Here we are with a new year under way, its the 2nd week of January and so far we have apparently avoided WWIII, that means we are off to a great start. With it being a new year and all, we have decided to try a different format for the 2020 Trends Report and give it to you in guide format with table of contents etc. We will also be reflecting on the things that we were right about from last year in the beginning of each section.

Please remember that I don’t have a huge research team behind me, 90% of this work is all done by me and I have a little bit of outside help. If after reading through this you find it valuable, I would love it if you would simply just share this.

In 2019 I covered the following topics

I want to cover a few of those again here and discuss what I have found in those areas, along with introducing some new topics and trends I see happening, for better or worse and some of these will in fact trigger you and down right piss you off. That doesn’t make them any less possible. 

2019 was a year of very vivid and clear bias shown by MSM, hollywood elites, journalists and media sites all over the world against the US President. We saw censorship like we have never seen before, deplatforming, mob culture and bot networks increase at a rate I don’t think ever seen before. We got to see a glimpse of the American people worn out of politics as the House moved to pass Article I impeachment on Trump. 

There was an increase in school shootings and push for gun laws, stripping away the 2nd amendment, the divide I talked about that would happen in 2019, even surprised me to see.

Lets get started!

Download last years Trend report if you like below, it will redirect you to the download page…

Trend #1: Digital Currencies

“For 2019, we will see even more hacks done, more 51% attacks done on blockchain projects and new vulnerabilities found in decentralized blockchain projects and centralized databases as well” 

2019 Trends Report

2019 was in fact a busy year for Digital Currencies, while most people were glued into the action of Bitcoin topping out at $14k for the year before coming back down below $8k, tax guidelines were finally passed on Airdrops and affiliate programs essentially wiping those out over night.

All the people involved with Bitconnect were finally arrested (except Glenn Arcaro who I have heard has a new identity). Bitclub was taken down, even though one of the three founders is still on the run, and many other scams and ER20 pipe dreams died in 2019.

I tend to only pay attention to Bitcoin, XRP and ETH, I assume that 99% of the others won’t make it and so far that has been proven true. Many zombie projects that fund raised hundreds of millions of dollars now all gone. Bitcoin is still confused on its identity- mostly because the maximalists have continued to shape it into something its not. I think the best narrative for Bitcoin is store of value. The ex-CFTC chair came out and admitted that Trump fast tracked CME/CBOE futures to ‘tame’ Bitcoin back in 2017, killing off the bullrun.

Pretty interesting to hear that, even though we all knew that and really makes me wonder if my original call of $40k for 2018 would’ve hit, if that event never happened. Anyway I digress…

2020 is the year of the 3rd halving for Bitcoin, I personally think that $3200 we saw in January of 2019 was in fact the bottom and signaled the start of the next 4yr cycle. 2020 isn’t the year for a huge bitcoin rally but it will be the year of re-accumulation and your last chance to jump on before the next 1 year or so bull run. I will have a new Bitcoin report coming out soon and this will be a hyperlink when its ready. I expect Bitcoin to range for most of the year. 2021 is the year for Bitcoin.

XRP will have something to do with bank settlements, not sure what but its worth to keep an eye on it from year to year to measure the traction. You can keep up to date on the project easily by reading their Ripple quarterly market reports here. Ripple managed to lock in a Series C funding round of $200 million and finally lock in a partnership with Money Gram for cross boarder payments, you can read all the Ripple 2019 highlights here.

ETH is important to me to keep track of because hundreds of top coins are ERC20 coins and rely on the ETH network. Not much to report here, funny memes throughout the year of awkward dance moves from Vitalik and further delay on Constantinople upgrade.

“I think in 2019 we will see big strides taken on that front by not only the IMF but key nations in the G20 group. In Q4 of 2018 it became crystal clear there is a new race ongoing for the new global reserve currency as everyone saw the USD wobble and weaken as China and Russia made big counter moves.  I think they are going to roll out a global digital currency in 2020 or 2021 when the fall of the dollar will be all be complete. “

2019 Trends Report

Next, lets touch on two new players which are the Chinese Central Bank Digital Currency and Facebooks Libra Project. I first covered Facebook’s Libra project on June 18th, the day after hearing news of its launch. It took me a day or so to understand it at least at a basic enough level. The reaction by countries and political pundits in the US was less than stellar to say the least. By July 17th, just one month later there was already Senate hearings with David Marcus, head of the digital wallet Calibra and since then I haven’t really heard much about the project.

Next People’s Bank Of China (PBoC), China’s central bank has said its “top-level” design of its digital currency has been completed. PBoC announced this in a new paper, stating “top-level design, standard formulation, functional research and development” has been completed- according to  “We will continue to steadily advance the development of legal digital currencies in 2020”, the central bank said the first week of 2020.

Lets see if my call in 2019 turns out to be right this year “I think they are going to roll out a global digital currency in 2020 or 2021 when the fall of the dollar will be all be complete “. Outside of this I see Bitcoin further cementing its role of being a store of value as its the only logical direction in my eyes. XRP will continue to push the cross-boarder settlement narrative as that is strong and will build on top of their already 300 partnerships. I see a new player emerging and taking market share in a way no one was expecting in the digital currency space.

Trend #2: Technology

“I feel we are in for some big tech changes, they have been fighting to pass an internet bill for years now, we could finally see that go through in some varied form this year and I feel there will be at least one new decentralized social media platform launch to replace Twitter/Facebook as well as a new video site to take on Youtube. No it probably won’t be Bitchute, Bittube and definitely not Twitch as they are in worse shape than Youtube.“

2019 Trends Report

There is so much I feel to cover here, we will probably have to just skim which won’t do it justice but trying to summarize all of the events of 2019 would be probably months of work. Lets just say there was a lot of data breaches in big tech, they sold off everyone’s data to the sum of billions, many congress/senate meetings and so far nothing seems to have changed and certainly none of us regular folk got a check.

Also there were many changes to the internet and bills around that, we have seen both the Article 13 EU internet bill pass and some changes to American law around net neutrality that we need to cover.

I covered the Article 13 internet bill here in this video..

The US has seen similar attacks on Memes led mostly from the mainstream media, attempting to associate hand symbols like the OK sign which is also a Hindu hand gesture you use when meditating in lotus position to white supremacy and similar attempted meme take downs to little effect.

Net Neutrality Changes

Essentially its all about control, right now the FCC is in control and they allow the ISPs to censor or throttle websites as they see fit, the original bill passed by Obama clearly defines the internet as a utility that should be treated as such. The Save The Internet Act of 2019 which was on the table in April of 2019 was a simple three pager that would undo the FCCs 2018 repeal of net neutrality rules and codify the rules into law, making it hard for any future FCC chair to undo them. This didn’t make it past the House unfortunately and right now Attorneys general from 22 states filed a protective petition for review against the FCC in the US Court of Appeals, in the meantime 29 states have introduced net neutrality legislation in the 2019 season.

The next big area we saw changes is how social media sites and online town squares classify and treat “hate speech”, unfortunately its still pretty vague what it means and is being abused left, right and center. More on this in the Censorship Trend.

Data Handling

Next lets cover data handling in general, data breaches which were up 33% in 2019 according to Risk Based Security, a total of 5,183 data breaches exposing 7.9 billion records. Ya pretty much the size of the whole planet in terms of population, of course people have multiple accounts etc. In November of 2019 RBS called this the worst year on record for breaches.

The average data breach isn’t much money actually to clean up, in fact it can run up to just $3.92 million after clean up, investigations, lawsuits etc. Pretty sad when you think about it, for example the huge Equifax data breach that happened should have a whopping payout of about $7 per person effected. Anyway lets look at a few data breaches of 2019…

Now all these leaks didn’t go un-noticed, the same month of the Equifax data breach they had settled with regulators for $700 million over the 2017 breach and Facebook settled with the FTC for a record $5 billion following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Again shouldn’t some of that money go to affected parties…?

The problems of big companies using unsecured databases seems to have hit a peak in 2019, while you would love to think that this would be a turning point and things will get better because morals and all that, I think it will be the increased size of the pain aka settlement costs that drives the change in this area in 2020 or government regulation forcing them. Expect a better approach here from companies and big tech.

One prediction I made was that a new social media site would come along and while I was disappointed more didn’t happen here, Gab launched and aggressively grabbed up market share in 2019 as a more sovereign solution. I see the silicon valley big tech monopoly to have peaked already and 2020 will be another year that big tech gets broken up and more social media players come into the game.

Trend #3: Censorship

“This will hit a tipping point in 2019 which will force new decentralized creations from people and brands who have lost their revenue and business model from the above list, this is actually how Bitcoin was created so that is a huge plus to all this. I believe in 2019 we will see the first internet censorship bill passed as well, they already tried first thing in January during the government to cram through a Anti-BDS bill essentially making it illegal to question Israel, more on this in later trend section. “ 

2019 Trends Report

Censorship definitely trended up in 2019 larger than I even expected and that actually is leading to a lot of freedom and camaraderie not only within countries but also country to country, this common enemy is unifying a lot of nations.

I listed out all the payment processors, banks and social media sites that were the usual suspects at the end of 2018 going into 2019 and they didn’t disappoint. Most social media sites went through the most TOS changes in 2019 than any other year from what I could tell.

A lot of the censorship was wrapped around online hate speech which seems to be the direction they will continue to go with legislation attacking Amendments and American rights.

I see censorship continuing through at least the first quarter of 2020 but I feel like something big is gonna happen around Q2, Q3 that is gonna shake this up and force accountability which subsequently will end a lot of the unjust censorship and/or the rise of more media sites will happen as big tech is broken up.

Rise of Alt Media

“In 2019 though we will see even more alt media news voices and channels get taken down for various pseudo-violations and out of this will spawn a new platform that will quickly take off.”

2019 Trends Report

Due to all of these aggressive actions of censorship and attack of freedoms all over the world, you had a huge rise in Alt Media Networks, which will only continue in 2020. We are all the media now, they have shown their cards and we the people have said no thanks! We can do it better!

This is why its so important to support the voices and networks that resonate with you, like this report, if you support us then just share it around, help us grow! Not everything needs to be an exchange of dollars, a share goes a long way.

This trend of alternative media will continue to grow in 2020 and we will see MSM try to get involved on the party and play hero by propping up some of their favorites that are fake voices propped up as genuine.

Trend #4: Artificial Intelligence

It wouldn’t be a 2020 Trends Report without covering AI and robotics which do go hand-in-hand, however we will cover them in separate sections, just like last year.

First things first, I made a prediction last year that they would continue to use data collection and basic AI (well in the broad scheme of things it will turn out to be very basic and primitive usage) to improve customer experiences online and in store- this has in fact happened and grown leaps and bounds over the last year.

“Things like customer experience while in store/on site will continue to be a huge focus this year.”
“I personally think 2019 will be a breakout year for both AI and robotics”

2019 Trends Report

“45% of retail customer service issues/inquiries have been fully automated without affecting CSAT scores; bots have been used to assist agents by collecting upfront information in 25% of issues; agents and bots combined have been able to handle twice the amount of tickets within a given time period”- Helpshift

Overall 2019 turned out to be a huge year for AI, lets cover that.

Let’s first talk about by far the biggest advancement in 2019 that I know you heard about and that is “Deepfakes” aka transforming facial imagery into video sequences. Researchers from Samsung used the generative adversarial network (GAN) to create deep fake video by taking just one picture as input. This will obviously lead to some issues, innocent people being convicted and assumed to be guilty of crimes and other things they didn’t do. 2020 we will see a lot more of this and the clear problems will start to present themselves.

Other great advancements that happened in 2019…

  1. Robot Hands Dexterity- OpenAIs has trained a hand robot called Dactyl that was able to adapt to the real-world environment in solving the Rubiks cube. The Robot was trainined entirely in a simulated environment and then was able to transfer that knowledge into a new situation successfully using the automatic domain randomisation technique. The success wasn’t in solving the Rubiks cube but in the transfering of skills to an envioronment the robot wasn’t trained for.
  2. Three-body Problem- The three-body problem was one of the longest-standing challenges researchers faced, knowing how to identify the future position of objects will be a key to space travel in the future.
  3. Explaining AI- This will help build trust from the outside community and promote collaboration from within the community, companies are uploading the prime factors that led to the outcomes from their machine learning models online.
  4. AI- Generated Synthetic Text- In November OpenAI released the full version of its Generative Pre-Training (GPT) aka synthetic text. The model was able to write a few sentences, picking the correct context all on its own, it was trained from over 8 million web pages, resulting in content that was difficult to determine if it was written by AI or not.
  5. Reinforcement Learning- Google’s Deepmind had a huge break through to essentially gamify memory. They used temporal value transport (TVT) to allow AI agents to make better decisions in the present by looking at the future outcomes of their decision.

China seems to be leading the US in terms of sheer volume of AI research papers that have been submitted and published.

“By projecting current trends, we see that China is likely to have more top-10% papers by 2020 and more top-1% papers by 2025” -Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Here is a comment I made about AI in-home units like Google Home and Alexa and 2019 was a big year for these devices!

“The feature set will continue to grow in 2019, we can expect at least one big breakthrough here”

2019 Trends Report

Back in July on Amazon Prime day 2019, Amazon said it sold more than 175 items, with Jeff Bezos starting his thank you statement with the following “Members purchased millions of Alexa-enabled devices “, turns out they were just getting started and that best day was beat just 4 months later on black friday and then Cyber Monday. Amazon rarely releases exact stats but the Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick that are both Alexa driven devices were among the top sellers and so we can assume again millions of units of each were sold.

In terms of feature set, here are 12 new Alexa features released in 2019.

Interesting AI Stats

From Forbes…

…71% of U.S. enterprises plan to leverage more AI/ML tools for security this year but only 49% of IT professionals feel extremely comfortable using these tools, 76% don’t care if their companies leverage them and 56% still aren’t even sure what AI and ML really mean- Webroot

…82% of IT and business decision makers agree that company-wide strategies to invest in AI-driven technologies would offer significant competitive advantages, only 29% said their companies have those strategies in place- DXC

…Nearly 90% of IT leaders see their use of AI/ML increasing in the future and 41% look for technology that is powered by AI, a top factor in their purchasing decisions. Their top concerns: Data security (47%), implementing AI/ML (40%), driving innovation and implementing new tech (40%) -Adobe

…37% of service leaders are either piloting or using artificial intelligence (AI) bots and virtual customer assistants (VCAs), and 67% of those leaders believe they are high-value tools in the contact center; 68% of service leaders believe AI bots and VCAs will be of significant importance for them and their organizations in the next two years- Gartner2

AI is becoming more and more important so you can expect these sections to grow more each year. There are serious concerns about what role it should play in our lives, what jobs we should allow this technology to take and of course the loomed AI robot takeover fear many people have.

2020 will be another huge year for AI and Robotics as more research companies spring up and they better integrate the technology with our lives. In 2020 we will see more AI talk in government and we might even see our first legislation rolled out around AI. It will just depend on how far AI gets pushed in this next year. The faster it grows the quicker you will see regulation and legislation get proposed.

Trend #5: Robotics

Robotics saw some big advancements in 2019, which we were expecting to see. Just like the other categories there is a lot to cover here from Robotics in 2019.

First a few companies that shut down

2019 Robotics Highlights

Robotics investments for the first 6 months of 2019 was about $154.64 billion, most of this going towards of course autonomous vehicles. There has been money just pouring into robotics in 2019, take a look here are just the Novemeber investment numbers. Here is a list created by Motley Fool on the 10 biggest robotics stocks to buy from October. I couldn’t find data giving a total of the robotics sector for 2019, assuming 2nd half was similar to the first, somewhere around $300 billion was pumped in.

So ya you could say it was an excellent year for robotics, I expect 2020 to be even bigger in terms of money (so more than $300 billion invested), acquisitions and amount of players in this market. Robotics is already rapidly turning into a very very competitive market not just in autonomous vehicles but also things like orthopedic surgeries and everyday procedures.

Trend #6: Space

One of my favorite topics to talk about is Space and in 2019 we saw a lot of things happen in the Space market, so there is a lot to cover here. First off congratulations to the US who launched the 6th branch of their government called “Space Force” which will mostly be centered in Colorado Springs, Co.

I shot this video earlier in the year in 2019, this will be the perfect way to catch you up on most of what happened earlier in the year.

Here was my remarks from the 2019 Trends Report…

“2019 Will be another year where self landing rockets are pushed”

“The trend of space will continue I think it will be harder to find profits this year unless they do something to boost public confidence or maybe some sort of long awaited disclosure happens. “

2019 Trends Report

2019 was an incredible year for space tech, I already mentioned the US had an all new branch of the government added, we had Blue Origin, Virgin, Space X and NASA all release a lot of epic news and timelines which will lead to some new and incredible things. First off, just think for a second there will be an intergalactic stock market of sorts, a global currency (NOT the USD) and there will be a whole new list of elements and metals both with unique demands.

I firmly believe the space race 2.0 will help usher in decades of expansion that will make those who are prepared very very rich. 2019 was a year where a lot of money once again was put out with very little brought back in return. The big returns will come later, this is a market that is front end loaded financially. We also did start to see some disclosures and that happened on the back side of the Space Force announcement, we saw that the Air Force has a patent for a triangle shaped craft and there seems to be a more serious tone taken to abduction stories and the idea of other living beings out there.

Virgin Galatic was the first space company to trade on the NYSE and its been doing quite well. 2020 we will see Colorado continue to blow up from people relocating due to the military and of course new business and job openings due to the expansion of the government. There is nothing planned to launch in 2020 but I expect some big news or big disclosure in 2020.

Trend #7: Stock Market

US economy and Global economy are things we talk about often on Empire Research and so naturally this was gonna get its own section this year as I opted to remove some from last year. Lets talk about the US economy first, obviously everyone is wondering, will there be a 2020 recession, we had some accurate indicators flash in summer of 2019 and by August there was an estimated 37% chance of recession by August of 2020. First off lets define a recession here before we continue, average recession lasts just 10.4 months (if you take out the Great recession of ’29) and on the low end some have only lasted about 4 months. Market sectors go through recessions all the time and people barely notice. We tend to only notice the big ones.

Anyway, the recession odds have dropped now to about 24%, according to US Treasury data.

2020 recession odds (most recent data)

Here is what I am seeing….

The US used to work off of a 7-10 year cycle, meaning every 7-10 years we would see a minor recession or pullback of at least 20%. Right now however we are 11 years into an expansionary market and not a lot of signs of slowing down.

11 years of expansion without a 20% correction

Next we are seeing rate cuts happening in most countries actually and these rates we are seeing are in fact the lowest rates in 5,000 years!

With the current repo market bailout that started in September (coincidentally on the 11 year anniversary of the Lehman brothers bailout which triggered QE1) and still continues everyday, it has most economists worried about what kind of fire power the Federal Reserve has left in case the economy starts to slip.

Here is my prediction on 2020…

We will either see the continue of the expansion, proving we have in fact broken out of the old cycle and into a new one which could easily be fueled by a new rocket mission and a good space push or we see that 2019 was the top and the almost daily ATHs in the S&P came at a price, the cycle is over and we see a big 20%+ correction.

Now I know to a degree that sounds a little like saying “it could go up or it could go down” but for now we are seeing signs of a strong stock market and economy still in the data. That could change quickly, and 2020 will be the test. If its gonna happen it will be Q3 or Q4 and we will be able to tell by mid- year. We will see negative interest rates in the US in 2020 I think regardless, only thing that will stop this is a new world reserve currency.

Notable Mentions

This year there was just so much more I wanted to talk about but this thing is already a min-book so I will wrap some other comments here and predictions into a notable mentions section.

First off my comments on Marijuana for 2019..


“I too believe 2019 will be an explosive year for marijuana.”

2019 Trends Report

2019 was amazing for Marijuana, there were a handful of pot stocks that delivered over 100% gains, before returning to the mean, and more talk of loosening at a federal level.

Global Division

In the 2019 Trends Report I made a pretty big mention of the “Global Division” trend I saw growing, and not sure why I called it Global Division because I didn’t see countries going against each other on the macro, more so the inner populations dividing. So lets cover what I said and how that all panned out…

“This is an interesting trend but I gotta report on this as such because I see it really hitting critical mass this next year.”

“Republican vs Democrat which is already starting to shift to blaming staged hate hate events at the current “political cabinet” in America”

“Anti-semite (any questioning of Jewish people or history, questioning of Zionist agenda) Interestingly enough in Germany its actually illegal to question the Holocaust, it’s called Holocaust denouncement, you can’t even defend yourself, if you do, you get more time. Wild!”

“Degenderization- the trans and gay movement will continue to be weaponized towards the general public and those seeking attention will continue to jump on board (we will probably see our first trans Victoria Secret runway model and they will be celebrated a hero)”

“War on Masculine and Feminine energy as they continue to play the #metoo and womens rights against itself and against men, I believe this is to break up the households, further confusing young people and making them easier to manipulate”

“There will be more attack on Muslim people and countries as the reason for all things bad as they have steadily done since 911. “

“Rich vs poor which has always been going on but there will be new tax breaks and incentives once again given to the rich while drowning out the middle class, I think 2019 we will see the middle class wash away completely.”

2019 Trends Report

All of the above unfortunately was pretty much spot on! For me that was really really easy to see, not sure if it was for you too but I could just tell this wasn’t something that was gonna stop quick. Minorities, race, gender, rich, poor etc were all pinned against each other successfully in 2019.

Here we are in the first two weeks of 2020 and words have been worn out, people are growing impatient with the games and show being displayed on TV vs running the country and behaving like adults.

“That being said, there will also be a large amount of the US population who just gives up in this next 12 months, puts their head down and goes back to work. “

2019 Trends Report

This too unfortunately happened, there are a lot of Americans who just refuse to pay attention to this stuff, maybe they have their mind made up on who is “right” in their eyes or maybe they just don’t care but there are clearly some all new issues arising that I see hitting tipping points in 2020.

Closing Thoughts

First off there is a large amount of confused, frustrated and emotional unstable people in America that could use some serious psychological assistance. Its as if overnight all the traumas got so large that people spend their days hunting for those who dare poke at the stuff they choose to ignore. Hashtag movements will keep going till at least Q3 simply because its much easier to be a victim then to accept, forgive and move on, unless there is some ground breaking disclosure or Aliens land on the Whitehouse lawn, this will continue.

2020 will be similar year where the people rise up against corruption in countries all over the world. The Yellow vests will continue until Macron is kicked out, he will need a miracle for people to trust him again. I noticed a hint of countries really starting to come together in 2019 (the people of countries, not governments) and that will continue in 2020. The hashtag and victimhood movements will all get more ridiculous, loud and demanding before people just stop paying attention.

Lastly I think in 2020 we will finally start to see a huge rise in men who are confused and broken seeking help from Alpha males to help them get their balls back. There was an uptick in this Q2 onwards of 2019, and I have personally been preparing for this as I am one of those who can lead a demographic of men to improved self esteem. I have seen this trend now growing since 2015, soon there will be more demand then supply. The rise of masculinity and “old school” values will start in 2020.

I don’t see wars (the US won’t provoke anyway) and with China/US Phase 1 trade deal signed now, the message the US is sending is crystal clear- “NO MORE FREE RIDES”. I don’t see Trump getting impeached by the Senate, I do see indictments getting unsealed and a huge breakthrough in human trafficking and the Epstein case will all be blown wide open.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the US stock markets?

There are 3 major US financial securities markets, they are…
1. New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) based in New York and based mostly on equities, aka major stocks that you know about.
2. National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System (NASDAQ) Largest electronic screen based market
3. American Stock Exchange (AMEX) Geared towards ETFs

Will there be a recession in 2020?

US Treasury data is showing a 24.6% chance of recession by August 2020, CFOs rank higher at 56%.

What does Space Force do?

Space Force is the 6th branch of the US government and meant to tackle space. Role & Mission- Once established, the US Space Force is intended to lead military service in space, responsible for space doctrine, organization, training, leadership & education, personnel, facilities and policy.

What exactly is AI?

Artificial intelligence is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.