the cycle ended badly. 2009 almost saw the end of the financial industry. 2024 was worse. The dollar effectively lost 50% of its purchasing power in only 3 years!
In 2024, Bitcoin was nearly $1 million for one coin. Not many people had a full Bitcoin, but “Sats” (one hundred millionth of a single bitcoin) were the common language. Although Bitcoin had made a lot of money for a lot of people, it still was not commonly used in transactions. Back then the 123 and ABC coin that were just as popular.
The reality is, governments were never going to give up control over money. But the trade wars changed the world and exposed a flaw that could have sent the world backwards a hundred years. Inflation devalues money. Debt devalues money. We had both. Money, investment, markets and all things financial require stability and predictability to a certain extent.
In 2024, the United States in partnership with the G10 (China and India were added), met to propose a financial standard based on blockchain principles. Each country would have its own controls to manage fraud, theft, and freezing assets. Some would say that’s not a blockchain, but that’s a debate for another time. The new G10 coin was born.
A critical piece was added to provide for stability. Gold. Physical gold would back the new coin to provide stability and predictability. The world could not afford all that gold, so a system was devised to fractionally back the currency in increasing amounts over the next 200 years. This was based on the already popular Icon Gold that had taken off as the currency backing for many European countries.
A second critical piece was added to allow trust to be proved between the buyer and seller. The immediacy of permanent transactions caused friction when those transactions were invalid, mistaken or fraud. iCash was already a backend protocol for managing most cryptocurrencies and stepped in to make the G10 coin even more trusted.
Now, in 2030, Southern Manhattan is really cool. I love to see the history that was here even before there was a country. In 1698, the old Trinity Church was originally built on Wall Street. It’s moved since the fire of 1776, but there are graves there from the 1600’s.
Just down the street, Wall Street is still king of money. The new G10 has changed things. Companies have stock, but their stock is tokenized and available for the world to see and exchange. After 2009 and then 2024, new accountability was put in place and it is still working its way through the world. The public can see all the transactions taking place in the company and in the sales of the company. Quarterly reporting still happens, but it’s all automated, transparent and there are no longer earnings surprises because its all publicly available. Wall Street is more efficient that ever, completely restructured to the TZero standard.
This has opened the world to Wall Street and Wall Street to the world. Companies from many countries are now being listed and smaller countries are adopting the new financial standard. The G10 didn’t meet the strict anarchists’ goals from the original Bitcoin decentralists. But it has stabilized third-world country economies for the first-time many countries are investing in themselves.
Smart City and Ai
Dinner is a table-side prepared Caesar salad and a steak from Bull and the Bear at the Waldorf. Balvenie 17 after dinner. The ride over is quiet. No horns. The street lights are automatic, save energy and are the sources of much public information for managing the city. They automatically report accidents, pot holes, fires, shots fired and much more to city officials. Even trivial things like parking are all automated and helping cities save money thanks to CloudParc. The autocab knows the traffic, accidents, weather and much more. Traffic fatalities are down 23%.
As more cities come online globally, scientists are using the aggregated data to solve pollution and energy problems in ways never imagined. The global Smart Data grid focuses data to the identified challenges facing our planet through the Solomon Ai. Processing exabyte’s of data is mind boggling…
Ai still doesn’t seem that smart, but its getting there and at least aiding humans to identify and solve challenges. The Ai robot Sophia is married to the non-corporeal Ai Solomon and they are having children designed solely by them with different personalities. Each is designed to tackle world problems with access data sources never before imagined. The latest frontiers are space and our own oceans. Who would have thought that new data on sea life could be the answer to global warming?
Are we better off now than we were in 2018?
There’s a buzz in the air, but not just in New York. You can feel it around the world. People feel the hope of opportunity that comes with freedom and stability. Some would say the American Dream is alive and well. But it’s no longer just the American Dream of freedom and prosperity for our children. It’s a global dream of a better life for all our children. Hope is powerful. If I had a global hope meter in 2018 that was at 50%, we are probably at 60% now and growing. There’s still wars and poverty. I wish I could say world peace is here. Borders seem to be breaking down a bit. People of all races, nationalities and beliefs are working together more than ever.
Much has changed since 2018. But much is the same.
Note from the Author:
Hope. This story is not intended to make any political statements or predictions. It’s merely a fantasy about a possible future in which technology changes things, but they still stay the same. People will still have people problems. There will be new issues we aren’t even aware of now. And, there will be new people and new technology to address the issues. I see a hopeful future for our planet, but certainly not a Utopia. It takes people who work together and care to make a better place. It also takes dealing with the basic needs of much of the world, so all can participate in hope. (and yes, I name dropped a few pet projects as well :-)).