Two decades ago, the term cyberspace seemed right out of a science fiction movie. In the second decade of the twenty-first century, cyberspace is probably the place where most of us spend a major part of our lives. It has become an inseparable element of our existence.
We have all seen that technology is a great leveler. Using technology, we created machine-clones – computers, which are high-speed data processing devices.
They can also manipulate electrical, magnetic, and optical impulses to perform complex arithmetic, memory, and logical functions. The power of one computer is the power of all connected computers termed as a network-of-network or the internet.
Cyberspace is the dynamic and virtual space that such networks of machine-clones create. In other words, cyberspace is the web of consumer electronics, computers, and communications network which interconnect the world.
History of Cyberspace
In 1984, Wiliam Gibson published his science fiction book – Necromancer, which describes an online world of computers and elements of the society who use these computers. The word cyberspace first appeared in this book.
In the book, a hacker of databases stole data for a fee. The author portrayed cyberspace as a three-dimensional virtual landscape. Also, a network of computers creates this space.
According to him, cyberspace looked like a physical space but was actually a computer generated construction. Also, it represented abstract data.
The book caught the imagination of many writers and in 1986, major English language dictionaries introduced the word ‘cyberspace’. According to the New Oxford Dictionary of English, ‘CyberSpace’ is the notional environment in which people communicate over computer networks.
Since cyberspace is a virtual space, it has no boundaries, mass, or gravity. It simply represents the interconnected space between computers, systems, and other networks.
It exists in the form of bits and bytes – zeroes and ones (0’s and 1’s). In fact, the entire cyberspace is a dynamic environment of 0’s and 1’s which changes every second. These are simply electronic impulses. Also, it is an imaginary location where the words of two parties meet in conversation.
Cyberspace vs. Physical World
Firstly, cyberspace is a digital medium and not a physical space. It is an interactive world and is not a copy of the physical world. Here are some differences between cyberspace and the physical world:
|Static, well-defined, and incremental||Dynamic, undefined, and exponential|
|Has fixed contours||Is as vast as the human imagination and has no fixed shape|
Digital economy is one collective term for all economic transactions that occur on the internet. It is also known as the Web Economy or the Internet Economy. With the advent of technology and the process of globalization, the digital and traditional economies are merging into one.
Digital economy is defined as an economy that focuses on digital technologies, i.e. it is based on digital and computing technologies. It essentially covers all business, economic, social, cultural etc. activities that are supported by the web and other digital communication technologies.
The term was first coined in a book “The Digital Economy: Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence” by author Don Tapscott in 1995.
There are three main components of this economy, namely,
- e-business infrastructure
Advantages of Digital Economy
Digital economy has given rise to many new trends and start-up ideas. Almost all of the biggest companies in the world (Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon) are from the digital world. Let us look at some important merits of the digital economy.
1. Promotes Use of the Internet
If you think about it, most of your daily work can today be done on the internet. The massive growth of technology and the internet that began in the USA is now a worldwide network. So there is a dramatic rise in the investment on all things related – hardware, technological research, software, services, digital communication etc. And so this economy has ensured that the internet is here to stay and so are web-based businesses.
2. Rise in E-Commerce
The businesses that adapted and adopted the internet and embraced online business in the last decade have flourished. The digital economy has pushed the e-commerce sector into overdrive. Not just direct selling but buying, distribution, marketing, creating, selling have all become easier due to the digital economy.
3. Digital Goods and Services
Gone are the days of Movie DVD and Music CD’s or records. Now, these goods are available to us digitally. There is no need for any tangible products anymore. Same is true for services like banking, insurance etc. There is no need to visit your bank if you can do every transaction online. So certain goods and services have been completely digitized in this digital economy.
Most transactions and their payment in the digital economy happen online. Cash transactions are becoming rare. This helps reduce the black money and corruption in the market and make the economy more transparent. In fact, during the demonetization, the government made a push for online transactions to promote the web economy.