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The “digital economy” is a term for all of those economic processes, transactions, interactions and activities that are based on digital technologies. The digital economy is different from the internet economy in that the internet economy is based on internet connectivity, whereas the digital economy is more broadly based on any of the many digital tools used in today's economic world.
As a term for all of the contributions that digital technologies have made to economies, the term “digital economy” is fairly broad. It is often attributed to Don Tapscott in his 1995 book entitled “The Digital Economy: Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence.” Since then, many have used it in different ways to describe tech-based economic activity and phenomena.
When speaking about the digital economy, many people are pointing to disruptions and market transformations based on digital technologies. There is a good deal of study put into how technologies are quickly changing the world, not just in economies, but in societies as a whole. However, programs like MIT's Initiative on the Digital Economy are specific points of study on how digital transformations affect markets.