AFP, PARIS – New millionaires as well as movies of beach parties and Lamborghinis were created during the bitcoin boom. Small investors were devastated by the cryptocurrency crisis, and several businesses filed for bankruptcy.
Does the breakthrough that powers cryptocurrency, blockchain, have any use besides the creation of speculative financial instruments?
AFP contacted blockchain technology critic Stephen Diehl, author of the recently released book “Popping the Crypto Bubble,” to examine some of the most well-known promises made for the technology.
More secure voting?
Changpeng Zhao, the millionaire creator of the cryptocurrency company Binance, had a suggestion when anxiety and bewilderment erupted across the United States following the 2020 election.
He stated that “we won’t have to wait for results, or have any issues on its authenticity” if there were a “blockchain-based mobile voting software.”
Although there were “major challenges,” fellow crypto billionaire Vitalik Buterin retorted that he believed the statement to be “directionally 100 percent right.”
Experiments have so far been conducted on a tiny scale.
Diehl believed that blockchain was more likely to cause issues than it was to fix them.
Every local district in America has its own voting system, according to stated.
“This is viewed as a benefit because it would take a lot of corrupted civil officials to rig even one election.”
“Centralizing the voting process in one digital location would be quite hazardous; all it would take to undermine democracy is to corrupt the blockchain.”
Automated Home Purchasing
Fans of blockchain claim that it is a safe, transparent, and long-lasting ledger that can be used to store transactions.
Because of these characteristics, several advocates have suggested that the technology may eventually displace paper contracts for transactions like home purchases.
The blockchain “coming back to matters that were solved a millennium ago to justify its own existence,” according to Diehl, is “absurd.”
“This is the system we’ve had since the Middle Ages -– you have a government registry of land, a title and deed that get transferred when the ownership changes,” he said.
“The blockchain isn’t solving anything here.”
– Payments without banks? –
A 2008 white paper on bitcoin, which was intended to be a substitute for fiat money, gave rise to the blockchain.
A peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would enable internet payments to be made directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution, according to the first sentence of the paragraph.
The first cryptocurrency was bitcoin. There are currently over 10,000 others present on numerous blockchains.
Large companies have been scrambling to figure out how to accept cryptocurrency payments.
Diehl emphasised that cryptocurrencies are speculative assets unfit for use in transactions.
“When was the last time you paid for your coffee with Apple stocks,” he asked.
“It just doesn’t happen. You want something that’s going to be stable so the price of your coffee is the price of your coffee next week.”
Supply chain tracking?
Do you wish to know the source of your mango? Some stores think the best way for you to learn is to use a blockchain-based system that can track the fruit from the Central American tropics to your local corner store.
Walmart and Carrefour are two companies that promote blockchain technology.
Earlier this year, Carrefour informed AFP that consumers would be able to scan a QR code to learn the origin of a variety of products.
The shops expect the blockchain will give security, clarity and transparency.
Digital supply chain management has been available for a while and is completely adequate without blockchain, according to Diehl.
Because people in the supply chain might tell lies just as readily on the blockchain as they could on any other platform, he asserted,
“Blockchain is not adding any incorruptibility to the system.”
“The blockchain is not going to stop me from skimming off 50% of an apple carton that I have and reporting that I put 100% of them on the truck.”