It is important to understand the different stages of the evolution of capitalism in order to comprehend the world we live in, especially to contextualize the negative impacts it has had, such as social inequality, environmental pollution, and labor exploitation. However, capitalism as a system has continuously evolved throughout history through different stages, each of which has been marked by technological, social, and political changes.
Commercial capitalism developed during the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe. During this stage, trade was the main driver of the economy, and the major commercial powers were Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, England, and France. Trade was based on the exchange of raw materials, manufactured goods, and slaves.
Industrial capitalism developed during the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe and the United States. During this stage, industry became the primary driver of the economy, and the major industrial powers were Great Britain, the United States, Germany, and France. Industry relied on the use of machines to produce goods on a large scale.
Financial capitalism developed during the 20th century. During this stage, banking and finance became the primary drivers of the economy, and the major financial powers were the United States, Japan, and Germany. Financial capitalism is based on the use of money to invest in companies and financial markets.
Currently, we are immersed in a new system of capitalism known as technological capitalism, which is developing in the 21st century. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are becoming the primary drivers of the economy, and they are even changing the way we produce, consume, and communicate.
The rise of technological capitalism is due to various factors such as the digital revolution, which has led to the development of new technologies that have changed the way we live, work, and interact. Globalization has facilitated the expansion of technology companies into new markets. There has been an increase in venture capital investment, which has financed the development of new technology companies. Moreover, the growing demand for technological products and services has driven the growth of technology companies.
Technology companies are now the most valuable in the world, generating a large number of direct and indirect jobs and enabling the development of new trends such as artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, and blockchain.
Bitcoin and blockchain are undoubtedly part of technological capitalism. Bitcoin is a type of digital currency that uses cryptography to secure transactions and control the creation of new units. Blockchain is the underlying technology that supports bitcoin. It is a decentralized database that securely and transparently stores transactions.
Both bitcoin and blockchain have the potential to revolutionize the financial system by eliminating the need for intermediaries such as banks and financial institutions, leading to lower costs and greater efficiency. They can also provide a more secure and transparent way of conducting transactions. For these reasons and more, companies and countries are using bitcoin to pay suppliers and employees, as a store of value, and even as a legal tender. On the other hand, blockchain is being used to store transaction records, create new financial products and services, and improve operational efficiency.
Once we pass this phase, what will be the next evolution of capitalism? …….