Mixed Remarks on Blockchain Show Debate on Future Utility


One thing that we keep our eye on as we look at the cryptocurrency landscape is the remarks that world leaders make about the future utility of blockchain.

It all ties together – the amount of institutional momentum that cryptocurrencies have through blockchain implementation can and will determine pricing and investor results.

Some of the newest remarks on blockchain come from World Bank Land Administration Specialist Aanchal Anand, speaking at the 20th Annual Conference on Land and Poverty in Washington, D.C. this week.

Today, Reuters reports that Anand’s comments on blockchain have been less than promotional.

“Tech can look big and flashy, and like it can solve all our problems … but the Big Mac burger never matches up to the one in the ad,” Anand said. “Sometimes we get lost in the fancy things, but basic tech can deliver the results.”

Anand and others are ringing much the same bell, contending that the utility of blockchain in the future will be tricky.

“All of the big tech companies will come and say blockchain, blockchain, blockchain,” Bank of America CTO Catherine Bessant told CNBC recently. “I say, ‘Show me the use case. You bring me the use case and I’ll try it.’”

In some ways, Bessant’s comments are not unlike the responses of many average consumers who wonder exactly how they’re supposed to use digital currency in their everyday financial affairs. Many believe that Bitcoin is just for rich people and investors – others suggest that as retailers jump on board, digital currency will be a key way to promote the smoother transfer of assets, even for smaller transactions like getting a cup of coffee.

For those who are enthusiastic about blockchain, brighter news today comes from Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

Here, Cointelegraph reporter Marie Huillet breaks down a white paper released by the German office suggesting that blockchain could help promote European unity in the form of tracking asylum-seekers.

“Blockchain could be the ‘digital enabler’ of European federalism in the asylum context,” wrote officials. “A European platform for the decentralized management of asylum procedures … would enable the transparent storage of a person’s place of initial registration. … Digital identities are per se nationally agnostic and could thus support Europe’s unity at a fundamental level.”

It’s easy to create a long paper ledger of these ‘for and against’ arguments. We keep batting the ball back and forth as societies – are cryptocurrencies major transparency and efficiency tools, or can they sow chaos and enable rampant money laundering and fraud? The results sort of remain to be seen, but investors like to keep an eye on the conversation to understand just how quickly cryptocurrency adoption is proceeding. Stay Tuned.