Goldman Identifies 8 Huge Trends That Are About to Change the World

From meatless meats to digital twins, the latest “emerging trends” identified by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. include technologies and investing strategies that have been around for a while.

“What happens when everything old becomes new again?” the bank asked Wednesday in the second edition of its “Outsiders” series, meant to help investors “separate the hype from reality.”

Some items on the list are more familiar than others. The full eight are: facial recognition, esports, digital twins, meatless meats, quantum computing, ethereum, alternative risk premium and special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs.

“Facial recognition technology dates back to the 1960s, veggie burgers have been a meat alternative for decades and gaming made headlines in 1980 with Atari’s National Space Invaders tournament,” the Goldman team, led by Robert Boroujerdi, wrote. “Digital Twins were used in NASA’s space exploration days, academics have spent decades identifying market risk premia and SPACs can trace their roots back to 18th century England.”

Ethereum may be getting the most hype, thanks to the rise of cryptocurrencies in 2017.

The digital currency supported by ethereum, which started the year around $8, is now trading higher than $450, according to Coindesk.

Meanwhile, according to Goldman, meatless meats are benefiting from rising demand for protein across the globe. Digital twins -- “virtual” models of physical systems that can be tested and tweaked earlier in the design process -- are expanding into new industrial uses. Esports are drawing massive global audiences, and “monetization opportunities abound,” according to the note. 

“Despite their history these products and platforms have reached a potential tipping point as they demonstrate real world usability and rise in adoption,” Boroujerdi’s team concluded.


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