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a16z shares the trends worth paying attention to in the encryption industry in 2024, covering the rise of modular technology stacks, the mainstreaming of SNARKs and the combination of AI and blockchai

On December 7th, well-known venture capital firm a16z recently released its "Big Ideas" list of what technology builders may focus on in 2024, covering multiple fields including US vitality, biotechnology, consumer technology, encryption, enterprise, financial technology, gaming, infrastructure, and more. Below are some thoughts from the encryption field partner on upcoming trends:

1. The arrival of a new era of decentralization: Decentralization as a tool can promote competition and ecological diversity by supporting trusted neutral and composable internet infrastructure, providing users with more choices and ownership. With the development of Web3, the best practices of decentralization are emerging, including more feature-rich application models and DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) adopting Machiavellian principles to design more effective decentralized governance models.

2. Resetting the future user experience: Developers are testing and deploying new tools that may reset the frontend user experience (UX) of encryption in the next year. These innovations include simplified key for application and website login, programmable accounts, built-in wallets, third-party supported signature multi-party computation (MPC), and advanced RPC (remote procedure call) endpoints.

3. The rise of modular technology stacks: Open source and modular technology stacks unlock permissionless innovation, allowing participants to specialize and encourage more competition.

4. The combination of AI and blockchain: Decentralized blockchain is a balancing force against centralized AI. Through encryption technology, a global, permissionless market can be created where anyone can contribute computing resources or new datasets to the network and receive corresponding rewards.

5. "Play to Earn" shifts to "Play and Earn": P2E (Play to Earn) games are transitioning to "Play and Earn" models that combine entertainment and value capture.

6. AI becomes a game maker, and encryption provides protection: With AI becoming a game maker, encryption technology provides protection to ensure the fairness and corruption-free execution of AI models.

7. Formal verification becomes more popular: Smart contract developers have an urgent need for more accessible formal verification methods. We are seeing a new wave of tools emerge that provide a better developer experience than traditional formal systems.

8. NFTs become ubiquitous brand assets: More and more well-known brands are introducing digital assets to mainstream consumers through NFTs, and it is expected that NFTs will become widespread digital brand assets in 2024.

9. SNARKs go mainstream: SNARKs (Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge) are becoming more user-friendly and will play an important role in verifying computational workloads, bringing more benefits to consumers.


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