“I love it when a plan comes together.”
This was the famous catchphrase of Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith, the leader of 1980s hit TV show The A-Team.
Admittedly The A-Team was a little before my time, but I did enjoy watching Mr T, or Clubber Lang as he was called in the film, fight Sylvester Stallone in Rocky III.
Now, before I venture way too far off topic and spend today’s entire essay talking about 1980s cult films and TV shows, I should probably explain why I’ve opened with that quote.
It came into my mind after reading Eoin Treacy’s latest Frontier Tech Investor issue. Because I work with Eoin, I tend to get these a few days before they go out to his subscribers.
If you’re a Frontier Tech Investor subscriber, you’ll get today’s issue later today. If you’re not, you can join here.
In this month’s issue Eoin has linked together what I believe are the three most exciting, and potentially lucrative, areas in tech today: crypto, 5G and cloud computing.
Most people know Eoin is a very successful trader. But many people don’t realise he also predicted and invested in some of the biggest tech trends of the last decade.
Using a tool he adapted from these trading strategies, he was able to find major tech investment themes before they became global headline makers.
In 2011, he used this tool to identify the biotech bull, four years ahead of its 2015 and 2016 price surge.
In 2012, he used this tool to find the cloud computing sector, just as it was becoming a worldwide phenomenon.
And more recently, this tool alerted him to the 5G infrastructure boom, years before it hit the financial headlines.
As Eoin says, this tool is flashing right now, which tells him something big is about to grip investor interest.
Only this time, it’s not just one thing. It’s three interconnected thigs, which together will reshape the world as we know it.
Removing the middleman from everything
Now, I’ll grant you that on the face of it that sounds like hyperbole.
But I would ask you to read all the way to the end of today’s piece before you make any snap judgements. I think you’ll be glad you did.
Those things are blockchain, 5G and “fog” computing.
If you’re not familiar with the term “fog” computing, you’re not alone. But it is essentially decentralised cloud computing.
Basically, right now we’re seeing a big move towards decentralisation on a number of different levels.
You can think of it like this:
Blockchain and crypto allows for decentralisation of trust, apps, finance, business, databases… essentially anything.
I’ve written many times in my Crypto Wire newsletter about how blockchain projects are successfully decentralising things like advertising, shipping, stocks and shares, insurance and even energy supplies.
You name it, blockchain is decentralising it.
What’s the benefit here? You may ask. Well another way to think of decentralisation is simply cutting out the middleman.
Remember those insurance adverts that used to say “we cut out the middleman and pass the savings on to you…”? Well, blockchain cuts the middleman out of everything it touches and passes the savings on to you.
Blockchain-based systems are also inherently much more secure than traditional ones. There is no central point of failure. There is no central authority or central database to hack.
And this brings us on to Eoin’s next industry, fog computing. Over the last few years we’re seen a switch in the way most systems operate. With ever-increasing computer demand and the need for ever more connected systems, cloud computing has taken over.
But, cloud computing is reaching its limits. And, Eoin points out, it is going against the natural trend of decentralisation in computing.
We went from centralised mainframes to personal computers (PCs). Then we went back to centralised mainframes in the form of cloud computers.
The next step is decentralising these cloud computers in the same way mainframes evolved into PCs.
The term for decentralised cloud computing is fog computing. Clouds are always somewhere off in the distance, fog is all around us.
Then the last piece of the puzzle is data.
Fog computing and blockchain systems need fast connections.
It’s no good having a fog computing system that can do all the calculations you need in the background and bring it all to you on a blockchain-based system if your internet connection can’t keep up.
As Eoin points out, a couple of weeks ago Google announced it was entering the gaming market. And in typical Google style it wasn’t just entering the market, but reinventing it.
Instead of requiring users to buy an expensive, extremely powerful console or PC to play, Google would do all the computation in the background and stream your games to any device with an internet connection.
It says it will let you play the most demanding games, in full 4k resolution at 60 frames per second, on basically anything. Even an old TV with a Chromecast plugged in. Or a middle of the road module phone. Or an old laptop. Or your work computer.
It won’t matter how slow your device is as long as your internet connection is good.
But internet connections aren’t “good” right now. They are fine for what we do at the moment. But they are not fine for what companies like Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are planning to do.
That’s where 5G comes in.
5G and fog computing’s fates are intertwined. Here’s how Eoin explains it:
The reason 5G is so appealing is because it promises to boost internet speeds up to 10-gigbits. The only way that can be achieved is by driving down the latency of the network. (Latency is the time take for a signal to reach its destination and return.) That is what fog networks deliver. With 5G latency decreases to sub-millisecond intervals.
The network is driven by high-frequency millimeter waves which connect a 5G cellular user to a base station, which in turn will be connected to the network. That reduces latency. On the other hand, rising demand for cloud services increase latency and therefore reduce the speed of the network. Therefore, the base stations need to have more computing power and that is where the fog comes in.
Here’s how you can invest
So, what’s Eoin’s play for this decentralised bull run?
Well, I can’t go giving away all Eoin’s secrets here, can I? If you’re a Frontier Tech Investor subscriber, look out for today’s issue and you’ll get you answer.
I think you’ll be pretty surprised by Eoin’s pick. But I’m sure you’ll also agree that it makes perfect sense, and is very well positioned to cash in on this convergence.
And it also fits with Eoin’s penchant for subscription-based business models. As far as I can see this one fits everything Eoin likes to see in an investment.
It’s a subscription model business that is making itself invaluable to three of the most promising industries out there today.
If you’re not yet a Frontier Tech Investor member, and you’d like to read this month’s issue, and find about all about Eoin’s investment play, you can take out a trial membership here.
You’ll get access to this month’s issue, and every back issue in Eoin’s Frontier Tech Investor archive. Plus, you’ll get complimentary access to my own Crypto Wire service.
If that’s something you think you might be interested in, just follow this link for more information.
Until next time,
Editor, Exponential Investor