“Blockchain” is one of the most popular modern topics that people are searching these days – especially during the period of December 2017 – January 2018, when Bitcoin’s price hit a record of $20,000. This is no wonder, since blockchain is the technology that underlies the core principles of Bitcoin: fast transaction times, decentralized, transparent, and secure. However, like everything else popular, the blockchain doesn’t stop at Bitcoin – it goes much further, branching off here and there. Many software and IT experts are developing their own blockchains that aim to solve unique issues. The question is: is the blockchain really beneficial and advantageous for the world?
Well, to some people, the answer is no:
- Nouriel Roubini, an American economist, thinks that the blockchain is “one of the most overhyped technologies ever”. He seems to think that blockchains are less efficient, especially when it comes to running something on them. For him, existing databases that are currently being used today are more effective. Roubini also shares that he doesn’t think blockchain will end up becoming a new universal protocol just like the HTML did.
- Jeff Pulver, founder of Vonage, an Internet telephone services provider, seems to hold a similar view to Rubini’s. He’s thinking that blockchain is one of the most misunderstood technologies in this era, and no one would ever be able to truly understand it. He, however, doesn’t deny that blockchain brings a big opportunity – and to be exacted, this opportunity is worth $4 quadrillion.
- A recent survey conducted in 2018 by Deloitte also gives us the idea that many people agree with one or both of the aforementioned views. It’s noted that at least 39% of the respondents being surveyed by Deloitte said that “blockchain is overhyped”. In the USA alone, even 44 percent of the respondents view the blockchain technology as overhyped.
Despite these views, however, blockchain’s developments – in terms of its technology and rules that would regulate it – do not stop. And other surveys have shown that many CEOs see great potential in blockchain.
Various Stances On Blockchain
The European Union
The EU holds a firm stance regarding data privacy. According to their General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR), European citizens deserve the right to be forgotten in the online world (which some would say is rather convenient for criminals, or those who show their true colors online and then want to cover it up – be they a politician, celebrity, or the average joe). This, of course, is contradictory to the decentralization and immutability that blockchain technology has to offer.
East Asian Countries
On the polar opposite, East Asian countries are generally more welcoming to blockchain and its developments. Many blockchain projects and companies arise from these countries, and the communities there are enthusiastic about this friendly stance.
In the U.S., though, they are not as easy-going as some of their Asian counterparts. The SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) are still seeing rounds of discussion as they are carefully reviewing whether or not to approve the first Bitcoin ETF – and multiple applications have been rejected. The implication is high here: if a ETF is to be approved, it would mean that they are – more or less – supporting blockchain. Although the applications for various ETFs have been rejected at least 10 times by them, firms are still pacing their horses to push their luck.
Central banks and normal banks all around the world seem to have mixed opinions regarding blockchain. They are in a “love-hate” relationship with blockchain, because while the technology can be used in many sectors and bring a broad array of benefits, cryptocurrencies have taken form as an alternative investment means for the people. JPMorgan’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, even won’t stop disliking Bitcoin (that gave birth to blockchain technology) and its friends: he still holds the same view that he had previously expressed a few times before. For him, Bitcoin is no more than a scam. Despite his stance on Bitcoin, Dimon states that his bank is testing blockchain, for it could potentially help with many things.
So, is blockchain overhyped or not?
There is no definite answer for this. It is true that cryptocurrencies, that work on the principle of public distributed ledgers called blockchains, were taking the world by storm. A lot of people, even new investors that had never invested before, were involved in pouring their money into the rising prices, resulting in a record-breaking cryptocurrency market cap that reached a figure of around $600 billion, before it crashed. The gain in crypto markets could reach double, or even triple digits in a day – and when compared to other conservative and more traditional means of payment, this could be classified as “overhyped”.
However, again, cryptocurrencies are not the same as blockchain. It seems that many people who invested in cryptocurrencies were there to speculate, as at least 27% of Americans (according to one survey) said Bitcoin and its blockchain was “too difficult to understand”. If this is what’s also been happening in other parts of the world, then the blockchain itself is not overhyped. In fact, it is still largely unknown to large portions of the public.
With the fact that blockchains can bring security, safety, and efficiency, we can only hope that its future won’t stop here. Just like any other successful technologies that came into existence before (e.g. the Internet), we hope blockchain won’t cease to exist, but rather grow – and this is what we believe will be the case. Feel free to check out our website, in which you can find a range of blockchain and gold-based products, especially our DinarCoin, which is a token that you can invest in without the wild volatility of other cryptocurrencies.