Coinbase CTO Believes “Blockchain Not Crypto” Is Overrated


Coinbase Blockchain IRS

It is no news that people like to distance themselves from cryptocurrencies but claim strong affiliations with blockchain technology. Not that this is not possible, it happens to be the case that people and some institutions just want to be distanced from anything cryptocurrency. To some of them it’s the fly in the ointment of their reputation, even though they still hail the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies – blockchain.

The “whys” to this decision remain largely unknown, however there are some in both the crypto and blockchain sphere simultaneously who feel like the “blockchain but not crypto” stand is…overrated.

Srinivasan S. Balaji, the CTO of US based crypto exchanger Coinbase, is one of such people as he shared his thoughts on the matter at the EthSanFrancisco conference that was organised earlier this month on blockchain technology and the cryptocurrencies. Despite the emphasis on his respect for the several entrepreneurs who are working in the blockchain space and are helping make integration of the technology into traditional business models, he made it clear that blockchain technology without a native digital asset was something that would eventually go against the users, as the tech would be stripped of most of the major benefits.

“I think private blockchains may have a V.2 where people realize: hey I’ll do like a private ICO where it’ll be set-up like a joint venture where you have ten companies in a consortium, but they have actually a percentage of the token. Then it might actually work again, but I think the whole concept of blockchain without bitcoin was a dead end.” 

Blockchain Without Token

Most companies since the early quarters of 2015 had been considering the possibility of a blockchain network that was devoid of a native cryptocurrency. Eventually most companies have come to build their private blockchains which operate without a cryptocurrency. Look at it as the Ethereum blockchain still being functional but without the Ethereum (ETH) token.

It was Blythe Masters who argued that Bitcoin’s most valuable aspect was the blockchain technology it operated on and not the cryptocurrency that we had all come to know. Arguing further that blockchain had diverse functions beyond just being used for running an online currency but was the future tech for many industries like health, procurements and supply chain etc.

This idea of a chain without a token eventually became popular last year, eventually giving way to the Ethereum Smart contracts which haven’t been up in the news lately, and the eventual building of private networks by various companies.

Balaji believes that every blockchain needs some sort of a token to incentivise users of the network. J.P Morgan owns a blockchain network by name Quorum which allows them to share information within the company. Balaji believes such a network aids in experimenting a lot with the novel technology to test its feasibility.

He eventually admitted the possibility of a more blockchain solutions in the future which may help do without specific tokens on-net.

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