Technology in 2019, clouds and the silver lining

Prasobh V Nair on January 23, 2019

IMF issued a warning regarding a choppier state of the economy in the year 2019. It happens to be one of the first voices to have predicted a global economic storm.

Although a downright recession is not expected, the global economy is expected to shake out a little bit. As far as the technological ventures in Canada are concerned, such a volatile economic environment can actually bring a number of opportunities.

This is primarily because while the economy may slow down, the flow of venture capital into Canada is expected to increase. A number of frothy valuations were created in the technological startups market due to low-interest rates, especially in Silicon Valley. As a result of this, many people have concerns that some ventures may actually be overvalued by more than 50%. In comparison to this, the Canadian startups have not raised more than half of what their U.S. based counterparts did. As a result of this, these startups heavily rely on generating sales revenue.

Since the Canadian startups rely primarily on sales revenue, their business models are designed to face the real world issues. This does not, however, mean that it will be easy to secure funding.

As far as the cryptocurrencies are concerned, the signs are not really good. Today, Bitcoin stands 80% below its peak. Moreover, a number of major cryptocurrency ventures are slowly laying the staff off. Throughout the year 2018, there was a frenzy of ICOs, which we are unexpected to witness anytime soon again. However, blockchain technology itself is expected to rise as many companies all over the world are deploying blockchain based solutions to solve real-world problems. Hence, blockchain technology is expected to accelerate in 2019.

Back in October, the UN announced that in order to control climate change, we have just got years (not even decades) left. As a result of this, there is going to be a lot of consumer pressure on the corporates that are expected to take aggressive steps in order to stop the carbon emissions in 2019. Consider Apple and Google, for instance. These two companies have already switched to 100% clean energy for their operations. As a result of this, the demand for clean technology is expected to rise even more and fortunately enough, Canada happens to be in the ideal position to supply these technologies. This is because Canada has more than a dozen large companies that deal in clean technologies.

As far as the fintech startups are concerned, the year 2019 is going to be rather crucial. There is an explosion expected to occur in the fintech sphere, resulting in the birth of new products and companies specifically in sectors such as insurance. This is because Open Banking, which has already been adopted by the UK and USA, may be coming to Canada this year around. Although Canada has been rather cautious in this regard, we do expect that a number of big moves will be taken by the federal government this year.

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