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From Asia to Worldwide, Public Blockchains Becoming More Legitimate, Vitalik Says

Sharing his thoughts on enterprise, scaling and the future of blockchain in Asia, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin touched on what conversation he’s been having with regards to improving public chains in general. In a recent interview in Hong Kong, Buterin believes public blockchains have been going to a reawakening in a way, thus strengthening trust in their use.

“On the business side, I think public chains are now being percieved as more legitimate than before including in enterprise, like, everywhere. This is something that, like I’ve heard in China, something I’ve heard in Korea, like DevCon, even just looking at the kinds of applications that people are building, looking at things like Santander Bank launching bonds on the public Ethereum chain, ITA using some Ethereum-based tokens to paper things,” he says in the interview with Angie Lau. “So, I think public chains in general have been going through this kind of re-awakening recently and I think part of that is just people see the promise of blockchains and people are excited about it. At the beginning, I think people were more conservative and they said, ‘Oh, we need this kind of semi-centralised permission chains’, But then, I think more recently, we’ve seen a lot of those projects have not come to past and people have been realising that, ‘Wait, maybe using the existing public chains like actually is the conservative thing. There’s been an interesting shift around that.”

Buterin’s Forkast News interview comes as yet another report by Deutsche Bank in which the top global bank suggests that one of the GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) or their Chinese counterparts BATX (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, Xiaomi) getting to overcome regulatory hurdles “would broaden the appeal of cryptocurrencies, hasten their adoption, and give them the potential to eventually replace cash”. The Imagine 2030 report notes that cryptocurrencies need to overcome three main hurdles to become widespread and put the future of cash at risk even as it projects that there could exist about 200 mln blockchain wallets by 2030. It says cryptocurrencies must become legitimate in the eyes of governments and regulators; allow for global reach in the payment market; and forge alliances with key stakeholders like mobile payment apps, card providers and retailers.

Making a comparison between the eight years after the Internet’s inception when it had 500 million users and blockchain having currently around 50 million, Deutsche Bank forecasts that blockchain will reach an impressive 350 million users within 25 years unlike the internet which took a similar timeframe to reach more than four billion people globally.

Dave Hodgson, co-founder of NEM Ventures, agrees with Deutsche Bank that blockchain adoption will increase in the coming years at a rate likely “faster than that of the Internet”. Based on the view that blockchain adoption is building on the back of several other technology stacks e.g. TCP/IP, Internet, telco networks, retail availability of devices etc., he thinks various economic and socio-political factors are also working to blockchain’s favour internationally.

For Pradeep Goel, CEO of Solve.Care, Deutsche Bank’s predictions regarding rates of blockchain adoption indicate that the technology is already on a firm footing and set to grow its user base enormously in the coming decade. He says:

“However, I believe that adoption will be more rapid than expected, and we will see companies across a range of sectors implement decentralized technology to enhance business processes and improve services. The internet was revolutionary and facilitated a degree of communication previously impossible, and while blockchain is equally revolutionary in its scope, it is much more nuanced in the advantages that it delivers, in terms of increased data security, immutability and transparency.

China, where public and private sector alike are reportedly embracing the concept of “Blockchain with Chinese Characteristics”, is set to play a crucial role in the technology’s adoption.

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