By Marie Johnson, Enlightened Digital
The last year has seen a lot of hype regarding blockchain from the media, investors, and technology enthusiasts. It seems as though almost every few weeks, a new company has announced plans to use the technology.
From tech companies like Oracle, whose recent success in cloud-based Oracle applications has included a blockchain platform, to retailer Walmart’s food blockchain that tracks food globally through its supply chain, blockchain technologies have become widely adopted by businesses across many industries.
While the verdict is still out on the future of blockchain, one thing is for certain: everyone has an opinion on its potential. Today’s top CEOs are no exception. While sentiment toward blockchain varies, many technology and finance leaders have voiced their opinion on the future of blockchain.
Here are blockchain predictions from four CEOs— let us know in the comments where your opinion lies.
Adena Friedman, President and CEO of Nasdaq
“The invention itself is a tremendous demonstration of genius and creativity, and it deserves an opportunity to find a sustainable future in our economy.” – Adena Friedman, Nasdaq
In preparation for this year’s Davos World Economic Forum, Adena Friedman, President and CEO of Nasdaq, made some interesting predictions in an article on LinkedIn.
Friedman is placing her faith in cryptocurrencies, going so far as to state that crypto “could still be a global currency of the future.” Friedman makes her prediction based on the amount of investment poured into crypto from some of the most sophisticated global investors.
As a corporation, Nasdaq has invested in ErisX, an institutional marketplace for cryptocurrency spot and futures and has made strides to help cryptocurrencies’ gain investor trust.
Eric Brown, Aliant Payment Systems
“We believe that the next big use of blockchain technology is in the payments industry.” – Eric Brown, Aliant Payment Systems
Eric Brown’s prediction shouldn’t be much of a surprise, coming from the CEO of a merchant services and credit card processing provider. As the CEO of Aliant Payment Systems tells Techopedia, the credit card authorization and settlement system is due for some updates, and he believes that blockchain and cryptocurrency payments are the next big thing.
Brown says that blockchain demonstrates a major potential for international and online transactions, while also being cost-effective for users.
As Brown states, “Cryptocurrency payments are a game-changer because it allows the 1.7 billion people who do not have access to a bank account to finally shop online. With crypto payments, all you need is a smartphone and an email address.” In turn, Brown believes these payments will be influential in transitioning into a cashless society.
Jack Dorsey, Square
“The world ultimately will have a single currency, the internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be bitcoin.” – Jack Dorsey, Square
Jack Dorsey, co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, current CEO of Square, and noted bitcoin investor has been a long time proponent of digital currencies. Dorsey told The Times last year that he believes bitcoin will overtake the dollar to become the single global currency of the internet within a decade.
Following this report, Dorsey participated in a funding round that raised $2.5 billion for Lightning Labs, a startup currently working to speed up the bitcoin transaction process and lower fees. Dorsey admits that these two barriers are currently slowing bitcoin’s scalability, but overcoming these obstacles will make the technology much more adaptable.
Tim Sloan, Wells Fargo
“Personally I think blockchain has been way oversold. By now, that should have completely changed the industry. And that’s just not the way it is.” – Tim Sloan, Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan expressed his skepticism about blockchain earlier this year at the Fintech Ideas Festival. American Banker, who reported on the event, also quoted Cathy Bessant, Bank of America’s chief operations and technology officer, who expressed similar hesitations.
She states, “Now I’m more in throw-down mode. I’ll say to anybody, bring me a use case that makes sense, and I will look at it, but in financial services, it’s a really tough model.”
Though both Wells Fargo and Bank of America have invested in blockchain, executives are still unsure of its current impact on financial services.