Internet history: Bitcoin predicted in 1997
Back in 1997 the concept of digital currencies, microblogging and the near ubiquity of smart phones and high speed wireless data were dreams. Cell phones were for voice calls and were prohibitively expensive (not to mention unreliable).
However, in Munich at the "Internet and Politics" conference, Eli Noam presented a paper that outlined much of what would come to be and how governments might react. Not only did the paper mention the generally disruptive capabilities of the internet, which was one of the major features of it from the outset, but Noam pretty clearly foretells of what would become Bitcoin:
Other ideas have not yet taken hold, though they were novel:
The whole piece is full of interesting insights into just what people wanted to make of the internet and how they anticipated it would shape the world. In this paper, much of what Eli Noam predicted appears to have come to pass.