2015 is turning out to be the Year of The Blockchain, as the business world, particularly the banking industry, has seen the light of this advanced technology. Bankers, being fairly well connected to national governments and having the license to literally print money, means innovations are rarely coming from within.
That doesn’t mean a bunch of bankers can’t appreciate a better mouse trap. The only question is how to make it work for them privately, not for any greater public good. This year is all about what blockchains can do for bankers’ profit margins. Cointelegraph goes over what leaders in the digital currency markets have to say about this tacit acceptance of Bitcoin economics, however indirect it may be.
Is this market recognition going to help Bitcoin’s image?
Probably not, since in the same breath as praising Bitcoin’s Blockchain technology, they take a swing at Bitcoin the currency, as if Bitcoin is the Blockchain’s felonious sibling. Bitcoin can’t help banking and associated industries directly, but the Blockchain might help make banking more efficient internally. What say the Bitcoin experts?
"There have been some well-publicized groups of banks coming together under a company called R3 and what they are looking at is setting up completely private networks. I think it's unclear - unclear to them - what they going to do exactly. The banks that are currently in the project each has some responsibility for processing transactions and that's part of their contribution to the network. For a global system like Bitcoin there is a financial incentive; for these closed networks it's probably going to be a legal incentive. I don't massively believe in those things. They may find out the real benefit is in global networks like Bitcoin.”
- James Smith, CEO of Elliptic, speaking at "The Future of Money" at Linedata Exchange London 2015
“Banks, as they exist now, are obsolete and will not exist as we know them in 10 years. Period. Without a doubt. We’ve seen this movie before. Is anyone using Delphi? CompuServe? AOL? What did they have in common? They tried to retrofit the Internet’s HTTP technology into their systems. They tried to force everyone into their closed loopholes. It worked, temporarily. You had a jump in revenues and profit, and then everybody found out you can deal directly with the source. You don’t need them They’re gone. The banking system is trying to do the same thing.”
- Reggie Middleton, CEO of Veritaseum, designing P2P Smart Contracts through blockchain tech & inventor of UltraCoin, speaking at The Blockchain Conference in New York last month.
"The early days of the internet was like this scary thing, all gambling, and porn and you couldn't even transact on there. And then nice walled gardens came along and made everyone quite comfortable with it, which may be like banks and financial institutions are doing now. But it kind of misses the point. The idea of the web and the internet is supposed to be open to everyone.”
- Paul Gordon, CEO of Quantave
“It is kind of like the difference between Che Guevara and a Che Guevara T-shirt being worn by a hipster in Brooklyn. So what do (the banks) do? They look at Bitcoin and say “Let’s see. It is an open, borderless, decentralized, transparent, and peer-to-peer currency. Fantastic! can we have that without the open, decentralized, borderless, transparent, peer-to-peer, and instead add a nice dose of heavy control?”
- Andreas Antonopoulos, speaking at the reinvent.money Conference in Rotterdam, on September 26th.
"In the future I see a public blockchain - whether that's Bitcoin or some other open one in the future, which is a way of registering ownership of all sorts of assets and it's a way of transferring ownership of those assets in a single system that can be read by all of the right people and none of the wrong people. So it becomes very simple for me to swap my dollars for your IBM shares, or your pounds for my house. Any asset that we assign a value to and want to be sure about who owns it can be registered using this technology.”
- James Smith, CEO of Elliptic
ibtimes.co.uk contributed to this story.